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Google Docs

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Michelle S Member Since: Jun 23, 2017
11 of 21

Google Docs are great for collaborative working, if that is what you are doing.  But I was thinking that I probably wouldn't want someone else to be watching every single edit that I make while I'm working on a document.  Not only that, documents on Google Docs can be edited by anyone who has access to them so it might be difficult on a fixed-price contract to know if someone else was adding things to the document while you were working on it.  I also might not like having a way to permanently track changes per version.  Like, I couldn't save a document with all of my first round revisions and then a second round and so on without making a new document in Google Docs, which is what I'd do in Word anyway. However, in Word I'd have control of all of the versions. 

 

Lastly, using Google Docs may make it easier for a client to steal your work because it is accessible as soon as you write.

 

There are ways to get around all of these things, but it's a hassle and I can see if someone has been scammed using Google Docs he might be hesitant to use it again.  And maybe this is all just lack of understanding on my part of the nuances and available features for Google Docs.

 

Michelle

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Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
12 of 21

 And everything Michelle says!

 

Still, in a profile, it would be better not to be too adamant. I very rarely work hourly  (tracked) contracts. But I would never catergorically say in my overview that I only work on fixed-rate contracts.

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Lynn K Member Since: Jul 9, 2017
13 of 21

Wow, Michelle, that is great to know and makes me feel a bit uneasy about using Google Docs. I was not aware that Google Docs could work something like an open-source program that makes it essentially a free-for-all. The program certainly does not feel like the optimum place to work one-on-one.

 

I guess as with most things in life; it's a buyer beware type of thing.

Thank you for your insight. 

Lynn

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Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
14 of 21

The privacy issue aside...

 

It's not that difficult nor time-consuming to download the document as is into a Word doc and you can see the changes made in the Google doc.

 

I work extensively with Google docs. 

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James P Member Since: Sep 12, 2017
15 of 21

 

And maybe this is all just lack of understanding on my part of the nuances and available features for Google Docs.

 

Hi Michelle,

 

You are very correct about everything you have said. Security isn't the issue as Google has a strong security system. However, privacy is often the issue. I have a long-term client that I work with on Google Doc - she pays on Upwork - other than the two of us, no one else could access our folder unless he is invited. And it's cool, as it helps us to better manage our monthly bulky schedules.

 

In the end, truly, it's all about trust and flexibility.

 

James

VCP


 

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Amber F Member Since: Mar 29, 2020
16 of 21

Michelle S wrote:

Google Docs are great for collaborative working, if that is what you are doing.  But I was thinking that I probably wouldn't want someone else to be watching every single edit that I make while I'm working on a document.  Not only that, documents on Google Docs can be edited by anyone who has access to them so it might be difficult on a fixed-price contract to know if someone else was adding things to the document while you were working on it.  I also might not like having a way to permanently track changes per version.  Like, I couldn't save a document with all of my first round revisions and then a second round and so on without making a new document in Google Docs, which is what I'd do in Word anyway. However, in Word I'd have control of all of the versions. 

 

Lastly, using Google Docs may make it easier for a client to steal your work because it is accessible as soon as you write.

 

There are ways to get around all of these things, but it's a hassle and I can see if someone has been scammed using Google Docs he might be hesitant to use it again.  And maybe this is all just lack of understanding on my part of the nuances and available features for Google Docs.

 

Michelle


Michelle - you make some good points, but you're incorrect when you say "Documents on Google Docs can be edited by anyone who has access to them." When you get the link to your document, you can choose whether 1. the document is public or private, 2. viewers have editing privileges, and 3. which viewers (if any) may edit.

Don't forget about Google spreadsheets, where my client and I can track data and progress, assign tasks, and update each other without a ton of emails to sift through.

 

Finally - for text submission I usually write in MS Word and paste to Google Docs if that's what the client wants - and that avoids the "track changes" feature. The format options in Google Docs are not as intuitive or extensive as MS Word, which is the only reason I prefer to paste my work.

 

As others have said, it sounds like some freelancers simply don't like the platform and refuse to use it even if the client prefers it. Not good for business!

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Eve L Member Since: Feb 17, 2017
17 of 21

I love google docs!

 

I can see the point made about not wanting a client to see the work while it is still in progress, and be able to see every change that is made. This I solve by first writing it in a private document that only I have access to, and then I make a copy of it and add it to the shared folder I have with the client. By having my own copy as well I can store it in a private folder under the clients name, so that I know what I have submitted to each client. Just in case the client removes it from the shared folder, which happens quite often.

 

To me it's a great advantage to be able to restore an old revision of my work, just in case I (or a cat) accidentally delete something.

 

Also for security, I never share it with everyone that has the link, but only with people who has been invited through their email.

 

The only thing I don't like with google docs is the spellcheck, as this is not as good as the one in Word. This is probably not an issue if you write in English, but for Norwegian this is quite an issue. This is why I always download it as a Word document when I am done, so that I can do an extra spellcheck there. This may seem a bit of an hassle, and it is, but for a 25K word project (which is what most of my projects are), it is still worth it. 

 

And don't get me started on google spreadsheets, those I absolutely could not live without!

________________________
Freelancing is a gamble - To win you need skill, luck and a strategy
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Lynn K Member Since: Jul 9, 2017
18 of 21

Thanks Eve. These are great points to consider. Since I do most of my writing work with Word, I probably wouldn't have a problem with this. It almost looks like you are using Google Docs as a file transfer system. Along with all the other file transfer methods out there, I guess I can just add this to the mix if a client wanted to use it.

 

Lynn

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Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
19 of 21

I guess it depends what you want to do with it. For certain applications, it's really flexible. For others it's a disaster. 

Google Docs is not a completely stable platform. I've experienced strange glitches while using it. In addition, if you have a really long document with lots of revisions, in my experience, it's not a good choice. I was working on a project (over 100 pages with charts) where it slowed down to nothing two thirds of the way through, and I was waiting for several minutes after every change for it to update so I could work again. One of the authors I was working with discovered that this is a documented problem and that many users had sought help about this on various forums.

Personally, after that experience, I don't think I'll use it again for anything longer than a 10-page document. And only with clients I already have a relationship with. 
 


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Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
20 of 21

I prefer when they want to edit on G Docs so I don't have to save another version.

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