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google docs alternatives

7 Best Google Docs Alternative for 2022

7 Best Google Docs Alternative for 2022

Category: Knowledge Base Software

Last updated on Oct 28, 2022

What would we do without the ability to create and share documents? We’d find it hard to get our ideas in order and communicate them to colleagues and partners.

Document sharing and document creation is an important part of the modern work landscape. Google Docs has revolutionized how we approach documents and means we no longer have to save numerous versions of files and attach them to emails. Our approach to the document management process is a lot more organized and much easier.

Not only is it important to be able to swiftly create new files and edit them, employees also need to be able to collaborate effectively on these documents. This allows teams to work at speed and complete projects more quickly.

 

What you can do with Google doc?

You can use Google Docs for real-time document editing. It’s a collaborative platform that allows you to create files, and then share them with collaborators via links, or sending co-authors access to the document.

You can control the level of access that another user has with your document. You can set them either to read, review, edit or comment. It’s up to you how much control you give others over your file, streamlining the sharing and editing process.

Google Docs offers a convenient way to store your documents and manage large amounts of information. Its main benefit is breaking down the barriers of communication between collaborators.

What does Google Docs offer?

No-code Editor

The Google Docs editor doesn’t involve any code as you’re using a WYSIWYG interface. Changes you make to the document are immediately reflected in the editor view.

Bookmarks

You can insert bookmarks in your Google Docs which allow you to copy a link and jump to a certain part of a document. It helps people find content or move around your file.

Offline Editing

It’s possible to edit your documents offline if you enable offline editing, as long as you use the Google Docs Offline Chrome extension. You have to make sure that you have enough space on your device to save your files for editing.

Easy Formatting

Google Docs offers a very intuitive editor that allows you to format documents to your heart’s content. It includes all the standard options such bold, italics, underline, bullet points and numbered lists.

Google Explore

Google Explore is like a mini version of Google embedded right into Google Docs. You can search other Google Drive files, and search the web for pages and images, which helps you include extra resources in your document.

Collaboration

It’s easy enough to collaborate on documents with your colleagues or clients as long as you share the right files or folders. You can offer different levels of access and easily remove collaborators from your files or folders.

Version History

It’s simple to look back at previous versions of your documents in Google Docs. You just open the version history and then you can restore a previous version.

Extensions

Google Docs gives you the opportunity to add extensions onto the platform such as Lucidchart or Automagical forms. You can extend the functionality of Google Docs while taking advantage of its ease of use.

Limitations of Google Docs as Knowledge Base

Security risks

It’s not advisable to use Google Docs for a file with sensitive information because it’s easy for your documents to be compromised by people you’ve shared it with. Google Docs are vulnerable to hackers so it’s best to look for another solution with enhanced security. 

No KB site since you need a hosting provider to link these docs

When you publish your docs there is no way to host them on a publicly available knowledge base. The best you could do is share a public link to a folder containing all the documents that you want your audience to have access to. 

No search engine to search inside all Google Docs

In the Google Docs editor itself there is no search engine to search inside all other Google Docs. You have to go into Google Drive in order to search your files. 

Limitations in applying tags

You can’t tag a document at the same time that you write it and save it. Instead, you have to go through a whole other step of “selecting” that doc, then “applying the tag”.

Multiple tags cannot be selected from a drop-down list like individual tags can be. Instead, you have to type them individually from scratch and separate them using commas.

No analytics available

When using Google Docs as a knowledge base you don’t have access to any analytics that tell you how your audience is using your content. You don’t know which pages are most popular or which search terms users are typing to browse your content. 

Hard to manage security access at a granular level which gets very cumbersome

There’s no central panel where you can manage the security access to your files and folders. You have to change permissions on an individual file and folder level, so it’s hard to get a broad overview of who can see and edit what in Google Docs. 

Does Google Docs Satisfy Your Documentation Needs?

Google Docs is not sufficient for meeting your needs if you want to build a documentation site. While it is suitable for basic document sharing and management, it has limitations when it comes to producing documentation at scale. 

For example, you have limited options when it comes to presenting your documentation. You can’t have a homepage linking to different categories of your knowledge base and there’s no overview of all the users who have access to your content. 

While Google Docs is great for behind-the-scenes collaboration, it doesn’t have options for publication of documentation for end users. 

Top 7 Alternatives to Google Docs

1. Document360

documentation created using Document360.

If you want to upgrade your authoring experience from Google Docs, then Document360 is a fantastic contender. It offers an unparalleled content editing process that assigns your editors different roles depending on what stage they are contributing to in the document creation process. 

The best thing about Document360 is it provides a final documentation site for the publication of content, with a prominent search bar that helps users find content. You can customize the homepage of your knowledge base as much as you like, and call out important articles. 

You can have access to analytics that tell you what your most popular articles are, and find out information on the demographics of your audience. You can also integrate and extend your knowledge base with popular apps that streamline your workflows

Pros

  • Document360 offers a powerful knowledge base that can be public or private depending on your needs
  • You can obtain an overview of access permissions to your knowledge base so you can control who sees what
  • Your knowledge base can be styled with custom colors and shared under a custom domain

Cons

  • If you want to manage more than one knowledge base then you’ll have to upgrade your plan
User’s opinion about Document360:

“Really a 360-degree platform for Product Documentation”

Document360 is a game changer in the product documentation space. A very simple yet powerful tool to serve best. Below are the points I like most:

  • Setting up a custom domain for your documentation portal.
  • Smart Glossary
  • Editor is the best in class, giving you a lot of flexibility
  • Ability to create and use reusable content has made life easier
  • Ability to make your document publicly available with SEO enabled as well as locking them from private use with a single click.
  • Smart bars made it easy for us to add any announcements.

Source: G2Crowd

 

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2. Microsoft 365

Microsoft365 docs

Microsoft 365 is the main rival to Google Docs when it comes to document creation. Microsoft Word allows users to author their own documents in its cloud editor accessible through the desktop browser. Most users are familiar with the Word interface and its ribbon menu, and you can also share documents easily with other collaborators. Co-authoring can take place in real-time and you can also take advantage of the Office mobile app. 

Pros

  • Microsoft 365 offers a great way to share content along with collaboration features for your users

Cons

  • This software doesn’t offer any capabilities for publishing a read-only knowledge base with SEO properties
User’s opinion about Microsoft 365:

“One stop solution for all your document editing.”

I love how simple yet effective Microsoft Word is in its operation. It has features that can make your work life much more accessible, from an automatic spell checker that can help users to avoid mistakes in their documents and grammar correction to built-in templates and easy-to-use formatting options. As a Research Analyst, I find it an absolute necessity in report creations and always find its compatibility with other Microsoft products a gem and a lifesaver.

Source: G2Crowd

 

3. Zoho Workdrive

Zoho Docs

Zoho WorkDrive is online file management for teams that work together collaboratively. You can use WorkDrive as a way to give teams a secure, shared workspace, so their ideas have a home from conception to realization. You can create, collaborate, and make teamwork happen on documents that are able to be edited in real-time. You have access to Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheet and Zoho Show to author all sorts of documents.

Pros

Zoho Workdrive works best as a document storage system which allows you to share ideas among members of your team

Cons

There are no capabilities for providing a public-facing knowledge base indexed by search engines Sometimes the real-time editing feature has a lag and it takes a little time to see changes that have been made

User’s opinion about Zoho Workdrive:

“Document storage system”

It provides full control over document sharing, you can track the user activity, and also you can share with non-doc use. SSO facility provides one way security to shared documents. It allows maximum 25gb doc size upload which helps to share large files. To manage the large team with different departments, the doc provides grouping features that helps to share doc amongst teams.

Source: G2Crowd

 

4. Evernote

Evernote Docs

Evernote is a tool for note-sharing that enables users to control their work, organize their lives, and remember everything. You can tackle any project with notes, tasks, and schedules all in one place that can easily be shared with other collaborators. Evernote allows you to get what you need, when you need it, with powerful, flexible search capabilities. You can make your schedule work for you by integrating with Google Calendar. Your meetings and notes have context so nothing gets lost in the shuffle.

Pros

Evernote is fantastic for creating a personal knowledge base that contains all your ideas, thoughts and admin

Cons

It’s very difficult to share notes with a non-Evernote user which means you’re restricted to sharing content within the platform

User’s opinion about Evernote:

“Great space to have lots of ideas and a spot to see them all.”

I like that I can have a ton of ideas going on and have different spaces for each. I use this for ideas to write and grow my business. I use notetaking, story style, and drawing options.

Source: G2Crowd

 

5. Quip

Quip Docs

Quip is real-time collaborative documents, spreadsheets, and chat embedded inside Salesforce to transform any business process. Quip helps sales teams improve their business and reimagine sales processes with embedded documents, live Salesforce data, and built-in collaboration. Documents unite your team’s work and communication, so you can get everything done in one place. Ensure you are always working off of the most recent data by linking your sales plans to live CRM data with a two-way sync.

Pros

Quip makes a very good internal knowledge base for sales teams that works inside Salesforce

Cons

Not suitable for non-sales teams who want to provide a general-purpose knowledge base for their users

User’s opinion about Quip:

“The optimal method for sharing ideas with coworkers”

Quip enables our group to create papers and spreadsheets and make adjustments or revisions collectively as we collaborate on a project. It’s excellent to be capable of crossing items off of the checklist as we do them so that the Team can monitor our progress. Our Team particularly appreciates utilising Android or iOS and getting instant notifications of new messages.

Source: G2crowd

 

6. Coda

Coda docs

Coda brings all your words, data, and teamwork into one powerful doc that’s built for internal documentation. It comes with a set of powerful building blocks, so you can create the tools your team needs to work collaboratively. It feels familiar like a doc and engaging like an app, so your team can jump in quickly, collaborate effectively, and make decisions that stick.

Pros

Coda works well for an internal knowledge that lets you share ideas and knowledge with other members of your team

Cons

You need to learn Coda’s formula syntax in order to get started with this solution as a knowledge base

User’s opinion about Coda

“Coda is a great tool for documentation and processes automation”

First of all, if you look at coda as a place for internal documentation for your company – it looks nice. Typography works, pages look great and it improves adoption for sure – people of your organization would not be afraid to use it. The second thing is the flexibility that the coda gives to you. We moved a couple of internal processes and organize them through coda and rely on them from now on.

Source: G2Crowd

 

7. OnlyOffice Docs

Only Office Docs

OnlyOffice Docs is an alternative to Google Docs which allows you to create, edit, and collaborate on documents anywhere, at any time. It’s easy to author documents, professional spreadsheets, eye-catching presentations, and ready-to-fill-out forms, PDFs and engaging ebooks using this software. You can export to all the popular formats and it offers all the same collaboration permissions as Google Docs.

Pros

You can use OnlyOffice Docs to create all sorts of documents that can combine to form an accessible knowledge base for any user

Cons

This solution lacks custom formatting that would allow you to successfully design a professional-looking knowledge base for your users

User’s opinion about OnlyOffice Doc:

Collaboration and editing of documents at the desired time.

  • I like having the ability to edit our documents directly, all online.
  • Cloud access to store our files without problem.
  • Ideal for our businesses, it is effective.
  • Allows you to edit a wide variety of formats.

Source: G2Crowd

 

Wrapping up

Google Docs is great for document collaboration and authoring, enabling teams to bring their ideas to life and get projects off the ground. What Google Docs is not suitable for is creating robust documentation for end users – for that, you need a powerful platform such as Document360.

Effective teams will soon find they need to graduate from a tool like Google Docs and adopt a much more suitable knowledge base. Document360 is great for internal knowledge sharing, and public-facing documentation sites for customers and end users.

The advantage of Google Docs is that most people know how to use it, but Document360 is very intuitive to learn and will have you up and running in minutes. Don’t miss out on the advanced features like integrations and extensions, markdown editor and multilingual capabilities.

 

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