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10 Ways to Use Google Docs for Collaborative Writing

Last Updated : 09 Apr, 2024
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Google Docs is not just for typing essays. It has cool features that make it great for learning. It saves your work automatically, and you can access it from any device with the internet.

But Google Docs can do even more! It has tools to make learning fun and interactive. It can be used with Google Classroom or your class website. This article will show you 10 ways to use Google Docs for collaborating on writing projects.

With Google Docs, you can collaborate, get feedback, make quizzes, create portfolios, and explore new ways of learning beyond just typing. It can make learning more engaging and collaborative.

10 Ways to Use Google Docs for Collaborative Writing

Google Docs is the most popular tool used for writing. It is completely free of cost, you can check version histories to keep track of your work, share it with up to 100 people at a time with different levels of access (viewing, commenting, and editing), and update the work in real-time. Here are 10 ways you can use Google Docs for Collaborative Writing. 

1. Collaborative Storytelling and Research

Share a single Google Doc with a group of students for them to collectively write a story, conduct online research, prepare a speech, or compile scientific experiment results. This encourages teamwork and allows every student to contribute, regardless of their location. This is one of the most popular ways to use Google Docs for collaborative writing.


Simply click on the ‘Share’ button at the top right corner beside your profile picture to get started.

2. Text Annotation

Use Google Docs to allow colleagues to annotate texts. They can highlight significant details, topic sentences, or “aha moments” and provide explanations for their choices. This feature is particularly useful for deepening understanding and encouraging critical thinking. This is one of the most popular ways to use Google Docs for collaborative writing.

Text Annotation

All you need to do is select with your cursor the part in which you would like to make suggestions, and the comment box automatically appears.

3. Note-Taking

You can encourage colleagues to use Google Docs for taking and organizing their notes. With templates available for various types of notes, like Cornell notes or mind maps, students can keep their study materials organized and accessible anytime, anywhere, and colleagues at work can track the work in a team.

Note Taking

To get started, you can click on the ‘Meeting notes’ option which is visible as soon as you open a document on Google Docs. This gives a readymade template for a calendar event scheduled on Google Meet. This is one of the most popular ways to use Google Docs for collaborative writing.

4. Writing Revision

Google Docs simplifies the revision process with its commenting and “Suggesting” features. This not only helps colleagues or students see their progress over time but also facilitates constructive feedback from their supervisors.

Writing Revision

You can follow a similar procedure as annotating. You can also add emoji reactions for a fun interaction.

5. Linking Google Docs with Google Meet

If you are using a Google business account instead of a personal account, you can link your Document with a Google Meet, taking notes collaboratively from whatever is being discussed in the meeting. 

This document can also be shared with those who are not present in the meeting but would like to know what was discussed. This increases transparency and increases bonding among colleagues. 

As you can see in the screenshot below, there is a Meet icon in the top right corner. You can click on that to connect the open document with a Google Meet using the corresponding meet code.

6. Data Organization with Tables

Insert tables in Google Docs for a range of subjects, especially useful in math and science. Colleagues can fill in data, complete assignments, or use tables as graphic organizers to enhance their understanding of the material. They can even assign specific rows and columns to themselves using the comment feature.

Data Organization with Tables

Simply go to the Insert dropdown menu in the navigation bar, where you will see the Table option, and insert as many rows and columns as required. This is one of the most popular ways to use Google Docs for collaborative writing.

7. Text Highlighting

Assign texts for colleagues to highlight in Google Docs, using different colors to identify and categorize information. This can range from highlighting grammatical elements to identifying themes or character motivations in a text. When you highlight while commenting, you can change the color and color code to assign a particular color to certain people.

Text Highlighting

You can highlight using your favorite color by clicking on the Highlight icon in the Text formatting options. Enter the ‘Suggesting’ mode to make the changes which look like the screenshot below. This is one of the most popular ways to use Google Docs for collaborative writing.

8. Voice Typing

Cater to diverse learner needs with Google Docs’ voice typing feature. This can be especially beneficial for students with specific educational plans or those who prefer vocalizing their thoughts before writing.

This feature is only available on smartphones right now. (Android, iOS) You can use the mic icon which appears on the keyboard of your smartphone to enable voice typing. 

9. Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Utilize the dropdown feature in Google Docs to check in on everyone’s progress. This promotes self-awareness and will motivate others to catch up to those who are working more efficiently. This is one of the most popular ways to use Google Docs for collaborative writing.

Social and Emotional Learning

You can get started by typing ‘@’ where you will get the Dropdown option, you can easily customize your options by using the New dropdown feature.

10. Checking Version History

Google Docs facilitates timely and constructive feedback using version history. You can see your colleagues’ thought process as they work through the Document, thus giving insight and providing suggestions to improve their efficiency.

This would also maintain any transparency that may be required as it shows which person was responsible for which change. 

Simply click on the File option in the navigation bar and scroll down to find the Version History option there. It should look like the screenshot below.

Version History


Google Docs is an amazing tool that can make learning and working together so much fun and easier. By using features like commenting, voice typing, tables, and version history, you and your classmates or colleagues can collaborate on projects, give each other feedback, and learn in new interactive ways.

The best part is that you can access your work from anywhere and your changes are automatically saved. So next time you have a group project or want to try something new, consider using Google Docs for collaborative writing. You’ll be surprised at how much more engaging and productive your learning and work can become.

FAQs – 10 Ways to Use Google Docs for Collaborative Writing

How can one use Google Docs for collaborative writing?

There are many many ways you can use Google Docs for collaborative writing. To get started, all you have to do is click on the Share button at the top right corner and add the group members, or simply share the link.

Why is Google Docs used for collaborations?

Google Docs is a great tool for collaboration because it saves changes at regular intervals and provides updates made by everyone in the document in real time, so there is so constant back-and-forth and confusion between your colleagues.

What are the four benefits of using Google Docs?

Google Docs are free to use, provide real-time collaboration options, allow you to check version histories to keep track, and save your work automatically so you don’t lose anything.

How many people can collaborate on Google Docs?

According to Google, Google Docs can handle up to 100 people for collaborative writing, but there is visible lagging as the number of people working on one document starts to go up.

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