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Weekend Discussion: What Office Software Do You Use



We are fortunate to live in a time where there are many options to help improve how we work, help us save money, and be productive and mobile at the same time.

One of those many options are in the office application space: document creation, editing, managing, collaborating, and more. What office application suite do you primarily use and why? How would you improve the mobile aspect of that office application suite? Do you use something different for work vs home?

Personally speaking, I use Micosoft Office 2007 for all of my document management needs. I’ve found the cloud versions of Google Docs /Sheets / Zoho to be lacking, especially with offline document managent, and will likely not revisit those solutions until the experience is a seamless as their client-based competitors. I have been experimenting with Open Office 3.0 lately and have found it to be a very compelling multi-platform offering, and am becoming more impressed with it each day. With Live Mesh / SugarSync, I have found Open Office / Microsoft Office to provide exactly what I need from a mobility / sync perspective.



  1. Dennis J. Hagner

    10/25/2008 at 5:19 am

    I use iWork ’08 exclusively. It opens Office 07 documents, and I can also save my documents to that format if needed.

  2. David Howard

    10/25/2008 at 5:54 am

    I use Microsoft Office 2007. I think that of all the Microsoft products, this one is the best, it works well performance wise, is intuitive, and offers a lot of functionality. I also tried some cloud solutions, and found Google Docs and the other Google offerings to limited. Zoho was too slow.

    I live in Outlook all day, mainly for the function it does in relation to my tasks, and the Franklin Covey PlanPlus plug in.

    I really have no intention of switching.

  3. William Clarke

    10/25/2008 at 7:04 am

    All of my research and teaching prep is done through OneNote, but first I highlight pdf articles in PDF annotator and then send to one note (though file size gets large thereby)

    I mark all of my students’ papers with Pdf Annotator (Inking just seems better than in Word). But I still use Wordperfect for creating documents ha ha! I know, that’s so 1985 but once you get used to how WP formats its documents, which is fundamentally different than Word, it’s hard to switch.

    Thanks to you guys for putting me on to TEO, which makes Outlook so much more useful

  4. GoodThings2Life

    10/25/2008 at 7:28 am

    I’m an Office 2007 user and have been since Beta 2. In my opinion, it’s the most productive environment they’ve ever released, and I actually enjoy using it for projects.

    Aside from that, the only productivity apps that I use is the Adobe Creative Suite’s Photoshop and Dreamweaver. The rest of my work tends to be more in systems administation consoles and command lines.

  5. Walter Wise

    10/25/2008 at 7:50 am

    Office 2003 exclusively.

  6. Bryan

    10/25/2008 at 8:43 am

    I use Office 2007. Primarily because of OneNote 2007 and Outlook. I would really like to see a mechanism for easily maintaining personal ON notebooks in the cloud so that I don’t have to do the USB drive sync.

    I do use gMail, Reader and Notebook from Google because I can get to them from any computer.

  7. davidm

    10/25/2008 at 9:29 am

    I use OpenOffice. It’s not perfect, MS Office is one of the cases where MS makes the category’s best software, but it is is good enough, open source, and multiplatform (I use Windows, Linux and sometimes Mac), and I feel good about being able to refer people to it, and help them with it, without forcing them to pay (or steal) just to edit the same documents I am. I like the way it leaves me platform neutral, since I only use OO, Firefox and a terminal I can work on any computer without a lot of investment in setup, just ten minutes of downloading at most. And of course it has PDF generation built right in; there’s a new add-on for (graphical) PDF editing, I’m going to check out its suitability as an annotation tool, though I wouldn’t expect it to be as comprehensive as OneNote or other specialized programs.

    Even though MS Office is a good suite and *I* could afford it easily enough, they’ve been very dishonest while trying to create chaos in the standards space, and I don’t like encouraging that kind of behaviour (they eventually, through peer pressure, ended up with a format very similar to OO’s).

    I also use Google Docs / sheets when collaborating, with schoolmates or my partner for household stuff, but obviously Web based versions are not good enough (yet) to replace a desktop version.

  8. wickedpheonix

    10/25/2008 at 12:10 pm

    Office 2007 exclusively. I get it for free essentially through university contacts, so there’s no real reason for me to use OpenOffice. Google Docs is too clunky and needs work, Office 2007 is just a much more powerful product. Don’t use iWork since I don’t have a Mac, and what’s Zoho?

  9. Mnn

    10/25/2008 at 1:42 pm

    I’ve got an older version of Microsoft Office that I haven’t weened myself from yet, although I did finally get away from Outlook when it got corrupted a year or so ago (using Thunderbird with their calendar plug-in now, and loving it). I tried Open Office a while ago, hoping to switch, but MS Office was just too much of a fit to ditch. I haven’t tried 3.0 yet, but hope to spend some time this winter playing around with it. I would much rather go with open source whenever possible.

  10. bbcamp

    10/25/2008 at 2:11 pm

    WordPerfect. But sadly, it doesn’t ink, so for that, I have to use Word. But aside from that, WordPerfect is a much better writer’s tool. And MS Word still cannot rival WordPerfect’s “reveal codes” feature. When there is some rogue formatting in a document, this is the best way to root it out.

    In the Mac world (I am in the midst of switching), I use NeoOffice and Scrivner.

    If only WordPerfect would ink….Corel, are you listening?

  11. erin

    10/25/2008 at 2:25 pm

    I’m using MS Office 2007, OneNote 2007, Outlook w/TEO, and PDF Annotator.

    Purchased Office ’07 when MS was running ‘The Big Steal’ discount for students – $60 for the entire ’07 suite. Moved directly from Office ’02 to Office ’07; so from my viewpoint, the features in Office ’07 are outstanding. In fact, I haven’t used MindManager at all this semester for my chapter outlining.

    Originally I used Google Docs just as a back-up system for my class documents but now I’m using Live Mesh. Haven’t touched Google docs (or Google Notebook for that matter) in over a year. Gave Zoho a shot when it was first released but found the entirely Flash based interface clumsy and slow.

  12. thecold

    10/25/2008 at 4:58 pm

    Office 2007 for my pc and Office 2008 for my mac.

  13. Ben

    10/25/2008 at 5:39 pm

    I downloaded and poked around quickly with Thinkfree Office ( It can edit and create Office 2007 docs, spreedsheets, and powerpoint presentations. They also have a version tailored to netbooks (and supposedly UMPCs, though i dont think that was available quite yet). They also offer online storage and that sort of thing. The basic interface seemed very similar to Office 2003. They have a 30 day trial.

  14. Don Underwood

    10/25/2008 at 8:16 pm

    Another WordPerfect user here. Actually encouraged to see there are others. Word always wants you to do things its way; WordPerfect lets you format the way you want to. When I need to share a document with others in Office format, I just save in WordPerfect to the Word 2003 format.

  15. Aravind

    10/28/2008 at 12:39 am

    Rob : Thanks for including Zoho in your list of apps that help in going mobile! Not sure whether you have tried Zoho Docs ( which offers a dashboard of all your files online. Give it a try and we would be glad hearing your comments on what you think would make it better.

    Erin : Zoho uses AJAX and almost nothing of Flash. May be you got it confused with some other service?

  16. caunt

    10/28/2008 at 4:52 pm

    Actually, I use OneNote mostly, combined with Outlook because of the number of ways other programs can interact with it. I have yet to find any other email program with the same level of integration with, for example, my phone.
    I could easily live without any of the other office apps. (Except OneNote and Outlook both use Word, so I guess technically, I use word also)

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