Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's Google Docs Yo!

Have you ever typed a document on your computer then had to transfer it with a USB device or by e-mail to print it on another machine? Have you ever been somewhere without your computer and needed access to a presentation or document that you created? Have you ever just wanted a more convenient way to make, share, and preserve documents and spreadsheets? Meet Google Docs

What is Google Docs? Basically, its a web application that makes documents, spreadsheets, and presentations without the fuss of annoying things like: using money, opening 3 different applications (Word, PowerPoint, Excel), attaching and e-mailing documents to yourself, etc. Google Docs is a convenient way to create, edit, collaborate, and share files. The interface is very simple, the features are simple, so I will keep this post simple. Here are the basics:

First: Get an account. You may already have one if you have a gmail account. If not, click on the Google Docs link above, follow the steps to either creating a new Google account OR using an existing e-mail account (hotmail, yahoo, whatever).

Docs Home: This is the front page. From here you control all that Google Docs has to offer.
dull bulb: "Click to enlarge image"
you: "Oh really, like I didn't know that?"
dull bulb: "Fine, I won't say it anymore"

New: When you need to create a new anything, you click on the "New" dropdown box. This includes the creation of new folders to organize your crap. Put school documents in school folders, presentations in presentation folders, work in work, you get the picture. Or you can just keep it all in one (but that's unorganized, inefficient, and yucky - do you what you want though...)Upload Files: Do you have a file that you want to work on using Google Docs? Just use the upload feature. You can also e-mail files directly into your Google Docs Home by e-mailing them the the address it gives you at the bottom. I kept mine off to keep the freaks away.

Share: Stop! Collaborate and listen, Ice is back with a brand new edition... I'll stop. You can use Google Docs to quickly e-mail documents to other people, yourself and to invite other people to work on a document with you. When the other person edits the document, it will sync with the file in your Home folder and you will have successfully Vanilla Ice'd the document.

My Two Cents: I obviously like Google Docs. However, like any well-meaning, up-and-coming web application, it has some work to do. Either way, you can see why these kinds of FREE and LIVE web applications the the thing of the future. They help make you more efficient, productive, and happy! I know that saving 80 bucks makes me happy.


Derek said...

Very useful. I was almost dissuaded by the vanilla ice though.

Natalie said...

It is useful. This might come in handy in the upcoming months if people can edit the document and it will sync with the file in the home folder. Thanks for the idea babe!