Word processing, spreadsheets, calendars, presentations, project management, and web conferencing are all examples of productivity software. Online versions offer many of the same features yet are quite different from what is installed on your computer. How so?
The online software we're looking at today is quite inexpensive - it's free. There is a reason for this - it doesn't do nearly as much as the software installed on your computer. The core features you see in Google Docs and Zoho match up surprisingly well. No installation of software is required. All you need is a web browser and an internet connection.
It's much easier to work on projects with others - colleagues, community group members, family, friends, whomever. Say, for example, you are working with your colleagues in a number of institutions. You post the first draft of a letter or a report, your colleagues make edits or add text to the document, and you bring the completed letter or report to your next meeting. The shared workspace means that no one is accidentally looking at an out-of-date version of the document. Watch this video to find out how Google docs works.
Other useful online tools
Converting file formats is easy at Zamzar. For example you can convert a document to a pdf file.
Sharing presentation and slideshows is easy using Slideshare and Thumbstacks.
Explore: Look at this slide show from Slideshare for some more examples of free online productivity tools.
Discover: Using your gmail or Google account log into Google Docs and create a document.
Share it with us at email@example.com - in the document please let us know your real name so we can credit this to you. In your blog consider possible applications for this in your work.
Adventure: Set up a Zoho account and compare it.