Coming out of the IETC Conference in Springfield, IL. I have been doing some thinking about my personal practices and how I use the Microsoft Office suite. I have to say that I LOVE Office 2007. There are some truly amazing things that you can do so easily in 2007 some of which cannot even be done in other products. However, that said, I also feel that there are a number of limitations in Office because it simply lives offline. YOu need to discount what Microsoft says about "Office Live" it is NOT really live, or online in any other way than acting like a file storage area… According to my discussions with Microsoft, Office will be releasing true online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote in the next year or so… we'll see how that goes.
On to my premise and the reason behind this post. I gave two presentations at IETC that were really based on "the cloud." Most if not all of the resources that I referred to in the presentations were completely web-based. Additionally, almost all of the source material for the presentations came from the net… So, I got to thinking… I use Zoho for some limited docs, I use Zoho Notebook for all of my conference sessions and notebooks as well as for a number of other things, I use Zoho wiki for my personal and VP's wiki. Slideshare puked on all 3 of my presentation uploads, but Zoho Show not only accepted them, but I used it to embed them into my session blog posts without an issue… (even though one was 4MB over their "recommended upload size of 10MB), I use Zoho Creator for 2 small applications, and just last week I began using Zoho's 24×7 site monitoring service to keep tabs on my school's website.
However, I use each of them when I have a need, not as part of my every day activities… This week I am going to attempt to change that pattern. This week, I am going to exclusively use the Zoho suite of products for all of my Office activities, minus email (even though Zoho has a great email client) as I need my email / calendar integration to my Motorola Q to survive.
Ok, the question that usually come up at this point is "why Zoho and not Google?" well… while I have used Google's "Docs and more" apps, they are not nearly as refined or as well integrated as Zoho's. Additionally, while Google has a ton of tools geared around their strength of search, Zoho's tools are completely geared around Business apps and the Office suite. They are tighter and more robust as well…
Please feel free to argue with me on that point. I am always open to learning more about any tool that will assist student learning and increase efficiency.
I will update with challenges and successes in the coming days. I will tell you it was great to see that with very small changes to the slide master for each of my IETC presentations they were easily uploaded, converted, and embedded into this blog without issue. WTG Zoho!