Google Docs: Is it right for you?

I have around four years experience with Google Docs and for the past two or so years, it’s been my main word processor. For me, around the time I started getting into it, I was traveling an hour to school and working part time which left me little time to do homework. Instead of having to transfer files continuously to and from a flash drive, I used Google Docs to make the editing process easy.

For those perhaps unfamiliar, Google Docs is essentially just like Microsoft Word except it saves your file online and you can access it from any device (provided you log in with your Google account) and edit it essentially from anywhere. I can be on a home desktop, my laptop, a school computer, a tablet, my phone, and pretty much anywhere you have internet access, you have access to your documents.

I finally came to the realization that this would be an amazing writing resource when I had to take that class for which I had to write a novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNo). I had time between classes I used to write as well as at home and I began that month with my document in Word. Very quickly I decided it was inconvenient to have to save my work a million times on one specific flash drive which I would constantly forget to take with me. I posted the novel’s workings in the Drive and was easily able to work the rest of the month without fear of losing anything.

Since Google Drive saves the document as you write it, you never have to remember to save it before you exit the program (or close one of a million tabs like me). That alone has saved my ass a million times, let alone all the other perks. It essentially has the same features and functions as Microsoft Word, so if you are very familiar with that program, you will not have to learn a whole new program.

Another major perk to Google Drive is actually what it was intended for. You can share and invite others to view your work and they can make notes, edit the document, and give feedback within the program also in real time. I edit for a good friend of mine, and we’d both be in her document, hundreds of miles apart, and she’d write and I’d edit together. If I had questions, I could use the chat feature to interrupt her without having her to change windows. Personally, I love this if you have a group of writers you want to share your work with without having to print a million copies. Anyone with a Google account can access the work, provided you give them access.

Overall, I much prefer Google Drive. The autosave feature seriously has saved my life.

Stay creative my friends,

Dana