I’m becoming a fan of Google Apps. In particular, it’s handy for the mobile office. Whether I’m at my desktop or laptop, it’s nice to know that things are there without having to worry about syncing and what not.
For me, the “mobile” possibilities all started with Apple Mail and .Mac. I’m a huge fan of these programs. For email, by using IMAP (which stores email on the server) instead of POP (which downloads mail to your computer) for my main account, all of my email and email folders are there, as I left them, no matter which Mac I’m on. Nice. And with a .Mac membership (cheaper on Amazon), my calendars, email rules, signatures, and accounts are all synced up between desktop and laptop. Again, nice. But, while Mail has a nice RSS reader, that feature doesn’t sync. Bummer.
So, I started using Google Reader – very nice. And there’s no need to sync. That got me wondering about other Google Apps.
I’ve been messing around with Google Docs. Google Docs can handle your spreadsheets, Word-type documents, PowerPoint presentations, etc. and keep them all in one place, no matter where you are. With your docs, HTML jockeys can easy hack away at the code that generates them. You can also create/export PDFs as well as the HTML (however, you cannot upload PDFs for storage). With the the less than stellar reviews of the new Microsoft Office coming out (both pc and mac), I’ve been pursuing other “Office-like” avenues.
Getting Stuff into Google Docs
Now, there’s the rub. Every time you want to open or upload something, you have to first navigate to Google Docs, log in, find what you’re looking for – or navigate to the upload section. Well, not with the handy, free Firefox plugin Google Docs Bar!
Not only does it auto-file your docs away by type, but it offers easily accessible, tabbed navigation to your docs, spreadsheets, and presentations, and has a nice search/filter feature (additionally, you can search by author if you share).
To upload a file, simple drag in onto the blue “up” arrow (lower left, screen shot). To top if off, there’s a revision history which shows who did what and when, and you can easily revert to a previous version. And tons more.
So if you’re getting fed up with Office, or just want to play with something new, I would definitely check this out.
P.S. Yes, I got out of the ticket (see screen shot).
P.P.S This is a classic example of generating “organic” search engine traffic. The authors of this handy little app came up with something extremely useful (whether it be a product, a tutorial, etc.), made it free, and in turn will generate tons of traffic from blog entries and articles, much like this one.