Last week I was tasked with writing a speech with a partner. Being the busy student that I am, I struggled to find a time that would work for us to meet in order to write it. Usually I can write a draft and have a partner look over it afterwards; however, since it was a speech, and since it had to be done as soon as possible, we needed to work together. After finding an hour to work together I began wondering if there was a way that we could write the speech together from home instead of having to meet somewhere late at night.
Lo and behold, I found my solution. PiratePad is an online writing collaboration tool that allows real-time text editing by multiple users. Adapted from EtherPad (which Google bought and shut down), PiratePad allows you to invite other people to your document via a public link or via email. Each session also features a separate chat window for talking without changing the document being worked on. The editor itself uses multi-colored text highlighting to make it easy to see who is editing what. You can also export your documents to html or plain text (for some reason Word and PDF formats are disabled. Probably due to Google’s EtherPad acquisition).
PiratePad has become my new favorite collaboration tool. In the future I plan to use it along with Ventrilo or Skype so I can talk to my collaborators while we write. What collaboration tools do you like to use?