If you are still emailing drafts back and forth when co-authoring a document, take a look at one of the increasingly sophisticated online document collaboration tools. Here are several that we use to make co-authoring much easier:
Google Docs – Upload files in one of several formats or create the document right in Google Docs. During an online session, everyone who has access can edit the same document at the same time depending upon who has been given edit access. You can also invite others to view only while you do the editing during a joint discussion. Last year alone, over 100 new features were added.
Microsoft Live SkyDrive – As its name suggests, this is a cloud ‘drive’ where you can store and work on files. Share your files with others who can view only or view and edit. Multiple users can access the same document at the same time.
Dropbox – Use a Dropbox account to store and share documents in folders that you create and share. Although Dropbox does not provide the ability to create or edit documents, it does provide dynamic document syncing. That is, when any changes are made to a document stored in Dropbox, your local copy and those of others that you’ve shared it with will also be updated automatically. We’ve found Dropbox especially useful for dealing with large files such as a PowerPoint file which is too big to send as an email attachment.