Tuesday, September 28, 2010

3 Registration-free Tools for Collaborative Writing

Google Docs, Zoho Writer, and other online word processing services are great tools for collaboratively writing with others. But to use those programs everyone you want to collaborate with needs to have an account and you need to have their email addresses or account names. To eliminate those steps and get collaborating faster, try one of these three registration-free tools for collaborative writing.

Using Primary Pad anyone can create a new document in one click. Your document can be shared with the world via email or by posting your document's unique url online. Each person that collaborates on your document can have their own text highlighting color. These colors help you keep track of changes to your document. Primary Pad also offers some additional services for educators, but those services do require a licensing agreement after a three month free trial.

Entri is a free document collaboration tool that doesn't require registration to use. Entri's goal is to make document collaboration as quick and easy as possible. To start a document on Entri, just click the big "create your entri" button. Entri assigns your document a unique url that you can share via email or with Twitter. Once your document is developed to a point at which you no longer want it edited by other, click the "lock" button to prevent any further changes by others.

Using TitanPad anyone can instantly create a collaborative document. You do not have to create an account to use TitanPad, in fact creating an account isn't even an option. To get started just click "create public pad," enter your name, and start typing. To invite people to collaborate, just share the url assigned to your TitanPad. Every collaborator on TitanPad is given a unique color to highlight the text they've added.

Applications for Education
Students working in groups could use these tools to create outlines of lectures or share the burden of taking notes. These tools could be used by students to collaboratively write a short story. One student could start the document then each subsequent student could add a line or paragraph to the story.