What do you use for your documents? Are you a loyal fan of Microsoft Word, a regular user of Apple’s office package or do you go old school with the notes app on your phone or a pad and paper?
I’m a big fan of Google Docs, especially as a freelancer. Here’s why:
- Variety – With Google Docs, I can create a Document, Presentation, Spreadsheet, Form and Drawing. I can also use a variety of other apps to enhance all of these.
- It’s free – Google Docs are completely free. No initial purchase, or extra packs to make (although there are plenty of apps you can download to use with Google Docs)
- Access online – Google Docs is a cloud based system, so I can access and update my documents wherever I am. I often update spreadsheets on the go, or send my Terms and Conditions document to a new client through the inbuilt sharing option.
- Easy to find docs – Well, it wouldn’t be a Google product if it wasn’t super-easy to find what I want. As all of my docs sit in Google Docs, rather than languishing in various folders on my computer, all I need to do is a quick search and I’ll find the doc I want.
- Collaborative – Far and away the best thing about Google Docs, is how collaborative it is. I often create content plans in a Google Doc spreadsheet, then share it to the client to approve. As it’s live, I can see exactly which cell they’re looking at, and see any edits in real time. Also, when I’m in my Gmail, I can attach a doc directly from my new message.
- Public – I can choose to make my links public, either through a link or just as a general public link. I’ve been using this for my eCourse (running again in January!), as I can give my coursemates access to a folder filled with the materials they need.
- Google Docs can be used in Google Hangouts – Recently, I’ve been testing out the Google Docs function in Google Hangouts. I can grab a doc from my drive and show my fellow Hangout attendees, which is handy when I’m referring to something in particular.
- Uploads – You an upload old documents to Google Docs, which is a nice way to clear up your desktop and back everything up.
- IFTTT syncing – Google Docs works with IFTTT, so you can set up triggers to do things like create a spreadsheet with all your expenses that come through your email.
- The sheer number of apps – I’ve mentioned the apps a fair bit, but there’s a brilliant selection of free apps you can use with Google Docs. Check out some of my favourites below.
Apps to try out
- Movenote – Combines video and presentations, by allowing you to record a video talking the viewer through your presentation, while the presentation streams alongside. You can then save it and send it to someone, making it great for online courses.
- PowToon – Great for creating animations to use on your website/blog
- PicMonkey – image editing program PicMonkey is nicely integrated into Google Docs
- Billable Contacts – If you fancy trying out a billing/invoicing tool within Google Docs, this is well worth a try.
Have you experimented with Google Docs? What’s your favourite use for it?
p.s The 30 Day Freelance Lifestyle Ecourse is back in January! Sign up before the 15th to get the special discount…