Instant, Collaborative Document Creation

Imagine, for example, that you're talking to a friend or colleague on the phone, and you decide that the answer to the problem you've been discussing is for the two to you to sit down and draft a letter or document.   The wonders of modern technology means, of course, that there's no need to wait until you can get together in the same room, in front of the same computer screen.

All you need is for each of you to head to the nearest computer and log into  Think of a title for your document, type it in, and both surf to the same web address.  Within seconds, you're both working on the same document in real time.  As you type, your words and edits are instantly reflected on the other person's screen.  Separate colours are automatically added to make it clear who typed what.  And if there's more than 2 of you, additional people can even join in too.

Qikpad is one of many such collaborative editing services, but it's also the simplest I've seen.  It's free, quick, and there's no need to sign up or log in.  Which makes it slightly unsuitable for discussing your next corporate takeover, but for low-risk documents it's very clever indeed.  

So next time you're planning a letter, document, table plan, party arrangements, or anything else that needs input from multiple people, give a try.




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by QikPad (not verified) on 3. May 2012 - 20:20  (92982)

Big thanks for the review Rob! :)

To respond to above comments: Google Docs is awesome, but you have to log in / have an account to use it.

With QikPad/Etherpad you can - for example - say to a whole class go to and within literally seconds have the entire class collaborate on a single project. No accounts, no sign in, just instant collaboration.

by chrisvw on 4. May 2012 - 20:52  (93041)

In my experience, only one user need to have a Gmail account (e.g. the teacher). It is possible to share a document as Public. Anyone with the URL to that file can access it, with no further logins required.

by QikPad (not verified) on 5. May 2012 - 12:26  (93075)

You still have to:

Have a Google account
The file owner has to edit a document to make it public, and to set permissions for public to be able to edit, which is not default
Send out a long/complicated URL

QikPad/Etherpad can create a publicly accessible and editable document, with a simple URL in just one click - no signup required. It also has features/benefits that Google Docs does not and is a lot simpler to use in my opinion.

by James O'Brien (not verified) on 3. May 2012 - 19:59  (92981)

Nope, sorry. Google Docs is SO much better than this.

by h5un (not verified) on 3. May 2012 - 1:30  (92936)

It will be very useful for students to use because the students can do the assignment from the teacher, collaborative assignment instantly.

by Gil Ramirez (not verified) on 2. May 2012 - 10:37  (92891)

Google docs offers the same functionality and is quite safe. Moreover, you are not limited to docs. YOu can simultaneously edit spreadsheets, presentations like power point, illustrations (drawings). All users must sign up and share the same document before all can simultaneously edit.

Kudos to Google!

by chrisvw on 30. April 2012 - 20:58  (92830)

Very nice. If only it was HTTPS encrypted, it would have been useful.

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