All the best writers in the world at the moment writing for editorials nowadays use collaborative writing software. This helps them to get their work edited on the fly and also getting their ideas expressed in words much more impactful than theirs.
The constant refinement of their work through various levels of editing processes makes the creative process error-free and more comprehensive. It also adds charm and entertainment value to it. Keeping this factor in mind, many companies have come up with innovative online platforms like Editorially, for collaborative writing.
It helps writers tag friends to their documents which helps their friends to provide feedback on the document. However, ‘Editorially’ had one gaping flaw – it didn’t allow two collaborative writers to edit the same document at the same time online, which actually defeated the concept of collaborative writing, especially while dealing with tech articles, where multiple chapters will be dedicated to numbers and formulae.
Once the writers got over Editorially, it has brought in a demand for new collaborative writing software. Experts on this subject have identified some important concerns that need to be addressed in any good collaborative writing software, some of these are −
- Free of Distraction
- Interactive support
- Annotation and discussion
- Document handling
- Import and export
Let us now discuss each of these concerns strategies in detail.
Free of Distraction
Writing is difficult when writers lose their chain of thought. As it is, writers are infamous for sliding into prolonged bouts of inactivity. So when a writer is hot on an idea, he shouldn’t be disturbed by annoying pop-ups, notifications, annotations, etc. Golden rule is to help him when he looks for it.
The software should make a writer’s interaction with the user interface as minimal as possible. This means there should be plenty of keyboard shortcuts and two-key combination commands.
For example, words sandwiched with hyphens (-this-) could make the text appear in italicized bold like this. The fonts should be easier to read too.
Annotation and Discussion
A true collaborative writing tool should not only assist during the writing process, but also help in sharing and editing content, while enabling discussion and review of the text. Collaborative teams must have provisions of highlighting or replacing text and track these changes. When working with multiple contributors, everyone’s remarks should be easy to spot.
A document can go through several revisions, so every change should be retraceable to the original draft. Reinstating of older text, formatting or changes is very important when a document is being written in a collaborative manner.
Import and Export
Finally, the software should be versatile and compatible enough to allow the writers to import any additional extension they want to incorporate into it. It should also allow usage of filesharing software like Dropbox, etc.
Learning the skills of writing a project in a collaborative manner in a team is considered as an invaluable asset in today’s world. Many employers have already started giving prior importance to those employees who can handle collaborative writing assignments.
The future of organizations is in producing documents with shared authorship. They need to trust one another with sensitive, proprietary materials, so that they can work together in the future. The unique nature of collaborative writing will ensure that they develop greater cultural sensitivity and multiple viewpoints of drafting a document.
Everything said and done, it is in the best interest of everyone that everyone participates successfully into a collaborative team effort, as that is where the future of business writing is headed.