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Hello, I’ll be your Geek today :)

Hello, I’ll be your Geek today :)
 

I often get tech questions at our meetings and online in our yahoo loop discussions and as the official Tech Guru/Social Chair (no kidding…that’s my actual title, LOL), I plan to blog on ways to make the Tech Monster, your Tech Pet.

There are many topics that I want to blog about, how to back up your manuscripts, how to post once and broadcast to all your online outlets at one time, how to use track changes in Microsoft Word, how to use Microsoft Excel to keep your writing on track, how to…well you get the point.

Today I want to discuss with you some basics, things I think every writer should have and know how to use. Here is my list of basics and today we will cover #1.

  1. Google resources
  2. Facebook author pages vs personal usage
  3. Twitter personal vs business usage
  4. Blogging or a website
  5. And other social media sites…(Oh my!) Tumblr, Posterus, Goodreads…lions, tigers, and bears!

Honestly, Google is where it’s at. All writers need a Google account. If you have a gmail address then you already have the keys to the kingdom, if you don’t we need to talk. Getting a gmail account is easy. Go to http://accounts.google.com and follow the directions. If you’re a member of ACFW just give me a call if you need help, if you’re not a member post below and I’ll try to walk you through the process.

Now that we are all on the same base, log into your gmail and take a look at the bar across the top of the screen. It may look slightly different depending on the web browser you are using. I recommend Google Chrome and you can download it here https://www.google.com/chrome .

(If you can’t read the photos just click on them, a widow will open then click on them again.)

I want to get down to the nitty gritty of why, as a writer, you would want to take the time to get familiar with Google Resources. #1 you can work on your writing anywhere in the World. That’s right, anywhere…from a dial-up internet café in Kabul to Home Sweet Home—Google has you covered. The main way is through Google Docs. The Docs function is so easy it amazes me. It works just like Microsoft Office on your home computer.

You can create a document, spreadsheet, or presentation in Google just like you would at home or work. The only difference is when you hit save it is available to you from anywhere. You can also download it or send or share it with others.

 

One of the things that you will hear is that some writers don’t like about Google Documents. Their claim is that the formatting does not always travel back and forth between Word and Google Docs. You aren’t supposed to be over formatting your documents anyway. That action shouldn’t happen until you are ready to sell or enter your manuscript in a contest. Standard formatting of 1-inch margins all the way around is the only thing you should be worried about and that is not a problem with Google Documents. Keep your manuscripts as formatting free as possible and you will have fewer hassles in the future with potential sales. Nothing is more annoying than buying a manuscript only to find that you have to go through it and pull out tons of formatting codes that the author thought made the page look nice. Take it from me; you can lose future sales with that publishing house because you will be their “problem child.”

Question: Why do I think Google Docs is maybe the best tool for a writer?

Answer: Because it eliminates your excuses for not writing.

How does it do that?

You can access Google Docs on your computer, an online work computer, a smartphone, or on any device that allows you to get on the Internet. So, if you always have your manuscript at your fingertips what will be your new excuse? LOL

24 hours a day/ 7 days a week Google docs is ready to go…Oh, I can just hear you now…Oh yeah, Lisa, well what about if there is no Internet at the place where I am going???

No problem, Google Drive is there for you! Get it here (https://drive.google.com/ ) and download it to your computer and the next time you get online it will sync with your versions online and update everything in you Google documents. (You are going to have to work harder than that for an excuse. 😀 )

For now set up your Google account and start playing with the document options. I think you will like it as much as I do.

  1. Bonnie Sterling06-05-12

    Great article. I’ll have to check out all the features you mentioned.

  2. Jenny Miller06-05-12

    Good article! Hey, where’s this blog of yours so that I can read over your shoulder and absorb some more techy wisdom?

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