Let’s make Google Docs suck less


If you prefer to work in a “paperless” office the way we do at GigaOM, you’re probably a Google Docs user. Same goes if you’re a remote worker and you need to collaborate with colleagues or customers via the web. And if you’ve used Google’s cloud-based take of Microsoft Office, like many of us, you probably love and curse it at the same time.

You’ve probably had the service randomly go offline at a really inconvenient time, seen general sluggishness or noticed the clunky and not-very-pretty interface. A quick unscientific internal poll brought these issues to our attention:

  • Mishandles formatting when importing documents or data
  • Complex spreadsheets load very slowly
  • Google’s navigation bar, title and menu bar in Spreadsheets overwhelm the viewing pane, taking up a third of the page in some browsers
  • No offline editing
  • Doesn’t handle Powerpoint imports well
  • Underpowered features in Spreadsheets: formulas, functions woefully limited compared to Excel
  • Unreliable sharing feature

Google is a search and advertising company at heart. So it’s not a huge surprise that the company doesn’t intuitively know how to build productivity software and online collaboration tools. But the convenience and integration into other widely used Google products is unavoidable — so it’s not a service that’s going away any time soon.

This is why we want to see it improve. At GigaOM, we see issues like these as opportunities for innovation, so we invite you, readers, to weigh in: If you use the service, what problems have you encountered? And most importantly, how would you improve Google’s extremely-handy-but-could-be-so-much-better productivity tools?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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