I love Google Docs. I live by Google Docs. I can’t believe I ever lived with anything else. It strikes just the right balance between simplicity and power. It’s made for writers like me who constantly need to send out documents for edits and comments without causing a massively complicated pile-up of versions and tracked changes. Plus, it’s in the cloud, so my documents are never stuck on one computer. I can access Docs on my MacBook Pro, my iMac, my iPad, and my Nexus 5X (and my wife’s iPad and iPhone in a super pinch!).
I used to love Word, and it is definitely good software for the pre-cloud age. But it isn’t native cloud. I get really frustrated now when someone emails me a Word doc, and I plan to place in future writing contracts a stipulation that all work stay in Google Docs till Mark Ward is completely done with editorial back-and-forth. One book project I worked on was delayed by several weeks, seriously, simply because my request to use Google Docs was politely ignored. Nobody knew which version of the Word doc we were using was the most recent.
Google Docs also has powerful add-on capabilities, only one of which I’m using right now (export to markdown; very handy).
The software just alerted me to something I hadn’t used before: Google Keep integration. I like keeping random notes in Google Keep. Now when I’m working on a book, I can drag notes directly from a Keep pane into my Google Doc:
The only thing I need Google Docs to do that it can’t do—and I only need this occasionally—is keep commenters from seeing each other’s comments. Sometimes I want a bunch of people to look at a document, but I don’t want them knowing what the others are saying. I also don’t like it that the keyboard selection tool doesn’t stop at em dashes when I’m going word by word. Otherwise Google Docs is pretty near perfect.
Out of the abundance of the heart the fingers type.