by Liz Herrera Lauer
Have you ever heard the expression “A camel is a horse designed by a committee”? It evokes the challenges of getting every team member on the same page and creating a final product that works for everyone.
At Innovative Publishing, we believe collaboration can be straightforward, organized and fun, and that there is a way to get everyone on the same page, literally. If you’re not yet using the Google Workspace to collaborate on content for your magazine, here are some reasons to make the switch:
1. Break the email chain. We know you get too many emails. Want to get one step closer to that mythical “inbox zero”? Google can help.
When you ask staff members and contributors to submit content or edits, you can direct them to a folder on Google Drive. That way, you’re not wading through attachments and revised attachments from multiple people, worried you’ll miss something six messages into a chain. You also never need to dig through old emails to see if you sent us that one photo you wanted to include with the cover story. You can use Google Drive to organize articles, keep them together with their photos and captions, and be sure you’re using the most up-to-date version of everything. And once you’re ready to submit content, you just need to forward the Share link to us.
2. Every cook fits in the kitchen — but you’re the head chef. Teamwork makes the dream work, but it can be less work if you’re using the right tools. If there are a lot of people on your team who need to review content, it can be hard to organize all that input if you’re just using email. With Google Docs, multiple people can make edits and comments on one document at the same time. You can track changes, or have us track our changes to your content for your review. Then, as the final decision-maker, you can accept or reject our suggested changes.
It’s the same when it’s time to proof the designed publication. Using Google Drive means anyone on your team can highlight and comment on any element of any page. You can tag people directly in a comment, and they can reply. For example, if a higher-resolution image is needed, you can tag the person who took photos at your event so they know that it’s their action item to take care of.
Up to 100 people can collaborate on the same Google Doc. We don’t think you’ll need that many eyes on your project, but it’s nice to know the feature is there.
3. Get clarity quickly. When an Innovative editor proofs your Word documents or sends you the first PDF, we’ll reference pages where we have questions. But with the Google suite, we can direct you to the exact line we need clarification on. No more needing to pinpoint the second line of the third paragraph of the left column. Just go directly to the comment or highlight where you want us to make an edit. You’ll be amazed how much time you save, and we know your publication is just one bullet point on a long to-do list.
Ready to try it out? Chat with your Innovative editor about which collaborative tools are right for your project.
And for what it’s worth, camels are very interesting creatures.
Liz Herrera Lauer is managing editor at Innovative Publishing. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.