Gone are the days of sitting in your cubicle and creating a project from start to finish by yourself or e-mailing and printing out documents in order to get edits and feedback from your colleagues. Traditional productivity tools were designed for individual use and as a result, the collaboration process was broken.
Today's businesses regularly work in groups, brainstorming and editing in real-time. Google Docs was created five years ago with the concept of group creation and collaboration in mind. With Web-based documents, spreadsheets, drawings and presentations, users no longer have to worry about whether they are editing the right version of a document or taking up space in a colleague's inbox with e-mail attachments. Users can also securely view, edit and share information from Google Docs and Google Sites on your laptop, mobile device, tablet and notebook as long as you have an Internet connection.
Beyond assisting with document version control and providing anytime, anywhere access to your data, Google Docs has many examples of how cloud technology is increasing group collaboration and productivity. Here are just a few:
1. Editing documents and spreadsheets on a mobile device or tablet
Now you can edit work documents like group proposals while you're on the go. To get started, visit docs.google.com in a browser on your iPhone, iPad or Android device and select the document you want to edit. Then when you're viewing it, press the Edit button to switch to the mobile editor.
2. Keep a history of your revisions
If you've ever messed up a document you were working on AND saved it accidentally, you'll understand just how useful it is to have the word processor save your revision history. With Google docs, you can simply restore your document to an earlier state. Simply go to File > See revision history. Click on a time stamp in the right column to see what changes were made at a given time or use the arrow keys to quickly scan through many revisions.
Additionally, if you are collaborating on a document with others in Google Docs, it is easy to tell what has been added to or deleted from your documents -- changes are colour-coded based on each collaborator.
3. Translate your document into any of 40+ languages
Working for a global company can be a bit tricky, especially when you are working with multiple languages. Using Google Translate technology, you are able to easily translate portions of or entire documents like internal memos that have been sent to you in a different language. Just click Tools, then Translate document, and select the language into which you'd like to translate the document.
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