If you aren’t already using the Google suite of collaboration products, you are missing out. No, this is not a product endorsement. Instead, consider it a solid recommendation about how to get smarter about sharing.
Here’s a common scenario on how we use Google docs to collaborate virtually, in real time, with our clients who are often have employees in far-flung places:
Let’s assume we’re developing copy for a client newsletter. We may interview three subject matter experts (SMEs) at our client, insert a couple of links to external data sources and an illustration or two. The document draft is created in Google and then shared with the SMEs for their review. The illustrations, which are typically created in PowerPoint, Illustrator or purchased through a photo licensing site, display beautifully. The URLs to the external links can be embedded using anchor text.
But the real beauty becomes evident when sharing the document. Once it’s shared, our SME reviewers can make changes whenever they wish on virtually any type of device on any computer (as long as they log on using a gmail address). They can make changes and add comments using a function that’s similar to “track changes” in word – but not as messy. Best of all, our team can have a live conference call with all three SMEs and make required changes on the screen as we’re talking – live! This is the real “cool factor”: changes can be seen as they are made, virtually instantaneously on the screen. No need to email copies of the document back and forth. No annoying version control to worry about. Lots of time is saved. And, of course, time is money.
PS We’re also using Google docs for surveys and for event registration.
NOTE: Since this post originally appeared, Carrick was quoted in an article on November 26, “6 Entrepreneurs Tell Why You Should Be Using Cloud Computing”. Link here for more insights.