I have tried other writing and editing programs but I have always been lured back to using Google Docs because of its ease of use, its convenience and the host of features that in my opinion make it a really great writing and editing tool.
Making A Start
To start at the very beginning it is necessary to log into Google Drive.
Enter the username and password for your Google account. This is the username and password that you use for any other Google accounts you may have, such as Gmail, Google Analytics, Search Console etc.
Go here to create a Google account if you don’t already have one.
In the image below you can see that I already have quite a few folders in my Google Drive account. I have created these folders over time as the need arose.
In the beginning I tended to have random documents, some photos and videos until eventually, I put it in order, so don’t worry too much about this at the beginning.
What you need for a new blog post is to click on NEW in the big red button (who doesn’t like clicking big red buttons) and a whole host of options will appear.
You can see at the top there is an option for Folder and this will be great for when you are organising your work, for now just click on Google Docs as indicated by the arrow in the graphic below.
You can go back and organise later or if you like to be super organized from the start, create a folder, give it a name and then save the document to that folder.
A New Document Ready To Go
Now you have a blank document and as you can see there are many of the normal editing tools that you would see with any editing program.
What is fantastic about Google Docs is that there are some extras and in my opinion, this is where Google Docs shines.
One of the most useful extras is the Research tool.
Look at the graphic to locate the Research tool.
When you click on Research a new sidebar will appear on the right side of the document.
From the graphic you can see that there are different search options which is very useful depending on what sort of research you are doing for the blog post.
Type the keyword in the search bar just as you would for any normal search and then the options will appear below.
At this point you can either open the webpages suggested in a new page or click on the test in the webpage that you would like to look at more closely and it will open another sidebar within Google Drive.
I find that this sidebar is not so useful for reading however for images it is useful as it saves having to open multiple web pages.
The more you use Google Docs in Google Drive the more you will be able to adapt the features to use them the best way that suits your needs.
The Spelling Tool
Another feature I absolutely love is the spell check. Okay, you are thinking that I have gone gaga but this spell check is like no other.
Sometimes I think it is reading my mind as it really does seem to know exactly what my very poor typing is attempting to spell and what’s more can fix the error at an alarmingly fast pace.
Most of the time now I just click, click, click and I’m very confident that it has chosen the word I was attempting to spell. Of course there are also ways those ambiguities that even spell check can’t decipher but they are definitely in the minority.
I challenge you to try spell check to see what you think. 🙂
The Word Count Tool
The word count tool is also a useful feature for bloggers but also for writing assignments, reports or job applications where the number of words do matter.
Headings and Title
For bloggers, it is also useful to be able to use Title, Heading 1, Heading 2 etc and know the font will automatically be formatted to the correct size.
Your work is saved automatically, each time you edit. While typing you can seeSaving … in the top menu bar and when you have stop typing the message will change to say All changes saved in Drive, so your work is continually being saved.
I find this super useful as there are always those moments where it is necessary to leave the computer to attend to something else and you can do that knowing that your work has been saved.
Go to Tools and click on Document outline. A sidebar will appear on the left of the page which will allow you to write some headings for the proposed piece of writing.
Normally, I would have these headings at the top of my page or the bottom but it is so much easier to see the headings in the sidebar . Just make sure you have the text option set on one of the heading options.
Another feature I like is that I can use any computer, anywhere, anytime because Google Drive is online. I do not need to be sitting at my PC.
If I decide to take my laptop on the road, as long as I have an internet connection I can access the information anywhere from any computer which makes working so much easier.
Google Drive is also free. There are upgrade options if you need more space and these are paid options.
I have only ever used the Free version for writing blog posts.
All of these feature cumulatively add up to make Google Docs and Google Drive a very attractive proposition for writing projects.