January 5, 2011

why you should use Google Docs

Posted in office, technology tagged , at 7:18 pm by weiszguy

Google Docs (http://docs.google.com) is an online office suite par excellence.  It has all the components you have come to expect from an installed office package (word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation program), plus a few others (forms and drawings).

Google Docs exists entirely online.  You don’t have software on your computer, you don’t have files on your computer.  All you need is access to the internet.

Benefits:

  • You save all your documents online.  You no longer need to worry about running out of space on your hard drive.  And you don’t have to worry about backing up your files, either.  Google’s systems are infinitely redundant.  If your hard drive crashes, you won’t lose anything.
  • You don’t have to try to remember which computer a certain file is on.  Your files are on the internet and you can reach them from any computer with internet access.
  • You don’t have to try to keep multiple copies of a file in sync.  For example, a certain file is on your home computer, so you bring a copy of the file to work so you can have it there, too.  Now you have multiple copies, and you have to think about keeping all your changes consistent across all your copies.
  • You don’t have to install any software.  You also don’t have to apply any patches or upgrades.  When Google makes changes to their applications, you see it automatically when you log in.
  • You don’t have to email documents to other people.  Attaching a document to an email usually isn’t all that hard, but it’s one less step nonetheless.  Plus, no more merging changes from other people with the master document on your computer.  If you want someone to see the document, you just invite them!
  • You can have multiple people working on a document at the same time.  You can see where each person is in the document, and you can see what they are changing.  Again, this also saves the step of merging changes from multiple copies.
  • If you absolutely need a local copy of a document, you can download it in any of several common office formats, and use your local software to edit it.

If you don’t like Google…
Some folks have an aversion to all things Google.  If this is you, Zoho (http://docs.zoho.com) is another great option for you.  Everything I’ve said about Google Docs also applies to Zoho.  Check it out.

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