Google Docs and Adobe Buzzword are good moves to bring a lot of office documents online. Online word processing applications offer distinct advantages such as mobility, a paperless office, increased collaboration, and file security. Of course the biggest ace of online word processors over traditional software is the big elephant in this tight economy – COST.
Writeboard is a text collaboration application from 37Signals. Although it does not have usual formatting tools found in other online word processors, this beast has excellent collaboration and revision tools authors, editors, and PR folks will love. After writing your text, you can invite other users to view and edit your copy.
With Writeboard, other users can revert back to old versions of your document without fear of deleting or overwriting something. You can also compare between revisions with marked and highlighted changes.
Writeboard is a useful word processing tool for multiple collaborators and writing teams.
Peepel WebWriter and WebSheet make up the Peepel Online Office Suite. Peepel lets you import your documents and spreadsheets into your Peepel account so that you can share files and work on them with your team.
Peepel also offers a RSS feed update for revisions of your shared documents. Peepel’s contact manager will organize your members so that you can easily invite them to do specific tasks.
Distraction-free writing is an old theme for GTD workers and folks wanting to escape the temptation of Facebook and other time wasters. Somehow, the idea of having a blank black screen with green letters much like the old DOS-based office software became the formula for distraction-free writing.
Darkcopy is one such web app. The idea behind Darkcopy is that you need only a black screen and neon green text to write – no twitter notification, finished downloads, or antivirus status messages popping up and bothering you. You can use the full screen mode for the full distraction-free effect, then save the document as text file once you are done writing.
Writer from BigHugeLabs is similar to Darkcopy but with more options such as word count view and PDF downloading. Unlike Darkcopy, you can change the color theme if you do not want the bland green version.
Register for a free account to save your documents online and retrieve them from anywhere. Have a writer’s block? A link at the bottom of the page will lead to the BigHugeThesaurus to help you with word usage. The nifty tool also gives story and blog post suggestions.
Shutterborg is another minimalist word processor with some formatting tools and saving options. Shutterborg lets you open a document from the web where you can revise an exact copy of a webpage. Just call the URL of the file and edit the document in Shutterborg.
Shutterborg shines with its eye-candy interface. For me, Shutterborg looks the cleanest as far as online office apps go (try it in full screen). It is also fast and feels more streamlined compared to Google Docs even if it lacks key functions like online storage.
WriteWith is a simple-to-use web-based word processor with real-time collaboration tools. Like Writeboard, writers can sift through revisions with ease and assign other people to edit/revise documents. Team leaders and other members can set deadline on their tasks for a more streamlined workflow.
I personally like the tagging feature of WriteWith since it organizes my files well.
Other WriteWith features include integrated chat, post-to-blog, and export options to a large number of doc formats.
Google Docs is still the king of online office suites – but these word processing apps have some nice things working for them. Whether you prefer distraction-free writing or heavy collaboration work, there are definitely tools out there that do specific things better than Google or Buzzword.
Which web-based processor suits you the best? Head on down below and give us your suggestions!