REVIEW: Tools for collaborating - Writely the collaborative word processor

This past weekend, my friends and I created a document together in Writely. User 1 logged in and set up the document space. Then they invited users 2 through 6 to the space by email. I got the link, clicked it and logged in. And voila, 3 of us were editing the document together in real-time.

  • It was very quick to set up
  • It allowed simultaneous editing as opposed to wiki-style one-after-the-other editing
  • It was very intuitive and quick to start using because it didn’t do anything other than the word-processing. It wasn’t trying to be something else or do too much.


  • As usual, the text-editing leaves something to be desired. (I’m trying to tone down my language instead of saying what I said here about Ecto.) Roland and I have both written posts on this subject before (Roland, Troy).


On the whole, it was a great experience and allowed us to quickly and easily collaborate to create a document without having to all use something like Timbuktu.

This is the essence of web 2.0:

  • Simple
  • Web-based (the browser is the platform / app)
  • Collaborative

Thanks Boris, Roland, and Richard. Looking forward to doing more.