Imagine this scenario:
- You are working on a project with 2 colleagues Jan and Jon.
- You email a file to Jan and Jon with the most updated info on it.
- Jan makes important additions and emails it back to you and CCs Jon.
- Jon doesn’t see this email until later, so he makes his important additions and edits to the wrong file. He sends that to you and Jan. Later he notices the error and re-emails both of you but forgets to upload the attachment.
- You get busy with another project and cannot work on this collaboration for a few days.
- When you get back on task, you spend 5 minutes hunting through your emails for the file. You open it, make adjustments, and send it to Jan and Jon.
- Jan responds immediately saying: ‘This is not updated! All my work is gone!”
- …and on and on.
- Tons of emails, meetings, phone calls, and attachments later, you all finally get on the same page and finish.
There has to be a better way!
I have officially forbidden anyone with whom I work to send me attachments in email.
The only people I still get email attachments from are my parents and I let them slide because it’s not business related and that battle is a whole other can of worms. 😉 I’m just happy they use email at this point.
But in my different companies we use two main things for collaboration:
Benefits of Google Drive for Documents & Spreadsheets
The benefits are many:
- we can all work on something at the same time and see what each other is writing live
- we can make comments off the to side for each other
- we can chat in the google chat feature inside the document as we work
- the most updated file is always there (found via a link or searching the Drive)
- it’s more easily searched for than in email
- it’s less clicks to open and less clutter on my desktop
In addition to documents (like Word) & spreadsheets (like Excel), you can also store:
- presentations (their version of PowerPoint)
Here’s an example of a spreadsheet
This “POA” is a plan of attack for our SAT prep curriculum development that I was overseeing at Student-Tutor.
This file was shared with 3 other people.
We all worked off it and edited it, sometimes simultaneously while talking on Skype.
- Once created, I set a bookmark to it in my internet browser so I could jump to it super fast.
- I also made a duplicate copy just for myself on occasion incase someone made an error and I needed to view a past copy (Google Drive doesn’t save old versions unless you save them).
If you aren’t using Google Drive for business, try it for a week and report back your experience!
If you are using Google Drive already, what are your pro tips? Questions? Challenges?