Remember what working on documents with your team was like before cloud-based solutions?
Back when you had to manually remember to save your Word Doc every five minutes or risk losing your hard work?
When the only way to collaborate in real time was to sit at the same computer?
These days, thanks to software like Google Docs, things are much easier.
You don't ever need to physically transfer your work, fingers trembling in case your floppy disk decided to breathe its last, and physically hand it over to someone so you could work together.
All you need to do is send them a link.
Let's take a look at how collaborating in Google Docs works in practice.
Sharing documents in Google Drive
Ready to collaborate?
Sending the document you're working on to your team is easy. You can share entire folders or you can share individual documents on a doc-by-doc basis.
To share a document in Google Docs, just click on the share button in the top right-hand corner.
You can either:
- Get a shareable link.
- Add collaborators through an email address.
Regardless of which option you pick, you can control the type of access the person gets.
Google offers three variations:
- View. Users can just see (and read) the doc.
- Comment on. Users can leave comments on the doc.
- Edit. Gives the user the full power to edit the doc.
Editing a Goole Doc with a partner
So how does editing work in practice?
When you're working on a document with someone, you've got three options.
- Edit the documents directly. In this mode, any changes will be made directly in the doc.
- Make suggestions. In the suggestion mode, any edit becomes a suggestion and shows up as a comment on the side of the Google doc.
- View the document.
Editing a Google Doc through suggestions
This is one of the best ways to edit a document.
Suggestions are powerful because they don't change the doc itself. Instead, the document owner can choose to accept or reject suggestions.
Here's how it works. As a suggestion-maker you can:
- Delete text. To delete text, just highlight the section you'd like to get rid of and hit delete. This will score the text through.
- Leave a comment. Want to leave a note? Highlight a section and then click on the comment icon on the right-hand side.
- Add new text. Click where you'd like to add text and start typing. The text will show up in a different color on the page.
The document owner can go through your suggestions and accept or reject them. If they accept, your suggestion seamlessly merges with the doc.
This way everyone gets to have input while the owner of the document maintains total control.
Linking a Sheet to Your Doc
Ever wished there was a simple way to add your monthly expense table to your reports without copying and pasting the same thing back and forth?
Google lets you link Sheets directly to your Docs.
Why is that so cool?
Because when you make a change in your Google Sheet, the numbers change in real time in the Doc.
Here's how it works.
Open up the Google Sheet you'd like to link and select the cells you'd like to copy.
Head over to the Google Doc you'd like to link and paste the table.
Google will ask you whether you'd like to link to the spreadsheet or paste unlinked.
Now every time you update the spreadsheet, your pasted table will get updated in real time too.
How cool is that?
Taking collaboration to new heights
Google Drive makes collaborating in real time seamless.
It really makes working together painless.
What are your favorite collaboration tools? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,
Have fun storming the castle!
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