1. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    Google Docs for writing...

    Discussion in 'Software' started by LinnyV, Jul 9, 2016.

    Hi Everyone,

    Recently, I have been exploring the use of Google Docs but have not had a chance to go into too much detail due to work.

    I'm seriously thinking of transitioning my WIP to Google Docs and using Scrivener as a backup, which I am hoping a bit of scripting will achieve.

    At this point, Scrivener is only of interest to me because I like to use the snapshot function and also that I like its organisation features. The reality is that I rarely use those features because I'm lazy and a scatterbrain. Truth be told, I've recently become less enamored with Scrivener (Windows) and I really don't need all its features until it comes time that I actually finish a project and considering publishing. For my daily writing, I want to use something different.

    What matters most to me at the moment is accessibility of my WIP or any projects (especially that of poetry) anywhere I am. So if I'm sitting in a cafe, I want to be able to tap away on it. I don't want to be tied to my laptop or Scrivener to write. I plan to get a tablet to allow this because I want to spend time on my writing during those little free moments throughout the day.

    On the matter of critiques, I want to open parts of my work to individuals for ongoing critique whenever they have time, while knowing it is password protected and that they can leave comments against the actual passages. Just from bits and pieces I've read, I really like the idea behind what Google Docs may offer.

    I expect I'll also eventually be interested in playing around with Google App Scripting to make it a more robust platform for my own needs. So if anyone has done any of this stuff here and wish to share, then I would be interested.

    I will be trialing it in the coming months regardless. I am just curious if anyone else here has seriously considered Google Docs or is currently using it as a primary or secondary writing platform.

    Any pointers or thoughts would be appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Linny

    Note: Below is a couple of links I've had a look at:
    http://www.jamierubin.net/2014/08/08/how-i-use-google-docs-for-writing/
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
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  2. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    I use Google Docs! It's really easy and intuitive, there's not much to tell you! You type, it saves automatically, it has spellcheck and such, different fonts etc. It's all very simple and good!
     
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  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Google Docs is quite good. If you're not using specialized software like Scrivener, Google Docs is hard to beat.
     
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  4. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    @Oscar Leigh & @Steerpike - Thanks guys, I am using it right now and I love that I can just lie on the couch away from my laptop and just read to hubby and add his feedback for later reference. The commenting feature is fabulous for corrections later. I used to send myself emails or text it in parts of google messaging.
     
  5. Vagrant Tale
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    Vagrant Tale Active Member

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    I use google docs for my actual writing, even when I use snowflake for everything else

    It's a fantastic set of programs, the word one specifically because it has an easy to find word count feature and because I don't have to save it, it saves automatically and remains on the server, so if I'm almost done with a book and there's a sudden house fire, I can rest easy because my book is on google docs

    It's really hard to beat that functionality and peace-of-mind
     
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  6. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    I think I need to take a look at Google Docs, based on what's being said on here!
     
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  7. Vagrant Tale
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    Vagrant Tale Active Member

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    It's also free, all you need to do is set up a gmail account and that's the same account you login to google docs with.
     
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  8. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    Me too, I think.

    To those who know: what's the formatting like?
     
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  9. Vagrant Tale
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    Vagrant Tale Active Member

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    Its basically ms word in your browser
     
  10. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah I move back and forth between MSWord and Google Docs pretty seamlessly with the exact same documents.
     
  11. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I live in the country with unreliable internet and I got frustrated with lag the last time I tried to use Google Docs. My internet hasn't gotten any better since then, but maybe Docs has...

    Still, I use Word with Dropbox and I think the functionality is pretty much the same.
     
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  12. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    I use dropbox for my photos, but never thought about using it for my documents. I must have a look at that.
     
  13. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    Another thing to think about. I shall investigate for myself...

    Cheers, all.
     
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  14. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    Google docs is awesome, I don't use it so much for my novels, but I do for my podcast scripts, as while at university, I can go to the library, get what books i want and hijack a computer for a good period of time to do what i need to (And will be doing in the future.) it also helped immensely while at my father's work waiting for him to finish doing his jobs he needed to do, and i just sat at his computer on my scripts flicking between research and writing :D
     
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  15. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I've only had negative experiences. Firstly I critiqued someone's work and all my comments disappeared, despite "all changes being saved in drive." We never did recover those comments and I had to do it all over again.

    The next time I tried it, some changes showed up and some didn't. The author was able to see the ones that worked, but then I got an email for EVERY.SINGLE.CHANGE telling me what he'd done. Like "X rejected the change Y." or "X marked comment Y 'done'."

    A third time, I was copying the work to paste into Word when the author started typing. That wasn't a glitch but it freaked me the fuck out for a moment. :D

    These were three separate authors and documents.

    Now, I don't critique in Google docs. Word only.
     
  16. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    weird, there was a dozen of us Comp Sci students working on one document for an exam and we never had any issues. I can't blame you for wanting to use word though especially if it was doing that for you
     
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  17. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    You don't need an internet connection to use Google Docs anymore. You can use it when offline.

    I've worked on a lot of collaborative documents in it and never had any issues, personally.
     
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  18. Kinzvlle
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    Kinzvlle Active Member

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    I write on Google Docs a lot. The autosave is nice and you can go back and find old versions so that`s useful. Haven`t had any issues with it myself.
     
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  19. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    I stick to Google docs. The only issue I've had is some lag when it saves, especially after my WIP got over 200 pages.

    Now, I keep one document with the full WIP, but I do all my edits with a separate document for each chapter. When I'm done editing, I copy & paste it into the full piece.
     
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  20. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Also, you can share the document with other people so they like you can access it from any device with Google! On the subject of offline editing Linny you need to have a Google account integrated into your computer. But if you've ever used Google maps offline or something I'm sure you have one already, it's fairly common. And no, I haven't had any issues with suggestion emails or any lag. It doesn't always save at the same speed but it saves everytime and it never seems too slow to me. (Perhaps I've never written enough? :bigoops:)
     
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  21. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    Oh, you've no need to convince me. I'm actually an active G+ user, so I have it all under control.

    I messed around with it yesterday and I am now a Google Doc fan. I think my machine is slowly dying and I'm due for a replacement soon, so I'm going to move all my important pieces online. And once I do that, I'll be actively using it.

    I also like the look and feel of it. It feels uncluttered and simple. I don't need a lot.

    The internet lags and glitches don't deter me, it's the nature of using technology, but having an offline feature is good. However, I will need to make sure I work out a backup strategy.

    I'm just relieved I'm not tied to Scrivener anymore for my daily writing. I'm one of those people who writes better when the mood strikes me rather than sitting in front of my pc. It's not unusual I write more on my phone sitting on a train (when I would have been bored senseless otherwise) than I do at my laptop. :)
     
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  22. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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  23. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Are you tied to the internet with Google Docs, or can you work AND SAVE your stuff offline? In other words, if your internet goes down for 3 months (like ours did just over two years ago) would you still be able to work on your stuff and back it up on your computer or a flash drive? Our internet is very glitchy where I live, and frequently goes down for long stretches. I definitely need a wordprocessor that's not accessible ONLY online. However, the sharing notion is appealing.
     
  24. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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  25. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    You can use it offline if you have your Google account synced to your computer. See above.
     
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