Many of us are familiar with Google Docs as a tool for quick and easy document creation. What many people don’t know is how great of a collaboration tool it can be, especially due to its recent updates.

The commenting feature in Google Docs saw some significant changes this week. Some of the most substantial updates include: 

  • Timestamps and profile pictures on comments
  • The ability to edit and resolve comments
  • Implementation of email notifications via @mentions

Email notifications are one of the coolest features that have been added as they allow you to bring people into the discussion that weren’t already.

The notifications always include the comment associated with it so the recipient doesn’t necessarily need access to Google Docs in order to contribute. They can simply reply to the email with their comments, and it will show up in the conversation thread as if they were logged in.

Email notifications aren’t the only new feature that works well for collaborative teams – the ability to resolve comments is very beneficial. Being able to go back and look at comments is vital in order to make sure everything has been done. This feature allows you to mark a task as resolved once it has been completed, instead of simply deleting it.

Collaboration tools like Google Docs make it much simpler to be a part of a distributed team. Features like email alerts let your team members know immediately when you need their help. Staying in sync is not as tough with tools like these.

Passing a document back and forth via email can be quite messy. If multiple people are editing at once, keeping track of all of those edits and ensuring that they show up on the final version gets difficult. With these tools, since everybody’s version of the document is identical there is far less confusion around changes. For distributed teams, and remote workers, tools like this are quite valuable.

For more insight into the recent changes to Google Docs check out this article.