Last week I shared a brief how to about using Google Drive. Some flashPress readers are already techno-masters and had GDrive figured out within mere minutes of its availability. Since I am not a techno-master, it took me quite a bit longer than mere minutes.
Whatever category you fall into, techno-master, I-can-do-techno-in-small-bites (or would that be bytes?), or you can barely find your mobile phone's on/off button, I appreciate your stopping by and reading this. Maybe you’ll find some info that’s useful and helps you work with, or at least investigate the possibility of working with Google Drive and its free tools. If that doesn't apply, then maybe you’ll see a comment that you can help answer if you’re already in the know about GDrive and GDocs. I try to keep these posts fun and interesting for most everyone ‘cause I wanna be cool like that. If you're game to lend some knowledge or have a question, jump in any time.
Google instead of...
If you think you have to have an expensive word processor to write with, you’d be wrong. You might want an expensive word processor but it isn't a necessity.
Google Docs is a free word processor within the Google Drive office program that works on, or off line, is user-friendly and provides an extensive array tools to produce your literary content.
I use it to write every blog post. When I'm finished, I copy and paste it here into Weebly. Reason for that is, I have a separate, permanent copy I can keep safely in GDrive in event I want to re-work it in the future for another project. Also, if my website editor has a glitch, I've not lost my data, which is something that used to happen when working with Weebly back in the day, but not so much these days (thankfully!)
Google Docs program plays well with others and is very compatible and worry free when using most major operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Android and Apple. If you write a document with GDocs but want to save it on your own device in another format, like a PDF or Microsoft Word, you can do that too.
I’m not advising you to steer clear of investing in a word processor of your choice. Just sayin’ Google Docs is worthy of consideration if you’re in need of an on and off line word processor that plays well with nearly any type of operating system you prefer to work with. Whether you’re working on a stationary device or a mobile one, even a small smartphone, it’s easy to work with and will sync whatever you write to however many devices you want to use it on. You also get totally free cloud storage for your document(s) in Google Drive if you don’t want your written documents taking up space on your machine or want to store it where a techno-failure won’t cause you to lose it.
Google Docs in use
Below is a short slideshow of how I get to Google Docs when working with them online. I work with a Windows 10 operating system and my browser of choice is Google Chrome, which is what I used when making the slides (via Evernote's Skitch).
I can also easily begin a Google Doc off-line but I won't include that process in this post to save you some time and interest-overload.
The tool bar and auto-save
I gotta say, I loveeee GDocs auto-save function. I never have to stop and save. It does it automatically, every few seconds. This was a huge hassle back in the day and I've lost count of how many times I've lost graph after graph of work because of either a tech-glitch or I closed the document and forgot to save it.
Google is especially helpful for blondes with ADD, so I can keep on writing and never worry about forgetting to stop, pull my mind out of the zone (that special place some of us go to when we're hyper-focused on a task) and click the save command. This is just one of an array of bells and whistles GDocs tool bar is equipped with to save you (and me) lots of time wasted on uh-ohs.
The other tools are the same or similar to what you'd see in a Microsoft Word or Open Office tool bar. Even if you've never investigated a word processor toolbar, the one provided in GDocs is super-easy to learn to use. Same goes for sharing and collaborating with others you might want to work with to develop a document, like when editing a manuscript or collaborating on homework.
It's only as limited as the World Wide Web, so doesn't matter if you're collaborating with someone in the same room with your or miles away. Often, where my own docs are included, my collaborations are with folks who live in a different country.
Editing a document in this fashion saves you from having to send the same content over and over with corrections. This way, they can be done in real time, and auto-updated with each change. No need for deleting old docs to replace them with new ones or getting lost in the shuffle trying to remember which doc came next with what changes. (Yeah, that last line nearly got me confused too!)
Look, Ma! No hands!
If you don't like typing, guess what! GDocs will do it for you! This little tool is total awesome-sauce (you were waiting for that, right?) and it keeps on getting better. Not long ago I voice-typed about 10 articles for another journalist, using my Android tablet.
It comes in very handy when I'm away from my desk and not wanting to type on my mobile device. So, if you wanna write and feel typing's a drag, no problemo. GDocs has you covered. ☺
For the vid fans...
Since I'm compulsory about sharing YouTube tutorials on this sort of thing (Why not? It's how I learn to do much of what I do), here you go. I got this from the Google Docs channel on YouTube. It's a wonderful resource to study pretty much everything you'd need to know about how to use GDocs and other GDrive tools, presented by none other than Google.
This particular video demonstrates just how easy it is to use Google Voice Typing.
Coolness, right? I think so too.
If you have questions about anything I've presented today you're welcome to email me or leave a comment. Likewise if you've got helpful info to add that I didn't cover.
Also, below are a few links by indie biz bloggers you might enjoy checking out.
Rag Timin' Blues via Horse Biscuits
For the Children's Sake via Graceful Intentions
Kindness Does Not Discriminate via marcoujor's musings
That's it for this one!
God bless you, thanks for the read and see you next week!
The smallest tip goes the longest way--like a good cup of coffee.
marcoujor, Virtual Buskers Guild
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