How to effectively create common documents (Word, Excel, Powerpoint...) collaboratively?

With common file sharing systems like SugarSync or Dropbox it is not effective for a group to work on the same document at the same time because one cannot know what part another one is working on at the very same time. Furthermore, parts of the document can be lost: 1. Person A opens the document and starts working 2. Person B saves the document with changes made after person A opened it 3. Person A saves the now obsolete document. So the part of person B gets lost. How to address the issues mentioned above, how can multiple persons work effectively and collaborative on the same document?
1 answer

How to create common documents collaboratively with Google Docs

With Google docs, various common documents (Text documents very similar to MS Word, Tables very similar to MS Excel, Presentations very similar to MS Powerpoint, paintings, formulas and more) can be created and edited in the best collaborative manner:

- One can always see the cursors of all the other people editing the document at the same time, so you can always see on what part your team members are working on
- The document is automatically saved after every single change
- A chat function is included
- Existing documents (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.) can be imported
- Documents can be downloaded in plenty of formats and so e.g. edited offline. For example, a text document can be downloaded as ODT, PDF, RTF, Text, Word or HTML.
- One can also work offline, as soon as the computer is online again, the document is being updated and saved.