How to Avoid Group Project Disasters Using Google

when disaster strikes

Have you ever looked like the woman in this photo? I know I have. Some of the most frustrating experiences I’ve ever had in my entire life were group projects. 

That isn’t to say that I always had terrible team mates. There are just so many things that can go wrong. And everyone’s little mistakes can snowball into a giant rolling ball of doom that wipes out everything in its path.  

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Group projects don’t have to be so stressful. Over the years I learned ways to avoid the most common problems that people encounter while working as a team. And yes, Google is the answer.


Simplify with Google Docs

Most people I know just email documents back and forth to each other, which can quickly become a major hassle, especially if they come up with several different versions of the same document.

Google Docs is a great resource that seems to be overlooked by so many Filipinos. In fact, most Filipinos seem to overlook all of Google’s amazing services (except the Google search engine), even though they’re free. 


What is Google Docs?

Take the tour of Google Docs

Take the tour of Google Docs

It’s a free service that allows two or more people to edit a file in real time. That means you and your team  can use all of your personal desktops/laptops to work on the exact same file at the exact same time.

No more time wasted waiting for somebody to send something. No more time wasted trying to combine two versions of the same document into a coherent whole, either. You get to see each other’s changes as soon as you make them.


What do I need to use Google Docs?

Just sign up for a Google Account. This will enable you to access all of Google’s services, including Google Docs,  Blogger, and Gmail.


The Wonders of Gmail

Some of the skins you can choose for your Gmail inbox. Very pretty. (Click on the image to enlarge).

Some of the skins you can choose for your Gmail inbox. Very pretty. Click the image for a larger version.

I am amazed by the number of Filipinos (young and not so young) who are still using Yahoo Mail. Life is so much easier with Gmail. With it, email becomes so much less of a hassle and so much more of a convenience.

My favorite feature is the conversation view.  Say you and Person X emailed each other about the same topic over the course of one month. Gmail will automatically group all of your emails together in chronological order, so you never lose track of another message again. 

Yes, you might have noticed that I am a bit of Google evangelist.  No, I’m not being paid to do this. 🙂 I recommend Google Docs and Gmail because they’ve become invaluable tools to me.


Hopefully these tips will prevent you from wishing or doing unspeakably cruel things to your team mates when things go wrong (and you know they will).

Do you use Google services (apart from the search engine) regularly? Why or why not?


2 Responses to “How to Avoid Group Project Disasters Using Google”

  1. 1 Clarisa January 26, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    I have no idea that there’s something like Google docs until I read this. Thanks so much. 🙂

  2. 2 Writista January 26, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Glad to be of help, Clarisa. 🙂

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