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Using Google Docs

If you are freelancing from home, Google Docs is an invaluable resource which helps you share and store you documents online. Yet as it is a relatively new process, there are still kinks that need to be ironed out and employees need to be careful when using it so as to not make any costly etiquette errors which could result in them losing a contract.

In order to ensure that no wires get crossed when it comes to establishing a contact address with your clients, ask them what address they would like you to use when sending them information. Most people have separate work and leisure accounts so this is a prudent move. Google Docs also allows you to ‘Share’ a link, invite someone to share or else mail the document as an attachment. Again, it is necessary to communicate effectively with clients so that you know which method they prefer.

If you are sharing, you get the option to attach a message to the recipients. The email notifications are often ignored with people heading straight for the Google Docs once they have been shared. Although it would be prudent to open the message, you have to assume that your recipients will not do so. As a result, you should never place anything important in this message in case it doesn’t get opened. For your part, always open your own notifications in case you miss something vital.

Whether you are working for clients on GetACoder or elsewhere, editing is a vital component of all writingandpublishing. Only the owner of the document should be entitled to make final alterations. If the document owner gives you permission to change it, be sure to highlight any changes you do make. If you are one of a number of people working on the editing side, always tag your corrections with your initials to clearly illustrate that it was you who made the alterations.

For documents that are of a sensitive nature, never assume that the person with whom you share them with will keep them private. Google Docs has an ‘Advanced Permissions’ option which allows you to disable the ‘Allow editors to invite others to edit or view’ tab. Also, for security reasons, never forward a document that you don’t own without the owner’s permission.

Finally, ensure that the documents are copied carefully if you are planning on passing it on. Ask the client to copy it for their own use before you consider erasing it. If you decide to maintain ownership of the document, ask those who collaborated with you on the project first to ensure that there is no confusion. Although it is only a relatively new tool, Google Docs could turn out to be a tremendous work aid for freelancers and outsourcers alike.

An excellent writer, proficient in a variety of topics, Patrick Lynch has four years creative writing experience, which began in the National University of Ireland, Galway where he received a grade in the top 1% of his writing seminar.He is an editor for the University journal, ROPES, and is also a content writer for, and His fluent writing style has received high praise from several quarters. This, coupled with his attention to detail and propensity to complete a project well within any deadlines set, ensures that whomever hires him will be an extremely satisfied customer. Patrick is one of several freelance writers on the GetACoder Blog team.

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