Check out the updated commenting feature in Google Docs

Many of us are familiar with Google Docs as a tool for quick and easy document creation. What a lot of people don’t know is how great of a collaboration tool it can be, especially due to its recent updates.

Google Docs’ commenting feature just received a big overhaul and the results seem promising. Some of the most significant changes include:

  • Timestamps and profile pictures on comments
  • The ability to edit and resolve comments
  • Implementation of email notifications via @mentions

The addition of email notifications is the thing that businesses will likely benefit from the most. These notifications allow users to bring new people into the discussion whenever they’re needed.

Since the notification will contain the text of the comment, the team member does not need to have immediate access to Google Docs. He or she can simply reply to the email notification, and it will show up in the conversation.

In addition to the email notifications, the ability to edit and resolve comments will likely be very useful. Before, Google only allowed you to remove comments once an issue had been resolved. Now, you can “resolve” the comment and it will still be available for review. Now, you can check back and make sure that everything has been completed properly.

If distributed teams are working on a project, it can sometimes be difficult to make sure everyone is on the same page. Collaboration tools like Google Docs make it much simpler. The email alerts will let your team members know as soon as you need their help on a project and keep everyone in sync.

Passing a document back and forth via email can be quite messy. If multiple people are editing at once, monitoring all of those edits and ensuring that they show up on the final version gets difficult. With these tools, since everybody’s version of the document is identical there is far less confusion around changes. For distributed teams, and remote workers, tools like this are quite valuable.

For more insight into the recent changes to Google Docs check out this article.