This being a small-company blog, apart from explaining our vision we will also try to provide some problems & solutions we come across in our daily small-company life. So let’s kick it off.
In Obelisk, we are using Google Docs internally as a wiki-style collaboration tool: dumping everything from project ideas, software installation instructions, tips & tricks to timesheets and plans. In a wiki you normally want pages/docs to be accessible to everyone by default. In Docs a document is private by default. You can easily make it accessible and editable to everyone in the domain but your coworkers will not see the new document unless you send an invite to each one of them, resulting in many quite unnecessary emails.
We found a workaround in a Google Groups discussion, but judging by the number of people complaining about this issue, not a lot of people know about it, so here it is:
1. Create a new folder (we named it Obelisk, but use whatever name you want)
2. Setup sharing settings on this folder to “People at _yourcompany_ can find and access.” and tick “Allow anyone within _yourcompany_ to edit.”
3. Invite all your coworkers to this folder.
4. Every time you create a new document, just drag it onto the created folder and it will be available (and visible!) to everyone.
And while we’re talking about it: using Google Docs as a wiki is not half bad. Linking to other documents/pages is not as simple as CamelCase-ing, but it’s simple enough. You’ve also got your tags(strangely named folders), searching, versioning, any file upload… Where is Docs even better than a wiki? Real-time collaborative editing is one such feature. It’s also easier to turn a scrapbook into a presentable and printable document. You have a proper spreadsheet when you need to enter a lot of data… and since lately you can even draw simple diagrams.
That’s it, hopefully you find some of this useful.