Writely has been around for a while now, but I wanted to actually take the time to really use this new Web-based word processor before talking about it.  Too often bloggers, me included haphazardly review new gadgets, gizmos and websites without really taking the time to explore them thoroughly.  The only way to do that is to just use the widget over an extended period of time.

I’ve been using Writely for a couple of months now for both work and personal writing.  The first thing I noticed is how incredibly user-friendly it is.  The buttons were right where my fingers expected them to be and did what I expected them to do.  I’ve also had great luck cutting and pasting from Word into Writely.  I was especially impressed that Writely even picked up my footnotes and formatted them properly.

Among other things, I’m currently using Writely to coordinate the RSVP list of an event.  Writely has great collaboration features, which means that I can just create my RSVP list and someone else can add to it and edit it as they need to.  All I had to do was add that person as a collaborator!

Tagging allows for simple searching for the right document later.  I also love that I can just archive things when I’m done with them.  Of course, like anything that includes tagging it’s up to the user not to go too tag-happy.  I’m already seeing where I might want to start cutting back to make the “tagged documents” dropdown menu more useable for myself.  At the same time, the search is so effective at finding my tagged documents that I don’t know if I’ll bother, but the search does seem to search both tags and the document copy.

The auto-save feature is a great peace-of-mind feature. I can don’t really ever have to worry about my connection dropping and losing my work.  The system seems to save every few seconds.

Writely has also reduced my reliance on my USB drive.  Instead of carrying it around, I just work on Writely and then I don’t need to worry about whether or not I have it with me.  That, of course, leads to general concerns about not having Internet access and if Writely will stick around.  But, as it’s recently been purchased by Google — I’m feeling pretty safe in its longevity.

I have to comment on the color scheme too.  It’s just darn happy and friendly that it makes you just love the system more!

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