Productivity, technology, Web Development

Google Docs Vs. Microsoft Word – Should You Make The Switch?

Recently I read a great article by Charles Cooper – regarding giving up Microsoft Word in favor of Google Docs. I was a little stunned at first because to be honest with you the thought never even crossed my mind. I had no idea that I could viably use Google Docs as a competent alternative. But me, always being curious, I wanted to try it out. I decided to write this post in Google Docs and see if I could format and post it without any prior knowledge or tutorials.

First off, I Ioved the dictionary feature under tool. This is so useful when you’re trying to think of new ways to say something and don’t want to make a fool of yourself in the process. I was impressed that my document was saved immediately and also sent to my docs folder without any prompting which means even if I forget its taken care of and I can access it anywhere (especially key if your multitasking like most of us do). I also liked the fact that you can download the document into different formats right from the file menu which means that you can make a copy for OpenOffice, PDF, or Word. I found this especially useful because I have OpenOffice on my laptop. Of course it goes without saying that you can email your document directly to the web or email collaborators right on the main menu.

Actually everything seemed pretty intuitive from the main window and I was able to write and edit my document with ease. I did eventually do a search for a good tutorial. Here’s what I came up with:

I have to say that I liked the overall experience. I’m sure I wont give up Word immediately since you have to be online to use Google Docs but it was easy to use and will definitely work in a pinch for documents, spreadsheets, and other duties that you want to share right away and get feedback. If your online anyway – why not.

Bonus: now you can view your files offline in Chrome!

 

Do you use Google Docs regularly and have any tips to share? I’d love to hear them.

Blogs, facebook, Productivity, Social Services, video

Tell A Great Story With Storify

I love blogging and sharing information that I find across the web on any given subject as soon as I see it. I came across this great tool called Storify which lets you do just that in a nice visual format.

The way it works is that you pull information from Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, YouTube and many others into one big story that you can then share with your friends and followers on Twitter and Facebook. Now the idea of this is really simple and you would think that this would be really easy to use. Unfortunately, I found a few stumbling blocks when I tried it out. Once I developed my story, I couldn’t export it to other programs such as WordPress or Tumblr even though it says that you can do so. Upon further investigation, I found out that you can only do this on WordPress if you have a self hosted account and the plug-in (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/storify/?utm_source=Users). I also couldn’t find any way to delete the snippets that I had to create once I was finished using them in my story. Do they just sit there forever? That would seem to get confusing and cluttered after a while. There also doesn’t seem to be a standard help section or forum to answer questions.

Overall I like the concept of the platform because you can gather a lot of information very quickly and share it immediately. I also liked that when you publish your story to your twitter account, it also notifies the author or tweeter to let them know that their content was used in your story. This is a great way of course to generate goodwill with other writers and bloggers. I really hope they get past these small quirks because as it stands now this platform is a little limited. If you use this program with WordPress or Tumblr I would love to know how it works for you.

Here is an overview of Storify: