How to Share Documents OnlineTimes sure are changing, aren’t they? Working from home used to be a rare occurrence, but now it’s becoming quite normal to have a career where you can at least do part of it from home. Many companies want to join this trend, as it can save some significant cost in overhead. However, you might be unsure of taking that leap, if you don’t know how to share documents online. This is extremely important, especially if your work depends on sharing documents and files.

There are several methods of doing this, proving to be very effective when working with an online…or virtual team. Whether your reason is to save money with freelancers, or to allow your employees the freedom of working from home, you will want the ability to have online file sharing… with ease and security.

So, read on to learn how you can effectively work with a team in remote locations by sharing documents online.

The Perks of Sharing Documents and Files Online

Do you currently take the time to email documents to various members of your team, or even get to the post office to mail them out? Or, perhaps you don’t have the ability to separate documents from certain members of your team who either don’t need the document, or should have access to it.

Sharing documents online will eliminate the additional time it takes to share documents as it does in a more traditional manner. So, you can avoid disruptions in the flow of production, by not having to deliver these documents to everyone who needs them.

Another perk to sharing documents online is that it’s a way to store your documents for safe keeping. When a file is in an online program, you can get to it anywhere you have Internet access. In other words, if your computer experiences the ‘blue screen of death’, don’t worry. You can get all the documents from another computer.

So, let’s take a look at a few different programs that are available.

Google Docs

This is perhaps the most popular method of sharing documents with others working in remote locations to date. It allows you to control various versions of documents, the ability to embed comments, and also provides generous formatting.

There is no need to worry about expense with this one, because it’s a free service. In fact, the people on your team don’t necessarily need to have a Google account either. You simply share a link that they can access.

Learning how to share documents in Google docs is quick and easy by following simple instructions on their site. You can collaborate with others in real time, and limit each document to only the people you want to share it. In other words, if you want your virtual assistant to see document ‘A’, then you can give access for that particular document to only them.

Microsoft Office Live

If you are familiar with Microsoft’s desktop edition of the software suite, then you might find Microsoft Office Live easy to use. This is one perk to this program for online sharing, documents exchange, and collaborating.

The downside to using this over Google shared documents, or Google Docs, you need to purchase the software program. In addition to that, in order to have full online functionality to be able to collaborate on online documents, each person will need to have the software installed on their own computer.

Other Options

Of course, Google and Microsoft are not the only two possibilities. I just think they are perhaps the two most popular, with a name you are probably familiar with. Other options for document sharing online include:

  • Dropbox
  • HyperOffice
  • Basecamp
  • WriteBoard
  • Zoho
  • EtherPad
  • ContactOffice
  • ThinkFree

Take a look around at some of these programs to see which one would be a good fit for you and your team. Keep in mind what you hope to accomplish, as well as the skills of your team. You should be able to find a program and learn how to share documents online to make a difference in your production.

So, if you are thinking of taking your company virtual, but have worried about things such as sharing documents, don’t. You have plenty of options that will allow you to keep your production at a steady flow, all while keeping the entire team informed and provide the ability to work from anywhere around the world.

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