Sunday, May 29, 2011

5 ways to use Google Docs to run your business

Google Docs has three great things going for it: it's free, it keeps getting improved, and it is flexible. The first advantage is obvious, and the other two are well illustrated in a short video from Sharon Vaknin of CNET News. You may also know her from Geek and the City

The following are the key points about Google Docs you can pick up from the video:

1. Easy uploading: You can upload files of almost any format to Google Docs, and also drag and drop files from your hard drive to the Docs home page. You can also upload an entire folder (like your My Documents), into Google Docs, and it would keep your folder and subfolder organization intact.

2. Insert photos directly into a document: You can insert a photo into a document by dragging and dropping files from your hard drive or from the web.

3. Add comments: This is a great option if you are collaborating with someone on a document. You can highlight a block of text, add a comment, and that comment, along with the name of the person who wrote the comment, will appear in the sidebar, where other collaborators can reply to that comment. You can even send the comment to a specific collaborator with a Twitter-like capability by typing "@" followed by the person'sname. If you move the highlighted text, the comments will move with it.

4. Easy file backup: With a few keystrokes, you can download all of your Google Doc files into your hard drive, and even specify what kind of format you want to use. For example, you can save a document file either as a Word file or an OpenOffice file.

5. Helpful Google Rappers: While not technically a part of Google Docs, you can go to YouTube to see Google employee rapping about how to use the help functions in Google Docs.