DailyWritingTips

Section Three: Google Docs

You can’t throw a stick these days without someone mentioning Google Docs. It’s a powerful, free, web-based word processor (kind of like Microsoft Word) that simplifies collaboration and editing in real time.

It’s part of the Google Workspace, formerly known as G Suite, and has become a favorite tool for writers, educators, and businesses alike for its simplicity and accessibility.

I know some writers who say you don’t need both Word and Google Docs, but I disagree. I utilize both because each gives me different tools. I love how Grammarly operates within Word, and I also love using it for brainstorming and creating drafts.

I use Google Docs to submit work to clients and various teams, and I love how it’s built to format content for web use.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy Sharing and Collaboration: Multiple users can work on the same document simultaneously, with changes saved and synced in real time.
  • Auto-Save to Cloud: You never lose work with automatic saving, ensuring your documents are backed up as you type.
  • Accessible from Any Device: Edit and view your written documents from just about anywhere, on any device with internet access.
  • Version History: Easily revert to previous versions of a document, seeing who made changes and when.
  • Internet Dependency: Full functionality requires a stable internet connection, which can be limiting in offline scenarios. (that’s when Word comes in handy!)
  • Formatting Limitations: While Google Docs offers tons of formatting tools, it may not have the same level of depth as desktop applications like Microsoft Word. I always recommend using both tools in tandem.

Cost of Google Docs

Completely free with a Google account, making it an accessible option for anyone with internet access.

Tips for Writers

  1. Leverage “Suggesting” Mode: Perfect for working with editors or clients; this mode allows others to propose edits that you can accept or reject.
  2. Utilize Add-ons: Enhance your Google Docs experience with add-ons like Grammarly for grammar checking.
  3. Explore Voice Typing: If you’re looking to speed up your writing or need a break from typing (we all deal with carpal tunnel eventually!), use the Voice Typing feature under Tools to dictate your content.
  4. Use the Explore Feature: Google Docs includes a built-in research tool that allows you to search the web and cite sources without leaving your document.
  5. Organize with Folders: Amazing for those type-A people out there! Keep your Google Drive organized by creating folders for different projects or clients, ensuring easy access to your documents.