Ever been in a situation where you can’t find a document that you need? Or you’re on your work computer but the spreadsheet you need is stuck on your laptop at home?

Enter Google Docs – techies have been using this for years already, as it was introduced quite some time ago. When most people think of Google Docs, they think “Hmm…it sounds like its an online version of Microsoft Office, and I already have Office on my computer, so its not worth taking the time to figure it out.”

Google Docs Screenshot

An example of the Google Docs layout

While that line of thinking is mostly correct, the key benefit to using Google Docs is actually the ability to view and edit your documents from anywhere. Docs doesn’t exist because it is more feature packed than MS Office, but rather because it is everywhere.

By creating or uploading a document, spreadsheet, or presentation into Docs, you can access the most up to date version of that file from any computer with an internet connection (including smartphones). Any changes you make through Docs are saved in this online file – so anytime you open, no matter where or when,  you will have the most recent version at your fingertips.

With Office, you would have to email yourself the file, go to work and make changes (assuming the other computer has Office installed), and then re-email the file back to yourself so you can access it at home.

However, I should certainly mention that Google Docs isn’t right for every file you create, since it certainly has a limited feature set compared to Office. However, for simple files that you know you’re going to be updating with some frequency (resumes, budgets, contact lists, etc) you will know that the most recent version of your work is always available to you.

Plus, its free! What are you waiting for, go check it out!