Google Docs and alternatives for communication
Our church needs to share documents from a service planning template that lists the order of the service, to online calendars.
We have tried Google Docs but it is frustrating. I have uploaded documents there and shared them with the Pastor. I send him the link. He goes to the link and can't edit the file even though the share option specifically says he can. I go to look at the document from the link I sent him and I can't edit it either. I have to download the document, edit it and then upload it again.
Maybe I'm doing something wrong but we'd like a free online collaboration tool for document sharing. Such a thing will cut down on meetings.
What are others using?
I use Dropbox for sharing documents.
Another alternative is a Windows Live account, which is essentially a Microsoft Hotmail account that also has document sharing capabilities.
Both are free options.
We use Dropbox, as well. Assuming that everybody has the desktop app installed, the files that you're sharing will actually show up in a folder on their computer, where they can open and edit them. Very simple and has worked well for our church.
For those of you who use Dropbox: Can it be used as a Planning Center online replacement? We need something, but I hate to pay a subscription for something I may be able to get for free! Can mp3s be uploaded to it?
I actually use my personal web site. Web space can cost $10/month or less. I'm not sure the price of Planning Center...
I have a script that writes the code from a list of songs I've saved in Notepad.
The code it writes creates links to chord charts, lyrics/slides and MP3s for the team.
Thanks for the response, Greg, but that sounds a little too "techy" for me! The cheap version of planning center is about $15/mo. Not horrible, but I'd like to avoid it if I can.
You can absolutely do this the way you are describing... it's pretty much exactly what I do. I use the free version of Planning Center for service orders only, and then keep all of the files that we need in Dropbox. You can upload pretty much anything to your Dropbox folder, and if your team members install the desktop app (highly recommended), it will actually put those files directly into a folder on their computer. Pretty slick.
Originally Posted by debragohn
Two caveats with this: first, if anybody removes a file from Dropbox, it will take it out of the shared folder for everyone. It will take some training with your team to get them to either use the files directly out of Dropbox or copy them to their own computers. Second, it makes things a little more complex with copyright (especially since you mentioned MP3s). When you upload to Planning Center, it keeps track of how many times a song is streamed for purposes of a CCLI Rehearsal license or similar product. With Dropbox, you have no way of knowing how many times a song has been downloaded or by who. Our solution to this was to just buy AmazonMP3 gift cards for our musicians to cover the cost of new songs. For us, it's far cheaper than the rehearsal license would be anyways.
Hope that helps!
Thanks, Eric, that is very helpful!
Question: Dropbox requires an account. Is your group simply sharing one or are you simply using the public folder?
Originally Posted by tlhartsfield
Some use the public folder on the website. But once people see how they can use Dropbox for their own purposes - like the mobile version for quickly sharing photos with people - they go ahead and create their own account.
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