It’s all about cloud-computing these days and two applications that make it seamless are Evernote and Google Docs. Dropbox is another, but it functions more as a synching tool than a document generation application.

Why use both? They each have unique strengths and you’re not losing out since they’re both free. And there’s an ease of mind that comes with not stroring all of your information in just one application.

Creating

Before sharing and collaborating, we have to create. Both Evernote and Google Docs are great for creating content. Google Docs is more robust as it offers Spreadsheets and Presentations, their version of PowerPoint. But most of the documents we create are text or text and images. Over the past two years, I’ve used Google Docs significantly less for basic document creation, though it’s still my go-to app for spreadsheets or any type of tables generation.

Evernote sits on my desktop, a major advantage over Google Docs. I have Evenote open all day on my laptop and clip images or write notes, even record audio. It saves as I type and syncs via the web-based application and on my mobile. Doesn’t get much better than that.

The relatively new Google Drive may enable similar functionality but because of Evernote’s seamless experience, I haven’t found the need to go there just yet.

Sharing

Both applications are great for sharing, but if all you need to do is email a document to colleagues then Evernote is the way to go. From Evenote you simply click on the email icon and enter an email address.

Google Docs defaults to emailing documents as attachments, but it now also provides the option to paste the item itself into the email.

Since it’s so easy to create and store documents in Evenote, it gets the nod here.

Collaborating

Evernote doesn’t claim to be a collaboration tool, and it’s not. Email a document back and forth with corrections is not a productive workflow.

Google Docs shines here. Create a document or spreadsheet, invite a participant via email and that’s it. The email doesn’t have to be a gmail extension, but the collaborator must have a gmail account in order to open and collaborate on the document.

During a recent Skype screen share collaboration on an Evernote document, we decided to transfer the information to Google Docs and work from there instead. It took all of three minutes to copy and paste the document, invite collaborators and start the editing process.

Both Evernote and Google Docs offer subscription based upgrades for additional storage. You can’t go wrong with either of these document creation, sharing and collaboration applications, but using both will maximize your productivity.

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