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  • Sep 8, 2022
  • 14 Min

5 Google Docs Alternatives for Creating Better Documents


When you need to create documents quickly, Google Docs is often the tool of choice. When you want to share a document fast, there are few tools that come close to Google Docs.

However, when you need to collaborate on documents, Google Docs isn’t always the right tool. There are alternative options that do a better job. Today, there are many alternative tools available for creating documents online.

Collaboration is key to any successful project. Whether you’re working on a team project or just creating simple text documents, real-time collaboration makes things go faster and smoother.

Google Docs is a powerful tool for creating documents or capturing notes. There are also times when you may need to work on a file outside of Google Docs.

That’s when Google Docs may not be the best option. If you want to create content or high-quality documents without spending hours editing them, then you need to check out these Google Docs alternatives. They will save you a lot of time while producing professional-looking documents.

What is Google Docs?
What Features Does Google Docs Have?
What are the Main Drawbacks of Google Docs?
Reasons Why You Need Google Docs Alternatives
How to Choose the Right Google Docs Competitors
Top 5 Google Docs Alternatives
1. Nimbus Platform
2. ClickUp
3. Dropbox Paper
4. Evernote
5. Quip

What is Google Docs?

Google Docs is a free online word processing app that allows users to create and edit documents in real time. It was first launched back in 2004 and since then, the service has since evolved into a full-fledged office suite with key features like spreadsheets, presentations, forms, editing tools, and more.

Google Docs is an online office suite for creating documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, and quizzes. It allows users to create, view, edit, share, print, and sync files across multiple devices.

It also includes features such as drawing tools, text formatting features, tables, charts, and more. Teams can collaborate on projects together via real-time editing and commenting.

Google Docs is integrated with Gmail, so you can access your files from anywhere using your web browser.

What is Google Docs Good for?

Google Docs is a writer online application that allows a user to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, and forms. It also provides basic editing features such as cut, copy, paste, undo, redo, and formatting tools.

Here are a few benefits of using Google Docs.

1. Easy to use

There are plenty of tutorials online on how to do things quickly and efficiently, which means there isn’t a high learning curve. Since it’s a basic word processor, it’s perfect for students, business owners, freelancers, and anyone else who wants to share information easily.

2. Print, download, and make copies of your documents

If you need to print copies of your documents, you can with Google Docs. You can also download your files, so they can be opened in other programs. You can download documents in the following formats:

  • Microsoft Word (.docx)
  • OpenDocument Format (.odt)
  • Rich Text Format (.rtf)
  • Adobe PDF (.pdf)
  • Text file (.txt)
  • Web page (.html, zipped)

If you create similar documents regularly, it’s useful to convert them into templates. This is where copying files is useful. You can have a master copy and reuse it every time you want to create a new document without having to format it again.

3. Collaborative

Google Docs offers collaborative document editing capabilities. This means you can invite others to contribute to your documents. For example, when creating a document, you can invite other people to view and edit it simultaneously. You’ll be able to see what they’re doing in real time and make changes together. This means that everyone involved can make changes without having to wait for someone else to finish.

4. Online office suite

Google Docs is part of Google’s office online suite of products, which is similar to Microsoft Office online with their Office 365 apps. This gives you access to a variety of apps, including email, calendar, chat tools, spreadsheets, presentations, and more.

5. Offline capabilities

There may be times when you don’t have internet access and want to work offline. For such times, you can work in offline mode and save your files locally. When you’re online next, you can synchronize your files with Google Drive.

6. Access your files anywhere

Google Docs is mobile friendly and compatible with any device. Whether you are writing on your computer, tablet, or phone, you can access your files anywhere. Also, since it is cloud-based, you won’t lose your work if you delete a file accidentally. All of your important information is stored safely in Google Drive, which means that you can access it whenever you need it, which makes document management easier.

7. Flexible

Google Docs is flexible enough to meet almost every need. You can create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. You can also add photos, videos, links, and audio clips. Being so flexible and versatile, Google Docs can help you create everything from a simple doc to complex reports. This can make your decision easier when choosing an online word processor.

What Features Does Google Docs Have?

Google Docs offers many important and unique features. 

1. Voice typing

This feature lets you use your voice instead of a keyboard as the input method to add text to a document. This enables you to speak what you want to type, which is much faster. You can also use voice typing to edit and format your document. This feature works when you’re using the Google Chrome browser.

2. Suggestion mode instead of editing mode

Even though collaboration is a key feature of Google Docs, sometimes when working with others, you may want to make a suggestion first rather than change something. This allows you and those you’re collaborating with to see suggestions first before agreeing to edit a document. In such cases, you can switch to suggestion mode, and let others see your suggestions before updating the original document.

3. Version history

This is an important feature if you want to refer to a previous version of a document after making changes. Mistakes occur, especially when collaborating with many users. There may be occasions when you don’t want to go with a recent change and want to revert to a previous version. Having a version history allows you to do that.

4. Templates to create documents faster

Google Docs has a template gallery, which makes it easier to create different documents. These include personal documents, such as resumes, letters, and recipes. It also includes work-related templates, such as project proposals, newsletters, brochures, sales quotes, legal documents, and job offer letters. If a template is not quite what you are looking for, you can choose something close to what you want and modify it.

5. Table of contents for easier navigation

When you have a lengthy document and you want to go to a specific section, you have to scroll until you find what you are looking for. With a table of contents, you can create a list of all the sections or headings in your document with links and corresponding page numbers. So, if you want to jump to a section, you just need to click the link in the table of contents.

Pricing and Limitations of Google Docs

Google Docs is included in a Google Workspace plan, which also includes other apps such as Gmail, Drive, Meet, Calendar, Chat, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Sites, and Forms.

Google Workspace plans start from $6.00 per user per month and go up in price to $25.00 per user per month. Their higher pricing plans offer additional features suited for businesses with many users.

The main limitations of Google Docs include:

1. Cannot link with other cloud-storage services

While Google Docs are automatically saved in Google Drive, you cannot link your documents to other alternative cloud-storage services, such as Dropbox, Box, or Mega. This means if you want to share a Google Doc through other services, you need to download the file and then upload it to the alternative cloud-storage service. This becomes inefficient if you’re doing this often.

2. Limited editing features

Unlike Microsoft Word, which offers advanced formatting and editing features, Google Docs editing features are basic. Standard right-click features available in most Microsoft Office products don’t exist in Google Docs. You need to use alternative methods, such as the menu optionы or toolbar commands to do basic editing like “Edit, Copy, and Paste.”

3. File formats

To edit documents in Google Docs, they need to be in the Google Docs format. If you upload a file from an alternative program with a lot of formatting, such as Microsoft Word, it’s highly likely you will lose a lot of the formatting. This can become time-consuming if you have to redo all the formatting.

What are the Main Drawbacks of Google Docs?

Here are a few of the drawbacks of Google Docs.

1. No desktop application

Google Docs doesn’t have a native desktop application. Instead, you need to access it using their web browser. This means you need to open a new tab every time you want to view or edit a document. This is inconvenient because you need to switch between tabs to get back to your original document.

2. Limited sharing options

Google Docs only allows you to share documents via email. This is limited compared to other programs, such as Microsoft Office, where you can easily share files by sending emails directly from within the program itself.

3. Lack of offline support

You cannot save files locally without having an internet connection. This means you cannot work on a document while you’re away from your home or office. This means you need an internet connection to save changes made to a document.

4. Inefficient workflow

While you can add comments to blocks of text, you cannot add comments to individual words. This means you need multiple steps to make edits to a block of text. For example, you need to select a block of text before making edits. This slows down the process of making edits.

5. Inadequate search function

Searching for specific terms in a document is difficult. The search feature works best when searching for whole phrases rather than single words.

Reasons Why You Need Google Docs Alternatives

Having alternatives to Google Docs is necessary for a few reasons.

1. Limited collaboration features

While Google Docs offering basic collaboration features, it does not offer advanced ones. It offers features such as document sharing and real-time editing, which are adequate for most users.

However, for advanced collaboration options, you need other features. It does not have built-in chat tools or solid project management features. You either have to use other apps in Google Workspace or find other alternatives.

2. Poor file organization structure

Creating folders manually is inefficient today, especially with the features alternative tools provide. With Google Docs, organizing your files is time-consuming and a manual process. This makes it harder to have an efficient or robust filing system, which will decrease your productivity.

3. Inadequate permission structure

There are two sharing options for Google Docs. The first one gives restricted access, which means only people with access can open the link to the document. The second option allows anyone with the link to view your document. If you make a mistake and set the wrong sharing option, you can unknowingly give access to your documents to those unauthorized. This becomes a security and privacy risk, which you can easily overcome with other alternatives and competitors to Google Docs.

How to Choose the Right Google Docs Competitors

When choosing the right Google Docs competitors, the factors to consider include:

1. Features

The more features a product has, the better. However, this should be balanced against its usability. Some products may have fewer features, but are easier to use.

2. Compatibility

This refers to how well the software runs on different operating systems. A good alternative needs to run smoothly on all platforms.

3. User interface

A good alternative should have a user-friendly interface. This includes ease of navigation and ease of use.

4. Security and privacy

Security is important. You don’t want to accidentally send sensitive information to someone else. You also need to know what data is being collected and whether you have any control over what data they collect.

5. Cost

While free services are great, they often lack essential features. This is where cost will play a factor when deciding on an alternative solution.

6. Support

When you consider an alternative solution, you need to know how easy it is to get help and whether they respond to inquiries promptly.

7. Ease of use

This is important because you shouldn’t have to spend hours learning how to use an alternative application. The easier the alternative solution is, the more value you will get from using it.

Top 5 Google Docs Alternatives

Although there are many alternatives to Google Docs, here are a few to consider.

1. Nimbus Platform

Nimbus Platform is One of the 5 Google Docs Alternatives to Help You Create Quality Content. Image by Nimbus Platform

Some of the key features Nimbus Platform offers include:

  • Super documents, which allow you to add content in various forms, including text, images, video, audio, and links. You can store all of your information inside notes you write and then customize the look of each note.
  • Advanced collaboration through Nimbus Chat, client portal, and task management. This enables you to improve your communication with team members and clients and have better visibility of all your projects and tasks.
  • Advanced permission levels, which allow you to set permissions at the workspace and folder levels, along with creating password-protected notes.
  • Visual communication with Nimbus Capture, through which you can create annotated screenshots and videos.

To find out more and to try Nimbus Platform for free, visit this website.


2. ClickUp

With ClickUp, you can:

  • Create ClickUp Docs for any use case, such as knowledge bases, user guides, templates, and processes.
  • Tag team members using @ mentions for easy communication and collaboration.
  • Create dashboards to quickly view your main documents.
  • Link documents to access them in more places.

3. Dropbox Paper

Some of the features Dropbox Paper offers include:

  • Option to easily convert documents into presentations.
  • Use of annotations to improve visual communication and provide better feedback.
  • Assign tasks with due dates to team members.
  • Create templates for improved workflows.

4. Evernote

The key features Evernote offers include:

  • A home dashboard, which allows you to set up widgets for your most common tools.
  • Offline mode, which means you can continue working without needing internet access.
  • Organize your notes into notebooks and sort them using tags, which makes this a useful alternative to Google Docs.
  • Notes history, which allows you to retrieve previous versions of your notes.

5. Quip

Another alternative to Google Docs, the features Quip offer include:

  • Useful note-taking and project management capabilities.
  • Real-time chat for better collaboration.
  • Efficient workflow and document management.
  • Status tracking for greater visibility of tasks.

One way to improve your team collaboration is to set up online workspaces. Find out what they are and how you can use them for more effective team collaboration in this recent blog post.

Have you ever considered setting up shared workspaces for your team? In this blog post, find out how shared workspaces can benefit you and why you should consider getting them.

If you found this article helpful, please share it so others can benefit too.

Do you want to know more about the difference between Nimbus and Google Docs?

Parties other than Nimbus Platform™ may provide products, services, recommendations, or views on the Nimbus Platform™ site (“Third Party Materials”). Nimbus Platform™ is not responsible for examining or evaluating such Third Party Materials, and does not provide any warranties relating to the Third Party Materials. Links to such Third Party Materials are for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement of such Third Party Materials.

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