If you use Google Docs, Sheets or Slides you are probably sharing your documents with someone. Collaboration is what makes modern document creation amazing. No longer is one person responsible for adding content to a document, multiple people can edit and review a document. This can be done synchronously or asynchronously.

Synchronous Collaboration

Synchronous collaboration would occur when you are all in the same document at the same time. For me, it never gets told to see those circles at the top of the document letting me know that others are reviewing the document right now. They can watch me type!

Asynchronous Collaboration

As glorious as synchronous collaboration is, it is most likely that I am making edits to a Google Doc, Sheets, or Slides by myself. Hoping the other collaborators will jump in later and review my additions/edits or add their own. But how do they know that I updated the document for them to look at?

Email Collaborators

I strongly feel that if you want someone to look at something you should always give them the link. A text “Hey, I edited the doc” is nice but this requires the person to find where the document is located in Drive and open it. There is a high probability that they will think… “I”ll get to this later” and later never comes. I don’t know about you but my Google Drive has so many documents and folders that even though I have the agenda shared with me, it does not always feel fun to have to go find it.

File Menu

In the Google Docs, Sheets or Slides that you are using go to the File menu and locate the “Email” option. This has an arrow on it to show the options to “Email as attachment” or “Email collaborators.” Personally, the only time I use “Email as an attachment” is when I am required to submit something as a PDF. The attachment option is PDF and it’s quick and easy. Otherwise I would never want to add an attachment as that creates a copy and kills the collaboration. I want to invite my collaborators to come back to the same document I am on and make comments or edits

Compose Email

By using “Email collaborators” you can send an email that automatically contains the link to the document.

Anyone shared on the document as a viewer or as an editor will automatically be added to the email. This is a big time saver in not having to locate email addresses one by one of who you want to remind to view the document. Click the x next to their email for anyone you want to exclude from the notification.

Edit the Subject Line

The default email title is the name of the document. That probably is not specific enough. Modify the subject line to be more specific about what you want the collaborator to do with this link.

Get in the Habit

Get in the habit of using the File menu and “Email collaborators” after you make edits. It not only signals the collaborators that changes were made it gives them the link for them to quickly and easily check it out.

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