15 Dec 2014

6 Best Google Docs Apps for Writing Productivity and Collaboration

Google Docs AppsGoogle Docs has been one of the most powerful editing and collaboration tools for years. And it’s free! The built-in ability to create documents, invite editor and collaborate in real time is awesome. The rest can be achieved through helpful addons that are available all over the web.

Sadly, there are not nearly as many of these extensions as there are for their flagship browser, Chrome, or as many apps as there are for the Android platform. But you are slowly seeing more being released, and the ones already out there are really helpful.

For those who are writers or editors, these are the ones you should definitely be trying out.

EasyBib

EasyBib

Don’t waste a lot of time trying to create a bibliography from scratch. EasyBib allows you to add in citations from the doc itself. It has a book, website or journal option, with a search bar. It will search out the citation you request, and let you slip it in where needed. From there, a bibliography will be generated at the end of the doc, with interactive sources cited through the doc itself. It makes it easy for you, and for those who are reading it.

A lot of scientifically minded sites have been using this tool to create documents that they then share on their blogs, to make it easier to refer to studies and journals. The best part is that it auto formats to the chosen style you select (AMA, Chicago, or MLA citation requirements). This is a college student’s dream come true.

Workflows

Workflows

As an owner of and contributor to a number of sites, I have to deal with collaborating with multiple writers and editors. For some of those blogs, I have to discuss and confirm edits a lot.

Wordkflow makes it a lot easier for several reasons.

  • First, we already use Google Docs on most of those sites for maintaining an editorial calendar.
  • Second, I can use Workflow to authorize changes, and see further ones made before they are submitted officially for publication. It is so much faster that way, and eliminates a lot of confusion and stress.

MindMeister

MindMeister

You have probably heard of MindMeister before. It is a fantastic tool that lets you mind map out content, from an idea for a novel, to the details of a presentation. You basically take bulletpoints, and create a more visual map for you to work around. That is then applied directly into the doc for anyone to see, or you to edit as you need to in order to add additional information.

It is a great way to take the powerful mind mapping tool we all know and love, and combine it with a cloud service that lets us access those maps anywhere. Very convenient, and very helpful, no matter what you use it for.

Table Of Contents

Table Of Contents

Sometimes you need to write a really long, through document. Or you want to use Google Docs for something like a book. It is one of my go-to tools for just that, when I ghost write books for clients who want to be a part of the process the whole way through, But it comes with its challenges, such as navigation.

A TOC through this addon gets you around that. You can create a TOC right in the sidebar, which connects to certain pages in the doc and allows you or anyone else to go right where they want to, quickly. The only downside is that it doesn’t put in actual page numbers, which can be a bit of a hindrance. Other than that, it works very well.

Thesaurus

Thesaurus

Do you need help finding the perfect words? Forget Google (which we all know is used to check spelling/definition/find synonyms all the time), and use this addon that puts a thesaurus right there in the doc. There isn’t a lot to say about it.

The program works well, it has multi-language support, and it is quick and simple to use. In fact, it is so good that Google should really just make it a regular part of their feature, automatically built in. It works much more consistently – and thoroughly – than their built in language assistance.

Google Translate

Google Translate

Great productivity tool for translators and journalists who use international sources.

It runs quickly and smoothly giving you the translated version. Google Translate has a Doc attachment you can fall back on.

Are you a fan of Google Docs? Have an addon that we should know about? Let us know in the comments!