(Photo compliments of Morguefile.com)
For years, I worked far away from my office. I was so far away, in fact, that a commute was a 12-hour trip by car and nearly a four-hour flight with a connection in either Detroit or Chicago. So getting to the office was not an option for me. But it worked for five years.
The Washington DC-based office and I kept in touch through regular conference calls. Instant Messaging also connected me with fellow reporters who I had never met in person.
Instant Message was good for one-on-one chatting, but not for sharing our full-length news reports.
For several years, we used Google Docs to share information and get updates on longer feature stories and keeping reporters’ daily and weekly schedules easily visible.
Google Docs kept us together as we worked in a group. The system can help you connect with your editor.
Here are the basic steps to using Google Docs.
First, Google allows you to create a Document, such as one similar to Word, or a slide presentation, or spreadsheets.
If you have a document already, you can upload it. Click on the arrow pointed upward.
In addition, you can download a Google Docs drive onto your computer. It’s a “click and drag” feature. “Click and drag” means it says: Click on a document, hold down the button on the mouse or touchpad, and drag it to the Google Drive on your computer screen. As an aside, File Explore will give you an easy visual to where you are dragging your document.
Secondly, document sharing is a feature that is going to help with editing and keeping up to date with a Virtual Assistant. Read more about VAs.
The steps to sharing are relatively simple.
1. Open the document you would like to share, click on the man with the plus sign next to him.
2. In the pop-up screen, type in the email address of the person you wish to share with.
This principle behind sharing with Google Docs is generally the same with other sharing software, such as Dropbox. Create your document, make it accessible via the Web and grant access to the appropriate people.
Do you use Google Docs? How has it helped you?