Use Free Google Docs Tools: NaNoWriMo Tip #2

By Jason Boog 


Need some help keeping your National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) project organized?

We asked the Google Docs team for some suggestion on how to use the free suite of online writing tools during NaNoWriMo. We’ve collected five ways you can use Google Docs below.

This is our second NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day. As writers around the country join the writing marathon this month, we will share one piece of advice or writing tool to help you cope with this daunting project.

Five Ways to Use Google Docs for NaNoWriMo
By the Google Docs Team

1. Collaborate with others. No one said this has to be an individual activity. Work with others to create an elaborate story in real-time. Discussions (our version of comments) are made on the right side of the document but you are also able to reply and create threads of comments within comments. In addition, you can chat without having to toggle between windows and know who else is in the document with you in the upper right hand side of the window.

2. Write while you’re on the go. Now you can edit documents while you’re on the go. To get started add the Google Drive app to your Android or iOS device or visit a browser on your phone. Select the document you want to edit and when you’re viewing it, press the Edit button.

3. Add facts and data. With the research pane in Google Docs, you can easily find facts, quotes, maps and images from the web and insert it into your story. Access the research pane from the Tools menu by right clicking on a selected word that you want to learn more about, or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+R on Windows or Cmd+Alt+R on Mac.

3. Look at your progress (and back up if you need to). In the revision history interface, changes are color-coded based on each collaborator, making it easy to tell what has been added or deleted and by whom. To see it, go to File > See revision history. Click on a time stamp in the right column to see what changes were made at a given time or use the arrow keys to quickly scan through many revisions. To see a finer-grained list of revisions, click Show more detailed revisions.

5. Track your progress. The Google Docs team created a template to help NaNoWrMo participants on track last year. It can be used again this year here.