Google Docs Outage: 20 Alternatives For When Google Goes Down

Google Docs has gone offline on a Friday. That could be a bad thing or a good thing for workers. It’s a good thing if you want to start your three-day weekend earlier than usual, but it could also be a bad thing if you need to focus on that important report that’s due.

The news about Google Docs going down wasn’t good news for procrastinators who were already having trouble getting their work done prior to the weekend. The web-based word processor and spreadsheet went down for nearly three hours on Friday, Oct. 9, at noon Pacific Time. Those just getting to work on the East Coast were probably not too happy. A few hours later and the name “Google Docs” became the most popular trending topic on Twitter.

While some took to social media to let out their stress, the outage meant that some could sneak out of the office early for drinks, or try to find other ways of avoiding doing their work.

The official Google Docs Twitter account acknowledged the outage and said that they would be working on it.

The Google Docs app also went down that day. There were several noted disruptions on Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides. That’s right. Even Google Drive, the cloud file storage, was a victim of the outage. Google Drive is linked to Google Docs, which allows you to save your documents, presentations, and spreadsheets onto the cloud. The official Google Drive Twitter announced at 4:49 p.m. EST that they were back up and running.

“The problem with Google Drive should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that the system reliability is a top priority at Google and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.”

As for Google Docs, the tech giant told Newsweek that they’re still investigating the situation. It looks like the Web-based productivity tool was up and running around 5:00 p.m. EST, according to Google’s tweets. But that was also around the time that most employees were leaving work for the day.

But there are alternatives to Google Docs, in case you want to get your work done. After all, it’s not like this is the first time that Google Docs and Google Drive have gone offline. Some of these processors offer simpler templates, the ability to co-edit and share, and can be exported as a plaintext file or an HTML file. Although not all of these are cloud based like Google Docs and its companion Google Drive, you will find that they’re quite simple to use.

  1. Microsoft Office Online
  2. Adobe Buzzword
  3. OnlyOffice
  4. Hackpad
  5. Zoho Docs
  6. Gobby
  7. Etherpad
  8. Firepad
  9. OwnCloud Documents
  10. PiratePad
  11. Thunderbird
  12. 30 Boxes
  13. Netvibes
  14. Darkcopy
  15. Bloglines
  16. Zimbra
  17. ThinkFree Online
  18. OpenOffice
  19. Writer from BigHugeLabs
  20. Shutterborg

There’s no doubt that Google Docs is king when it comes to using a free web-based document processor. In fact, most say that it’s hard to find a free version that’s just as superior. But if you want to break free from Google’s rein and not depend on its productivity tools, then you may want to check out some of these free alternatives. If you’re not a fan of Google and its alleged privacy intrusion, then you may be happier with some of these options.

There are some things that these free web-based word processors offer that Google Docs doesn’t, and that is either a minimalist processor or distraction-free working. You may find that some of these programs are more streamlined and less buggy than Google Docs.

Of course, some of these aren’t the perfect replacement for Google Docs, but you may want to use them as backup — and backup your files too while you’re at it.

Which web-based processor do you use? Do you still think Google Docs is the best, even with all the bugs and issues that it comes with? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.

[Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]