1. VynniL

    VynniL Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    1,038

    Google Docs for writing...

    Discussion in 'Software' started by VynniL, 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 by a moderator: Jul 9, 2016
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  2. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    5,919
    Likes Received:
    2,479
    Location:
    Inner West Sydney, Australia
    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!
     
    RahnyJae and VynniL like this.
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,489
    Likes Received:
    5,672
    Location:
    California, US
    Google Docs is quite good. If you're not using specialized software like Scrivener, Google Docs is hard to beat.
     
    VynniL and Oscar Leigh like this.
  4. VynniL

    VynniL Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    1,038
    @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

    Vagrant Tale Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2016
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    84
    Location:
    Alaska
    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
     
    Oscar Leigh, VynniL and Brindy like this.
  6. Brindy

    Brindy Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    442
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    I think I need to take a look at Google Docs, based on what's being said on here!
     
    VynniL and Wayjor Frippery like this.
  7. Vagrant Tale

    Vagrant Tale Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2016
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    84
    Location:
    Alaska
    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.
     
    Oscar Leigh and VynniL like this.
  8. Wayjor Frippery

    Wayjor Frippery Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2016
    Messages:
    613
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Tranquility Base
    Me too, I think.

    To those who know: what's the formatting like?
     
    VynniL likes this.
  9. Vagrant Tale

    Vagrant Tale Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2016
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    84
    Location:
    Alaska
    Its basically ms word in your browser
     
  10. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,489
    Likes Received:
    5,672
    Location:
    California, US
    Yeah I move back and forth between MSWord and Google Docs pretty seamlessly with the exact same documents.
     
  11. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    8,378
    Likes Received:
    8,181
    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.
     
    Sack-a-Doo! likes this.
  12. Brindy

    Brindy Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    442
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    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

    Wayjor Frippery Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2016
    Messages:
    613
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    Tranquility Base
    Another thing to think about. I shall investigate for myself...

    Cheers, all.
     
    VynniL likes this.
  14. ChaosReigns

    ChaosReigns Archnemesis of the Damned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,127
    Likes Received:
    494
    Location:
    Between Aberystwyth, Wales and Medway, Kent, UK
    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
     
    Oscar Leigh and VynniL like this.
  15. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    6,607
    Likes Received:
    8,368
    Location:
    London, UK
    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

    ChaosReigns Archnemesis of the Damned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,127
    Likes Received:
    494
    Location:
    Between Aberystwyth, Wales and Medway, Kent, UK
    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
     
    Oscar Leigh and VynniL like this.
  17. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,489
    Likes Received:
    5,672
    Location:
    California, US
    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.
     
    Oscar Leigh and VynniL like this.
  18. Kinzvlle

    Kinzvlle Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2016
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    315
    Location:
    PA, USA
    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.
     
    VynniL and Oscar Leigh like this.
  19. doggiedude

    doggiedude Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,470
    Likes Received:
    1,266
    Location:
    Florida, USA, Earth, The Sol System
    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.
     
    VynniL likes this.
  20. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    5,919
    Likes Received:
    2,479
    Location:
    Inner West Sydney, Australia
    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:)
     
    VynniL likes this.
  21. VynniL

    VynniL Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    1,038
    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. :)
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  22. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,489
    Likes Received:
    5,672
    Location:
    California, US
    VynniL and Oscar Leigh like this.
  23. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    9,661
    Likes Received:
    9,505
    Location:
    Scotland
    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

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,489
    Likes Received:
    5,672
    Location:
    California, US
  25. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    5,919
    Likes Received:
    2,479
    Location:
    Inner West Sydney, Australia
    You can use it offline if you have your Google account synced to your computer. See above.
     
    jannert likes this.

Share This Page