Learning to write professionally is one of the best things you can do in your life, not only is it a gateway to learn more about yourself, and your way of thinking, you can actually earn some really good money just by typing out words. Journalism, blogging, research, and reporting are some of the best paying careers today. The internet is only now starting to flourish, and more and more brands are looking for reliable writers. You could be one of them!
I have been writing for several years now, probably around three or four (professionally), but ever single day I am learning new things, seeing new ways of doing things, and generally gaining more experience. I don’t just write blogs, either, I try to spend some quality time writing poetry; notes; even writing my diary is helping me to learn more about the art of writing. Are you an avid writer, or someone who’s casual about it?
There are enormous amounts of types of writing out there, but the one we’re going to be focusing on today is called collaborative writing, or in other words – the process of writing something together with someone else, or with a group of people. It can be frustrating to use instant messengers, email, or social networks to send files back and forth, and for that reason – here are some of the best collaborative writing tools on the market right now. Please, share your own favorites with us in the comment box!
The free version of Zoho is going to give you the ability to collaborate together with unlimited amount of users, but the cost is going to be a limitation to 5GB’s of space that you can use. I think 5GB is more than enough for the purpose of writing, and small businesses might find this deal appealing. Zoho Docs work for all major document types: spreadsheets, word documents, presentations, or plain old text files. They’ve also got mobile applications available if that’s how your team works together.
Zoho is one of the most successful enterprise software companies in the World, having been in business for nearly 20 years, and having had avoided plenty of pitfalls along the way. This Pando article has more on that!
Etherpad allows you to edit documents collaboratively in real-time, much like a live multi-player editor that runs in your browser. Write articles, press releases, to-do lists, etc. together with your friends, fellow students or colleagues, all working on the same document at the same time. It’s available for Windows, Linux and Mac computers, very convenient to use, and the interface is comforting enough to be spending hours inside of it!
Now, don’t get confused by the message that this site is trying to send, while Etherpad did have some difficulties a couple of years ago, it is fully functional, and so is TitanPad. They’re both quite similar in how they work, the only difference is the look of the interface, and with TitanPad – you don’t need to download the software in order to use. Let me know how it’s working out for you.
The site hasn’t been updated in years, but you can still enroll for a free trial to give TextFlow a try. One of the features that attracts people to TextFlow is the ability to compare multiple types of files at once, you can compare up to seven different documents and see where changes are taking place. The interface is also very appealing for editing, writing, and collaboration.
Google Drive is getting mentioned twice in one day? They must be doing something right! Seriously though, you should be fully aware of Google Drive and the features it offers; you can easily collaborate with your co-workers on all kinds of files, or you can individually share links with them for review. It’s slowly becoming the free alternative to Microsoft Office! The only downside might be that you don’t really like Google, but even then – you can just setup throwaway accounts and use it that way.
I think this is the only tool in the list that offers real-time changes (turns out it’s not), as they happen. Sync.in, like all other collaboration tools we’ve looked at is an online tool (but has a Desktop launcher as well) that we can use to collaborate on ideas, meetings, mind maps, and everything else for that matter. Creating public notes is free, while the pro version costs a silly $2/month, with a 30-day free trial available.
PrimaryPad was built by a school teacher, for school teachers; with students and everyone else in mind. It works just like any other tool on this list, with the exception of some additional (cool) features: you can draw within the pad you’re writing, you can add sticky notes, and Chrome users can enjoy speech-to-text. The author (James Langley) says that you shouldn’t expect PrimaryPad to go anywhere, as they’re building a business around it. (The free version is more than enough to get a proper feel for this particular tool.)
Stypi is a realtime editor that allows multiple users to make changes to a single document at the same time. All you need to do is share the URL with others to begin collaborating! The really great advantage of this tool is that it allows you to paste code from programming languages; developers will find this to be really useful if they manage to wrap their heads around collaborative writing. It’s free, it’s minimal, it’s beautiful!
This particular real-time editor has actually been acquired by Salesforce, and backed by Y Combinator.
Agilewords was built for those who’re looking to increase their productivity when it comes to writing together, reviewing together, and even analyzing together. Their platform was built specifically to solve those three problems. Features such as individual comments on text written can make editing both fun, and engaging. As well a learning experience for the one getting schooled! :) Allows to sync offline/online versions, so don’t worry about losing track of things. Is available for all major operating systems.
The last tool on our list comes from MixedInk; a company that offers a nice platform for collaborative writing. It has been built to be used by groups of all sizes, to help them put together their best ideas within a single page. MixedInk is reporting that among its users there are agencies, organizations, and businesses that realize how important collaboration is!
Best Tools for Collaborative Writing
It turns out that there is not only demand for such tools, but there is actual supply to choose from. If you’re a writer and you work together with a team of writers, you know how important it is to be in sync with everyone else, and I do have to say that some of these tools will take good care of that particular case.