Tools for complex collaborations

collaboration on computersWhen we collaborate on a writing or editing project with one or two people, we can get away with sharing documents as email attachments. In more complex projects, we might have multiple partners, and each partner could have a significant amount of research and/or writing to contribute. Collaborative partners might have their own teams or student assistants who contribute to the effort. Sharing attachments is no longer the best strategy for exchanging work in progress, so what should we do?

This dilemma is the focus of my questions to Cole Keirsey, who joined me for a presentation, “Managing to Collaborate: Matching Document Management Tools to Your Writing Project,” at the recent TAA conference. As a technical writer for a global company, he used strategies that academic writers can adopt. He answered my questions about document sharing and version control here, and in next month’s post we will look at two other topics from that presentation: distribution and reuse, and deep linking. [Read more…]

Can I help you in any way? Software tools for writers

Can I help you in any way? Software tools for writers“Hello, thank you for visiting. Can I help you in any way?” If you’ve browsed our TAA website, you’ve likely seen those words in the chat box that appears on the screen. We’re often asked by visitors if we’re “real”. Then those who realize that we are, and that we are there to help, ask questions that you may have as well.

In this series of “Can I help you in any way?” posts, we’re highlighting some of the questions people have asked through the TAA Live Chat feature of our site and the responses we have for those questions. In this post, we’re focused on questions about software tools for writers. [Read more…]

6 Useful software tools for textbook authors

Software ToolsIn a recent discussion about software tools for textbook authors in the Academic Writing & Publishing discussion circle in TAA’s online member community, anatomy and physiology textbook author Kevin Patton shared six software tools that he uses when writing his textbooks in addition to MS Office, a few tools from Adobe Suite, and FileZilla for FTP transfers:

1. Goodsync file synchronization and backup software. I have a network drive in my home office that keeps a backup of my writing files that reside on my “working” disk drive. That backup happens in the background periodically throughout the day using Goodsync software. I also set up a nightly backup to a cloud drive (iDrive, but there are many others). ALWAYS back up your files frequently. I say this from tragic experience. [Read more…]