In a previous post we talked about the LibreOffice the Open Source alternative to Microsoft Office. In this post we are going to talk about Google Drive and some tips and tricks to using Google docs in association with Google Drive.
Google drive has been split into two offerings. There is the free version which gives you 15 GB of data storage in the cloud. The nice thing about this is that it really gives you a good starting point. If you never go over 15 GB of usage then you will never have to pay. If you go over or find you have a need to go over the price points are very reasonable.
Google has done a very good job with the abilities of Google Docs and Google Drive. Even if you like a locally installed version you should at least take a look at using this. It can add a whole level to your productivity. With the ease of access you get and the ability to share files with others it is a great tool that everyone should be using. This is a main stream product from a main stream company but they have done a very good job with it and with Google embracing open source software this works very well with the other products we have posted about so far.
Here are a few of the benefits of using Google Drive:
Google Drive is Free – well the first 15GB is free but Free is good and if you need more space the upgrade is pretty reasonably priced.
Google Drive lets you send large files – This is a great alternative to setting up an FTP server or using DropBox. You can upload the file to your Google Drive and then send the download link to the party you are sending the file to. It is quick easy and painless.
Google Drive is Portable – Anywhere you can get on the internet you can get into your google drive. There are apps for you Laptop or PC, MAC, Phone and Tablet. Really you can edit a document or download/upload a file anywhere. This makes it extremely useful in many situations. There is also a synchronization feature that will let you sync your drive across multiple devices. For me most of the time I keep my items in the cloud but for speed it is possible to sync them locally.
Google Drive had Built in Search – As you add more stuff to your drive. It will get cluttered. You know this is true. But no need to worry. The built in search feature will help you find what you are looking for even if it is an image or a PDF. With the built in OCR function it can search for phrases inside your documents to help you locate them more quickly.
Google Drive Allows Real Time Collaboration – This feature is really cool. You can share an individual file or a folder. You have the ability to set read and write permissions. By setting the write permission you can give multiple people access to the file. As each person edits the file you can see their changes in real time. You could fire up a Google Hangouts session and work on a project together in real time no matter where everyone is. Of course as long as they have internet access. Change history is also kept for 30 days so if you need to go back and see who made a change and when. You can.
These are just a few items that by themselves make google drive a very useful tool for you. You can get started with google drive by going here to download Google Drive.
I hope that you at least give it a try and see what it is all about. Share your experience with us in the comments or on our Facebook page.