Friday, 14 September 2007

New free online tools for small businesses

Collaborative networking is one way that small businesses can work loosely together to provide serives that are greater than the sum of their parts. I'm therefore always on the lookout for tools that can be of help.
Recently, I discovered Goggle's free document and spreadsheet facility. This goes one step further than the shared folders that can be used currently by Windows Live Messenger users in that two people can simultaneously work on a text document online and see the respective changes in real time.
People can be invited in as collaborators or simply as viewers - all that is needed is a free Google Account.
At the moment I'm using the facility to create, share and edit documents with two other companies, one in the UK and one abroad, on a joint project. The other advantage is that I can then access the documents from anywhere online if I wish to in a secure password protected manner.
Whilst the formatting settings are not as sophisticated as those of Word on my PC, I can create credible documents formatted online. If I need to prettify the final version, the document can be saved in a variety of standard formats for processing on my own machine.
If sharing documents with clients or colleagues is something that could benefit your company, give Google Documents and Spreadsheets a trial!

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