There are many instances when you need to create a document such as a product description, a school essay, a project proposal, a contract draft, a lesson plan, a presentation… Actually, the list is endless and I think you get the idea. In most cases, you want to share this document with others such as your colleagues, co-workers, fellow students, supervisors, subordinates, friends, etc.
The old fashioned way is to use Microsoft Office, create a new Word document on your local PC or laptop and then send it via email to the person you want to share it with. This is a difficult process because every person who has a copy of the document makes changes to the document thereby creating a multitude of different versions of the same document. In other words: You are creating a huge mess.
The solution is to use a document sharing system that works in the cloud such as Google Drive. All you need is a free Gmail account. Once you have created a new Google doc, you have a number of options for sharing it with other people. If you want to invite other people as contributors, those people need a free Gmail account too. You can give other Gmail users access to your document with the following three options:
- You allow the other person to just view your document.
- You allow the other person to view your document and make comments using the ‘comments’ function in Google Drive.
- You allow the other person the rights listed in 1 and 2 plus the right to make changes to your document.
The changes you and other contributors make in your document are automatically saved every two seconds so you don’t have to worry about losing any of your work due to a technical failure. You can also undo any of the changes you make if you are not happy with them. The Google Drive interface is very intuitive and most of the functions and features are self-explanatory. The files you create an Google Drive are compatible with and convertible to MS Office and you can also download and save them as PDF files.