Google Docs/Drive Makes Collaboration on Projects Easy

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while.  I did one early in the semester when I learned Twitter, but I completely forgot that one of the things on the list that I have yet to do is Goog Docs (now called Drive)!

I first used Google Docs years ago when I was at UT.  I spent the first five weeks of the semester copy editing for The Minaret, UT’s award winning college paper.  The editors would send us the stories that way and we would edit them and send them back.  But I never actually used the service if you know what I mean. 

Late last year, I started to.  I was bored at work, big surprise since I just sit around waiting for the phone to ring, and I said to myself, “too bad I can’t write.”  Then it dawned on me.  Google Docs.    So I opened up the old Google account, started a new document and started writing character profiles for a Steampunk story idea I have. 

It works just like Word, only it’s stored in the “cloud.”  I can open it and edit it anytime anywhere.  And the best part is, it saves as I go!  They have all the same editing tools, and lots of fonts to choose from.  The only drawback is using it on my old clunker work comuter.  It’s still got Windows XP on it and an old version of IE so it’s quite slow and sticks.  I’ll be typing away and the darn thing will freeze and get stuck.  So it takes forever to type anything.

I also used it for two assignments this semester.  I learned how to create, share, comment on, and edit simultaneously!  It was so cool to start a document and have both my research partner and I be working on it at the same time.  You could see the changes each of us were making with the cursur moving at two different places in the document.  It was awesome!  We ended up writing our paper that way too since we could both edit it without sending it back and forth like we did last Fall with our Proposal for our Research Methods class.

I also used it in Collection Development to make the list of books we were “buying” with our hypothetical funds.  Three of us were editing it at once at one point, and it made it so much easeir!

As for using it in libraries, I could see the team writing the mission and goals statements using it to see what everyone else has said and wants.  It would work for any document that needs to be written updated by the staff of a library.  Spreadsheets for new acquisitions can be quickly added to by numerous librarians and everyone who has access gets the updates.  Flyers, handouts, and brochures can easily be made and shared with coworkers for approval and input.  It really would make working together on projects so much easier.  Plus, there is even an app for you iPad and a desktop icon that can be downloaded to your PC.

What more could you ask for?

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