Documents written by two or more authors are often stronger than single-writer works. Each team member brings different assets and the finished product can be more comprehensive and detailed.
Collaborative authoring with someone down the hall can be difficult enough. Collaborating on a project with someone in another office or even another country can seem impossible! Using today's online collaboration tools, many of the difficulties of collaboration can be eliminated no matter where your partners are located.
Use Collaboration Features in Word
Microsoft Word has a number of features designed specifically for writing collaboratively. The basic word processing tools have become so effortless that they barely need explaining. Spelling and grammar correction aid, although don't replace, manual proofreading. Document layout, automatic generation of tables of contents and indexes, and easy footnotes make the creation of professional-looking documents a snap.
Many people well-versed in Word's features haven't explored the collaboration tools. Tracking changes, creating new versions, adding editing notes and more allow multiple authors to not only modify the document but to understand other people's changes.
Most people think that group authoring or versioning with Word means emailing the document to all authors with every change. Everyone's inboxes get clogged with multiple versions of the document and it is easy to lose track of which version is the most current. People on slow connections have to wait while the document is downloaded even if they don't plan to make any edits. However, there is a far easier way that most of today's progressive companies are using to implement document sharing.
Upload To an Online File Sharing Service
By putting the current master document onto a central server, access is streamlined. Authors or editors who need the document can get it and multiple versions can be stored online. Furthermore, users can make notes and add comments about their versions for the rest of the members to see. Online file sharing can be made even more powerful by using online project workspaces.
Online task management simplifies team collaboration no matter where in the world team members are located. As long as each member has an internet connection, all activities can be coordinated through a central source.
These tools go beyond simple online file sharing. All communication can be carried out through the online workspace, making it easy for all members to see changes in the project. Task assignments and calendars mean each team member has a clear idea of duties and deadlines. As members are added or removed from the project, no one needs to update email lists since communications are coordinated through the project workspace.
Learning to use a full-featured online collaboration tool doesn't have to be hard for team members. Look for an application with an intuitive interface so your team members can get up to speed quickly. Encourage everyone to use the workspace so that the entire team remains fully apprised of important changes to the document. Team collaboration through an online tool is easy to implement and makes any project with multiple contributors easier to manage!
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on Online File Sharing , please visit http://www.projectspaces.com .