October 29, 2010. 3 comments.
These days, I spend most of my time working in a cloud where I store most of my data and collaborate with my co-workers. More precisely, I work in a data cloud not ‘the cloud’, which is, accumulated mass of evaporated water :)
If you are not familiar with data cloud, it is a space where all of your required software and services are running. You just need a personal computer and Internet connection to use these services – no additional hardware, software or IT infrastructure required. By using cloud-based services, you can do various tasks such as: creating and sharing office documents with your co-workers, use whiteboards, mind maps and many other tools to collaborate on different projects with your colleagues etc.
Cloud computing has a lot to offer to writers and researchers who work in collaboration. There are a number of tools that writers and researchers can use to:
- Create a virtual workspace where people from diverse locations can collaborate on a single project
- Create, access and share documents from their virtual workspace in the cloud
- Use almost all features for creating, formatting, editing and designing documents in multiple formats that most desktop applications offer
Here is a quick round-up of some popular and useful tool for working on collaboration:
My foremost choice! Google Docs is simple, fast and free. Google Docs offer comprehensive set of features that you need to create, share and manage documents, spreadsheets, presentations, surveys, forms etc. You can also collaborate in real-time and track history of documents.
Robust and powerful tool for writing documents, reports, proposals etc. Buzzword also allows you to manage multiple versions of a document, collaborate with as many people as you want, edit images and view real-time updates from contributors.
Advance users can use Adobe Buzzword with:
Microsoft Office Web Apps
Free web-based version of Microsoft’s popular office applications. The suite includes Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft OneNote. These services are available via Docs.com and SkyDrive.
Free collaboration tool by 37signals. Writeboard is complete free and can be used to create documents, track version history, and compare and rollback changes. Writeboard can be used in collaboration with Basecamp for an effective project management and collaboration experience.
Free collaborative writing tool with many impressive features including:
- Realtime Collaboration
- Tracked Changes
- Password protected sessions
- Drag-and-drop environment for importing documents
- Syntax highlighting for most programming languages
Since it is from Google, it is simple, free and fast. Google Wave can be used to organize web meetings and project collaboration. People are using Wave in creative ways in journalism, creative arts, education and many other industries.
Another free tool for online word processing. Zoho Writer comes with built-in templates, collaboration options, offline support and facility to import or export documents.
Online services that provides free web-based office applications with 1 GB of online storage capacity. Documents created with ThinkFree can be accessed in smart phone built on Android, iPhone, and Windows Mobile.