10 Useful Google Tools


Google Docs

Google Docs uses a simple folder and file organizational system.
Google Docs uses a simple folder and file organizational system.
2008 HowStuffWorks

The Google Docs suite marks Google's attempt at getting into the online productivity software game. The free suite includes a word processor, a spreadsheet editor and a presentation application. In short, it has the basic software applications many businesses need. Instead of saving all your data to your computer's hard drive, you save your Google Docs files to a remote Google file system. Because the files are hosted on the Web, you can access them from any computer connected to the Internet. Your documents aren't tied to a specific device.

Another feature of Google Docs is the ability to share documents and editing capabilities with other Google users. Multiple people can make edits to the same document at the same time. With traditional desktop applications, a project manager might have to handle multiple copies of the same file as various collaborators make edits and additions to the document. With Google Docs, everyone can make his or her changes directly to the file saved on Google's servers. Google Docs also keeps track of earlier versions of the document -- project managers don't have to worry about someone accidentally deleting an entire section.

One drawback to Google Docs is that none of the applications are as robust as popular desktop productivity software suites like Microsoft Office. If you only need basic functionality, Google Docs can be useful. If you're accustomed to creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations with all the bells and whistles, you'll probably want to stick to traditional software.

We're halfway through. Maybe you're feeling a little lost with all these products and features. Never fear, Google has a solution: Google Maps. Find out more in the next section.