One of the hassles of collaboration with spatially separated colleagues is combining your thoughts on a single document without getting lost in ‘latest versions’. Google’s answer to this is Google Documents, free hosting of shared documents that you (the publisher) control editing permissions and viewability. It comes standard with every Gmail account and is accessible here or by clicking the link in the top left corner of your browser window on the Gmail homepage.
Documents can range from simple word-like documents, great for sharing meeting minutes or evaluating a collaborators article publication and presentations using a familiar “Microsoft Powerpoint-esque” interface, to spreadsheets full of data.
The best way to get started is just to try it, but if you want a quick intro to some of the features that make Google Docs really great, take the intro tour here or take a look at the support page here. Also did we mention one of the best features that Google Docs is able to upload and convert any existing presentation, document or spreadsheet for you – preserving it in cyberspace and making it easily accessible to you anywhere in the world?!
To get started sharing your documents once they have been created – simply click the ‘share’ button in the top right corner of the Google Docs page and select who you wish to share it with and how you want it to be updated and maintained. Simple!