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Katelyn Page 2

Page history last edited by Todd Stanfield 8 years, 4 months ago

Collaborating with Colleagues on Google Docs


Google Docs gives you more options


One of the nice features available in Google Docs is the ability to collaborate with your colleagues on documents. You may be familiar with the commenting feature in Microsoft Word or other programs.


No emailing attachments back and forth.

But what makes the Google Docs commenting (and collaborative editing) system a bit better is the fact that you do not have to email documents back and forth to each other. If you have the appropriate settings switched on, all collaborators on the document can be notified via email that changes or comments have been made.


No chance of not working on the latest version

When you are using a program where you have to email the attachments back and forth, there is a chance that the document you are editing is not the latest, most up to date version. In other words, let’s say Jill Origin created a new document that she wants to cowrite with two of her colleagues at the mental health center. She is wanting to create a new Release of Information form and have Cassie Content and Sally Style help her write it. So she creates the first draft of the document and shares it (like you just did with me in Google Docs Assignment 1) with Cassie and Sally. They both get an email notification that Jill has shared this document with them. Let’s say Cassie opens it first and makes some comments and minor edits. In other systems, Sally might then open her attachment and not see Cassie’s comments and edits. But with Google Docs, Sally will see the latest version that includes Cassie’s comments.


What are the options that Jill, Cassie, and Sally can use?

So let’s talk about 5 ways you could collaborate with colleagues in Google Docs.

  1. Sequential commenting
  2. Simultaneous commenting
  3. Sequential editing
  4. Simultaneous editing
  5. A really cool option I will keep as a surprise

I originally posted a video twice in the last lesson. But I think that only 3 of you saw it. This is what I meant to show you. If you have already seen it. Just hit stop and move on.

Here's a 43 second video overview of some of these features. If the video box does not appear below, try refreshing the page. If you don't know how to refresh the page. Text me (731.613.4123) the name of the browser you are using and whether you are on Windows or a Mac, and I will text you back the keyboard shortcut.


Sequential Commenting

By sequential commenting, I mean commenting on a document in a particular sequence. For example, Sally makes some comments around 9 AM, and then Cassie adds some at 11:30 AM. In other words, they are commenting in sequence rather than at the same time (simultaneous). If you have sent me your Google Docs Assignment #1, and I have had a chance to read it, you will have comments from me waiting for you in that original document. Depending on the options you selected when you shared it with me, you may have already been notified via email that I made comments. If you open your document back up in your Google Docs account, you will see my comments. In your next assignment, you will reply to my comments with a comment(s) of your own. But more on that later. Here is a video overview of comments in Google Docs. It will show you how to insert comments, set your comment notification settings, direct a comment at a specific collaborator, hide comments that are no longer needed, and more.


Simultaneous commenting, chatting, & editing in Google Docs


One of the really cool things about Google Docs is that you can collaborate live with your colleagues. In the video below, I show you how to view a document at the same time as a colleague while chatting, editing, and commenting on the document.

Now let's look at the potential power of these features as demonstrated in a fun video produced by Google.

Sequential Editing


By sequential editing I mean editing a document at a different time than your colleague(s). In other words NOT at the same time. This doesn't really require much of an explanation because that is the type of editing you are familiar with when you send someone a Word document to edit.

You may also be familiar with versioning in Word, which allows you to see past versions of the document. The same feature is available in Google Docs. In the video below, you will see how revision history works in the spreadsheet function in Google Docs. This works similarly in the documents function

Now on to the absolute coolest form of collaboration in Google Docs.


Surprise Collaborative Feature


I called this section the "Surprise collaborative feature," because I did not want the title to give it away in the table of contents. Now that you are on this page, it is time for the big reveal

Google launched their Google+ (pronounced "Google plus" service in the summer of 2011. Before we get to what this has to do with Google Docs, here is a short intro to Google+.

Ok, so you may still not have a good feel for what Google+ is from that video. Think of it as a little bit like Facebook, but not as popular, yet much more powerful (in my opinion). One of the most powerful things about Google+ is Circles. They allow you to group your online contacts on Google+ into groups like friends, coworkers, family, annoying people, etc. The next video, tells you a bit more abou that.

Ok. We are getting close to the good part. We will talk about setting up a Google+ account in a bit. But first, I still need to tell you what this has to do with Google Docs. Well, let me show you one more video as a hint. Once you have setup your Circles in Google+, you can then hangout with them in Hangouts...

So as you have probably guessed by now, you can use Google Docs within Google+ Hangouts. The video below gives you an example.

Pretty cool and amazingly powerful huh? Now onto our next assignment.




After your have received your grade for Google Docs Assignment 1, go back into the document you created for that assignment and respond to one of the comments that I left you in that document. Respond by using the comment feature yourself. Refer back to the videos in the lesson you just completed if you need to. You will not receive a grade (or checkmark) on this assignment until I have had a chance to review your comments in response to my comments.


Now onto Katelyn Page 3

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