Large companies have always maintained central repositories of documents to consolidate data storage and enable sharing of information across workgroups. Organizations of every size and purpose have started to use Google Docs to have access to the same data storage options. Data storage space is unlimited, and security can be tailored for each document, folder, and organization as defined by the user group. Consider these 10 tips for using Google Docs in the office as you make decisions concerning the best approach to data management.
10 Tips for Using Google Docs in the Office
As work processes are developed and implemented, data storage can be patterned after the structure that exists in the office. Each person, team, and location can be assigned specific naming conventions for easy access of the most important documentation and project information.
2. Share Entire Folders
When a document folder is created within Google Docs, the security access is created that can allow open access to others within the workgroup for one document or the entire folder. One set of folders can be created for final documents that are ready for the customer to review while all other folders are secured from customer view. Multiple locations can share one set of folders or keep an entirely separate set of folders for easy work management. Project leaders and managers can be given access to all folders according to the need to know the information contained within the folder.
3. Online Chat with Collaborators
While using Google Docs, each user can sign in to the online chat function to discuss work, collaborate on document edits, and answer questions concerning the many possible functions within the software. Remote users are easily addressed when the user names are meaningful and each person uses the software daily.
4. Revision History and Revert Function
Google Docs will keep track of every revision made to each document and grants the user the capability to roll back to a previous version. Edits are highlighted on the screen for the user to see what was changed in each version and certain revisions can be withdrawn from all subsequent versions without investing time in manually rewriting the document.
5. Online Surveys or Simple Registration Forms
Management that values input from employees often searches for the most effective way to gather that information. Google Docs has a function that allows for quick creation of an online survey that can be accessed by all specified users. Customer feedback can be gathered easily through this function, and the customer can respond at their own convenience. When an event requires pre-registration, a simple online registration form can be created for each participant.
6. Multi-page Forms
For more extensive interactive information gathering, Google Docs supports forms that have multiple pages. Each page can contain multiple-choice questions or blanks that must be filled in with the requested information. Creation of these forms is simple enough for even the most non-technical user to create without a learning curve.
7. Format Conversion
When multiple users must share a set of documents, one barrier to open sharing is the many variations in document formats. Google Docs has a conversion function that allows the user to upload a document and then walk through a simple process that will convert the file into a different software format. This function is useful for customers who run different software programs and for remote users with smart phones who need to read a file on the go.
8. Publish to Blogs
Information that is useful to external parties can be published directly to a blog through Google Docs. When company or product information is essential to customer satisfaction, the project manager can decide to publish a final document to a blog that can be read by anyone.
9. Quick Document Viewer
This feature allows a document residing within a folder to be viewed without first downloading the document to the local computer. Reviewing multiple documents for accuracy and completeness can take less time when opening the document on Google Docs gives a full view of the information and format of the document.
10. Collaborative Drawing Feature
While this feature may seem frivolous, there are times when two remote users appear to be speaking two different languages. The ability to meet on the drawing in cyberspace can close a communication gap and restart the work process. Multiple users can offer ideas and add to the picture on the screen to develop the best possible solution the problem at hand.
Whether you work independently or with large numbers of people, Google Docs can keep the most current copy of any document available for access from any location. Having an offsite backup of your work adds peace of mind for anyone who depends on technology to complete their work. Security is maintained by Google and only the people given permission to access a specific document will be able to open and read a file with a valid account. Consider organizing your documents on the internet and join the revolution.