Tag Archives: cloud

Google Drive for Writers

driveforwritersToday I want to share with you some elements of the free Google service known as Drive. This is something like a cloud drive (you can backup files) but also an online program suite. I will be discussing mostly the Docs features.

Google Drive includes:

Docs– This is an online word processor that is compatible with Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, and even Microsoft Works.

Sheets– A spreadsheet compatible with Office, Open office, and Works.

Slides – A presentation service that easily integrates into web sites or shared with others. Compatible to open files from Office and OpenOffice.

Forms – A service to create and compile information from forms. Includes easy to use templates, click and build features, and saves data to the drive for access later.

Drawing– This includes an online service to create or edit graphics. Saves as PDF, JPG, SVG, and PNG.


Google Docs works similar to most word processors, including formatting, templates, and printing. You can open and save, change file formats, and share/collaborate with others online. This also includes revision history. (Saved my butt when I ‘lost’ an entire chapter of a book I was writing).

You can also add ‘add-ons’ which improves function;

Table of Contents – Creates a table of contents that runs as a sidebar.

EasyBib- Bibliography creator

Speech Recognition- So you can talk instead of typing. This works great for those who have issues with typing for long periods of time.

Mind mapping- This is a great tool to plot stories or brainstorm ideas.

ProWritingAid- This is not free, but as an add on that works in the Docs. It corrects grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Screenplay formatter- For the script writers out there, this add on helps with formatting your doc.

Saves in these formats:

DOCX – Document Microsoft Word file

ODT – OpenOffice Document Text file

RTF – Rich Text Format, works with any word processor

PDF- Portable Document Format, used for downloading files and eBooks

TXT – Text. Very simple with very little formatting but can be read by every word processor.

HTML/ZIP – Hypertext Markup Language is what web sites are built. Often used to upload to publish books.

EPUB – EBook file format that can be read by tablets and smart phones. This is new and is an industry standard.

Google drive can also

Cloud Storage– Back up photos, documents, etc. to your cloud drive. This includes 15 GB free, and you can pay $1.99 monthly for 100 more GB.

Collaborate with others–  Not only can you share files with others, they can view or even edit them. You can also share LIVE with others. Some authors now share their writing in real time for fans to check out their process. Share via email or link on your blog. You can even embed files too

Share anywhere– Google Drive works on PC, Mac, smart phone, and tablets.

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Microsoft Office 365 in the cloud

With my new Surface Pro tablet, I’m currently testing out Microsoft Office 365. What makes this so different than the other Office suites is that it’s a cloud-based program, but also works offline as well.

Many programs are shifting to this format, thereby, preventing people from pirating the software.  A rumor says that Microsoft’s Windows 10 will be cloud based. Photoshop also offers their own ‘in-the-cloud’ version of software.

There are some benefits but also cons to this;


  • Subscriptions vary between $5.00 – $15.00 a month. You can upgrade or downgrade between plans, depending on what services and features you want included.
  • Your programs are always updated. You will always have the current software.
  • Some will find the monthly cost affordable rather than the payout of a lump sum.
  • You can work offline, with sync features to Skydrive.
  • You work syncs with Skydrive, Microsoft’s cloud drive service. This includes 7 gigabytes of storage, and you can earn more.
  • With the one subscription, you can use on multiple computers. Although, it could be argued you can do this with the disk based program; the licensing, however, is pretty clear that you’re supposed to have it only on one or two systems. This multi-user is for someone like me with a tablet and laptop, and other computers. You can also install on iPhone, iPad, Windows phone, and more.
  • You can get a month trial version to try it out.


  • Cost is cheaper within the year, but after a while, it will cost you more. You will need to weigh cost worth for yourself.
  • The download is buggy, at least for me. I had some issues with installing. Fortunately, I know technology, but I can see this causing issue for those who are less savvy.
  • You’re basically renting the program- not buying. I’m still on the fence with weighing costs, but you are renting the use of the program. If you miss a payment, you may not use the program.
  • Its confusing what plan includes what. For some, this might be a good thing- after all, you get so many choices. One of which is Lync, for video conferences, but not all plans include this feature. Read thoroughly before purchase. (Google+ hangouts seem to do pretty much the same thing but for free)
  • Office 365 works only with Windows 7 on up, or Mac OS X and up.

I’ll be including tips and tutorials for this version, but other versions as well.

If you liked this post, please share, like, and comment. I always enjoy feedback.

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