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I Stopped Using this Google Docs Feature

Sorry, that was a click-bait headline, wasn't it? At least I won't make you click 17 times to get to the point. It's the "Add a note" feature that pops up when sharing a Google Doc.



Is it useful,? Of course. Does it have a fatal flaw? I think so. When I provide comments, context, or instructions using this feature, I get no record that I sent it. So when I need to follow up to make sure a colleague has taken on a task, I can't tell for sure what I've sent using this method. Maybe I wrote poor instructions or failed to write the instructions at all. If I provide instructions here, I'll never be sure what I sent because there is no way to track these down. I guess I could share it with another account of mine, but that seems too clumsy.

Instead, I just share and use the comments feature in the doc itself. I'm sure to tag the person in the comment to be sure they get a notification using the @ or + symbol before the email address. Google Docs keeps an entire record of all comments even if they're resolved.

Bonus points for using the "Assign to" feature. I use this all the time in meetings with others. I have the agenda open, and as soon as we make a decision about a next action, I assign it to the right person, including myself. More useful notifications and check boxes for clear action items.

What Google Docs feature do you never use on purpose? What can't you live without?

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