How Google Docs Saved Me This Summer
If there was no Google Docs, I wonder how my team at work and I would be able to complete our work efficiently and well. Of course, I am not saying that saying Google Docs is the final, say-all, end-all of word processors. There are definitely opportunities where Google Docs may present itself as the better choice over Microsoft Word; on the flip-side, there are also times where, hands down, I would use Microsoft Word over Google Docs. In my three weeks working at the United Nations, I have heavily utilized Google Docs, along with my team, to get stuff done such as note taking and report writing, and below are the reasons why I love it.
1. Integrated Comment Feature
When people cannot access another device to communicate about something such as a report or project that may be due in a few hours’ time, they can use the comment feature within Google Docs to offer compliments and critique. My team especially loves to take advantage of this feature if we need to multitask in places where we are all working apart from one another or when we are in meetings. People simply post a comment on a section of words, sentences or paragraphs. Even better, people are able to address and respond to comments, providing another means of communication.
2. No Internet Necessary
I have asked people if they knew they could work with a Google Doc without internet access; surprisingly, most do not know this. When you work without internet, or offline, Google Docs automatically syncs whatever work is on your Google Drive (a “cloud storage” of all your work) so you can continue to be productive when you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection. This is a feature you can enable in your “Settings” on your Google account. (No, this does not mean you need a “@gmail.com” email address.)
3. It Can Be Accessed on Tables and Smartphones
Google Docs is not limited to being used on a laptop, PC, or Apple computer. Smartphone and tablet users can download the various Google Docs App from the App Store for Apple products or from the Play Store for Android. Using something such as a tablet or a smartphone with a portable Bluetooth keyboard is really great if you don’t feel like carrying your computer and want to be able to quickly set up while you’re on the go.
4. Overall…Increased Productivity!
Multiple people can simultaneously work on a single Google Doc at the same time, in simple terms. Unlike Microsoft Word, which does have more features than Google Docs (such as macros and additional formatting options), I believe one of the mains reasons Google created their Docs was to help teams and organizations increase productivity. There’s no need to be using one computer, even if it is connected to a video projector. I can work with my team from home, the train, and coffee shops—without or without internet for all of the above and more—and not need to worry about being with my team to complete a project.
Do I use Google Docs for all my reports, papers, and projects? My answer is absolutely not. But, when it comes time to working with a team under time crunches and putting stuff together from different places, there are truly not many better options, if there are any, that work better than Google Docs.