Today, I’m off for a quick chat with my bank’s mortgage consultant. This isn’t the sort of appointment I’m likely to forget, but having signed in to Gmail and Google Calendar at the start of the day, Calendar gives me a handy reminder 20 minutes before. While I’m away from my desk, I’m checking my inbox using the browser built into my run-of-the-mill Sony Ericsson mobile phone. It’s a bit slow, and I wouldn’t want to have to compose any long replies, but it means I can relax for half-an-hour in the local coffee house without worrying about work. Meanwhile, my emails are still going to Gmail’s safe, central store.
Back to work, and it’s time to get some actual writing done. Google Docs & Spreadsheets does offer basic styling and formatting, but I’m still finding the GUI and the lack of font choice are getting me down. Again, this isn’t a disaster – as long as my clients can edit my text, it doesn’t really matter how it looks. However, were I preparing business reports or creating documents that were going to be passed around, I wouldn’t be happy. I can see the benefits of Google Docs & Spreadsheets as a tool for quick, collaborative drafts, but as a serious competitor to Word? Who are the Google-nuts trying to kid? And where has the keyboard shortcut to make an em dash ( – ) gone?
One final hurdle. I’m writing a game review, and need to include screenshots. I download these from a PR press source, but I still need to resize and resave them before I send them on to my editor. Luckily, Picnik – the plucky online photo-editor – saves the day. Uploading, resizing and resaving is much, much slower than the batch-convert process I use in Paint Shop Pro, but it works and I’m reasonably impressed. I see myself coming back to Picnik later in the week.