The summer interns just finished adding some nice enhancements to Google Docs. But Google didn't leave it at that for this year. They have announced a couple of other new features for their emerging document management and collaboration tools, including the most requested feature: shared folders.
The ability to share folders was the most requested feature for Google Docs. Why? Because teams who work on projects, don't generally work on a single document alone. They may work on a presentation, a spreadsheet and a document, all related.
So it makes a lot of sense to create a folder and share that folder to everyone on the team, effectively sharing all files placed into that folder.
Google Docs -- Shared Folders
When you share a folder, all documents and sub-folders take on the permissions of the folder. So as you add new documents, they are automatically shared based on the folder permissions. Likewise, to give someone new access to the documents, just add them to the list for the folder.
You can tell which folders are shared by the little people icon attached to your folder. And if someone has shared a folder with you, it will appear in your "Folders Shared With Me List".
Google Docs -- Shared Folders vs UnShared Folders
Uploading Multiple Files
To go along with Shared Folders, you also now have the ability to upload multiple files to Google Docs at the same time. Google offers a new upload page that you use to select multiple files.
Google Docs -- Upload Multiple Files
As each file is uploaded, a nice little status bar appears next to it. You can also remove a file that hasn't started uploading yet.
And A couple of Other Things
Shared Folders, Multi-File Upload and a little more. "Items not in Folders" is back by popular demand. It seems this might be used as sort of a workflow tool, so Google has brought it back to please the many. If you don't see it, it's because it resides under More Searches.
Other improvements focus on user experience, colors, spacing, buttons moving around and more.
All in all, some definite improvements to Google Docs. In particular, the consensus seems to be that Shared Folders capability alone might give Microsoft a run for its money.
Oh, and don't worry if you don't see all this right away. In Google style, the changes are being rolled out in increments. And speaking of things being rolled out, here's our first take on Google Wave: Can Google Wave Change the Future of Content Management?