Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Google Docs: The Intro

Like many people, I’ve been a Gmail person forever.  It wasn’t until I started working at 3Gstore over 2 years ago that I realized just how much Google Apps (now the newly launched Google Drive) actually offer users, and what an easy, practically maintenance-free collaboration tool they provide.  

We have employees all over the country so we use Google Docs constantly to allow our people to work together, regardless of location.  Since it is cloud-based, it doesn’t matter which operating system, browser or version of a program anyone is using.  It also doesn’t require a flurry of emails back and forth with attachments to collaborate on a newsletter or project.  We don’t have to worry that someone might be working off an old version due to missing a message.  We also avoid having several people duplicating efforts on the same project as you can see who is currently in the doc and get near real-time changes as they happen!

Even our customers use Google Docs!  Want to sign up for notification when the next hot product is released, like the Sleek 4G-A amplifier for AT&T?  Fill in the fields and it populates our database on the back end so we can easily send out notifications when we have updates!

One of the features I really like is that I can control who has access to the doc and change that as the project evolves.  For example, I can sketch out a quick outline for a system enhancement, share it with one or two other people to get some initial feedback, polish the proposal and then send it up the flagpole for approval just by inviting more people to have access to it.  Oh what I wouldn’t have given for this in previous jobs when everyone that would ever touch a project was looped-in on every minor detail, regardless of whether or not they needed (or wanted) to be.  Everyone with access has the ability to see previous versions so people can see how things came to be, but those that only want the finished product are spared the minutiae of the development process.

There is of course a figurative cloud to this silver lining (yes, pun intended).  But I’ll save that for another post.  Keep your eyes on the blog to find out more about how 3Gstore manages the challenges, and more importantly, thrives by using Google Docs!