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(Archived) QUESTION about Word documents in a shared group notebook

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Hi all,

I think this is simple question with a quick answer. I've run a few searches, but I must be using the wrong search terms.

I'm working with a non-profit on a project where we're all in different locations. We already have a large amount of our work in Word documents. Before I purchase our premium group account I'm trying to confirm that we'll be able to store all of our Word documents in a Group notebook, access these documents from PC/Mac clients and have the local changes reflected in the cloud version of the document.

If someone could confirm this or point me to documentation that confirms this ability that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Tim

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Hi Tim, welcome to the forums.. it's not quite as easy as you imagine. Your Word files will attach to a note, and can be synced up to the Cloud. Someone else can open that document after it has synced and make more changes, save it back to the note and after their client has synced the updated version will again be available. The connection is possible, provided you open the document from the note each time, and save it back to the same filename.. but you're likely to see some "conflicting changes" reports if someone saves their changes while someone else is still amending the wording.

Evernote is bringing out a collaboration version, but you need to be careful using the current edition to avoid problems.

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Thanks for the quick reply Gazumped, very helpful. Are you, or anyone else, aware of tool/program that is both affordable for non-profits and built around enabling this kind of collaboration?

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For what you're talking about, a dropbox account sounds best - all the players could have a dropbox folder on their local desktop which would hold your shared files. If you need to add notes Evernote can hold a link to the file with related messages.

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Take a look at Confluence from Atlassian.

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I'm working with a non-profit on a project where we're all in different locations. We already have a large amount of our work in Word documents.

If you want to continue using MS Word docs as your primary work products, then Evernote is probably not your best choice.

Cloud-based file management systems like DropBox, Google GDrive, etc will probably work much better for you.

Most of these include version management so you can review or restore back to previous versions of the document.

Also you have much better control of permissions on a per file or per folder basis, allowing some users to edit, but others to only view the documents.

Since you are using Word, you might also consider these procedures:

  1. Turn on Word Change Tracking, and keep it on.
  2. Create/maintain a Change Log table at the beginning or end of each document

I have used this approach in many projects and it works quite well.

Good luck.

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Metrodon, I'm looking over Confluence now. Looks like it's aimed at IT folks, but might have the capability we need.

JMichael, we are using track changes and change logs already, but when we have a conference call to review someone's changes/work it still very awkward to work on separate versions and then to re-combine them.

I wish we didn't have to use Word Docs for this, but we were given 1,000 pages of material already organized/formatted for Word so we're trying to make the best of it. Thanks everyone for the feedback and suggestions.

Tim

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JMichael, we are using track changes and change logs already, but when we have a conference call to review someone's changes/work it still very awkward to work on separate versions and then to re-combine them.

Have you looked at using Google Docs, which is now merged with Google Drive?

I have not personally used GDocs, but as I understand it they will support multiple people making changes at the same time.

You can easily convert MS Word doc to GDocs, so this might be an option for you.

I would definitely conduct a limited test before adopting this approach.

In any case, I believe that DropBox or Google Drive will work better for you than Evernote.

Evernote is not really designed for serious collaboration, and I think you would likely end up with multiple conflicts without knowing who made what changes. Plus, every time you update a EN attachment, EN syncs/uploads the entire attachment. If you have many large docs, you could quickly consume your monthly EN bandwidth.

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