By Daniel

February 2, 2024

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Collaboration Tips When Editing Shared Documents

It has never been easier to convert and edit any type of document with other people. Collaborating with others on an online document can cause some problems, though. When multiple people are working on and editing a document, it can be difficult to keep everything organized.

Here are a few tips that will make collaborating with coworkers a little easier when you’re editing shared documents.

Limit Participants

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It’s a good idea to limit the number of participants who are working on a shared document. Having too many people involved is like having too many cooks in the kitchen. It’s going to lead to confusion and frustration.

According to some studies, between 20% and 35% of the value added to a project comes from just 3% to 5% of those involved. That can lead to collaborative overload, which can lead people to feel burned out and disengaged.

It’s much better to zero in on the people who actually need to be involved in the editing process. Then, only give those people access. When just a few people are collaborating without the distractions that come with unnecessary involvement, they can get the work done more efficiently.

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Focus Edits to the Roles of Editors

Editing isn’t a one-step process. There are different kinds of edits that include:

  • Developmental edits focus on the big picture
  • Structural editing focuses on the structure of the content
  • Line editing looks at the writing from a content and flow perspective
  • Copy editing focuses on spelling, grammar, word usage, and more
  • Proofreading makes sure no errors make it to the final manuscript

Make sure every person involved in the collaborative process knows exactly what kind of editing they are responsible for. When everyone knows exactly what kind of mistakes they are responsible for correcting, the process is much more likely to go smoothly.

Don’t forget about other roles too! A project manager can help keep the process moving, a writer can add new content, and approvers whose names will appear on the byline should have a say too.

Set Deadlines

Your team probably knows when the document needs to be completed, but setting effective deadlines means more than just setting one that everyone abides by.

Instead of setting just one deadline, break the project down into actionable chunks that are completed step-by-step. Each editor may have their own deadline, as well as deadlines for the completion of certain drafts and collaborations.

Then, don’t be afraid to go back and adjust deadlines as needed. Make sure everyone who is involved in the process is not only aware of these deadlines, but they should also have some input into when they are so the process is truly collaborative.

Editing a document is easier than ever before. Not only can you do everything online without having to mark up a paper document with a red pen, but it means that it’s easier to collaborate with others too. Just make sure you follow the tips on this list so everyone involved contributes to the project in meaningful, productive ways.

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