Free to Low Cost Business and Communication Tools: Part 1: Google Docs


Google is doing a great job of building user loyalty by offering tools and services that help us to accomplish what we need to do in business. We are all familiar with Gmail and Google Talk (IM). Let me introduce you to Google Docs.  To access Google’s services you must first sign up for a gmail account.

Compatible with HTML, Plain Text (.txt), Microsoft Office, RTF, and Open Office (.odt), Google Docs is an open-source application (invites developers to help make it even more robust by adding useful extensions) that provides:

The application also allows you to:

  • Upload docs from, and save to, your desktop
  • Edit anytime, from anywhere
  • Control who has access to your documents
  • Collaborate and share changes in real time
  • Store files online, offering you more storage space than you will probably use up for quite some time (for current information concerning allotted storage in Google Docs click on the link)


  1. Free
  2. Familiar formats that are easy to use
  3. Secure
  4. Available 24/7
  5. Can be used for sales, administrative tasks, internal and external communications, basic accounting, invoicing, contracts   (Great for a simple start-up)


Although pretty robust, you would not want to rely on Google Docs exclusively if your sales and administrative functions would be better served by custom applications designed specifically for the way you do business. Businesses with greater demands would have to spend too much time developing a system of organization to manage the docs in the application. The cost of the time required is perhaps better invested in a custom solution that grows along with your company’s changing needs.

Next post will introduce you to a free web conferencing service that allows you to share your computer screen, give a sales presentation, host an online meeting, and more…