A World Without Office


For most of last month, I was without a computer. After two trips to the Apple Store and a new logic board, I finally have a working laptop. During the process, some “Genius” erased my hard drive. It was backed up, but that meant I would need to reinstall everything.

It was easy enough to install the operating system and migrate my user data (aka documents). After some geeky advice, I decided to manually install every application. This gave me the rare opportunity to look at what applications I actually use. And I decided:

Microsoft Office will not be on my laptop.

I use Google Drive for most of my basic word processing and spreadsheeting, and I use Pages (Apple’s iWork) for more involved documents. I don’t need Word or Excel any longer. You might be thinking I forgot to mention PowerPoint. I didn’t.

If someone emails me a .docx file, I can import it and convert it into a Google Doc. If they insist, I can export it as a .docx. I’m thinking that if we are emailing back and forth, we should just be using a Google Doc anyway.

I’ll let you know how it goes. For the record, I’m not anti-Office. I honestly believe I just don’t need it anymore. I’ll be keeping track of how often I think I need Office or iWork. I have a feeling the answer will be not too often.

  • Megan Ellis

    I bought a new Macbook Air last fall and didn’t install Office. I haven’t missed it at ALL.

  • I have a feeling I’m not going to miss it, either. I anticipate the biggest problem with be with “official” paperwork for my adjunct jobs. I’m hoping that documents like that can migrate to Drive soon.

  • I had a similar situation happen last year with my personal laptop and I choose not to reinstall Office. Didn’t miss it at all thanks to Google Docs and Evernote.

  • Megan Ellis

    I do what you suggested in your post – import and convert to a Google Doc. Some of my coworkers are a little hesitant, but most are willing to work on documents that way once I give them a little push :)

  • I’m still using Pages for when I need more control over layout, so I’m not 100% in the cloud. I suppose I could go back to InDesign, but I get similar results much quicker with iWork.

  • I haven’t played with Pages too much. Is it similar to Word and Google Docs?

  • Pages reminds me of InDesign mashed together with Word and Keynote. It has the Apple simplicity, but had plenty of document layout fanciness.

  • Joseph Roman

    The sad thing about Google Docs is that you need internet access. But I guess for that you have Pages. I’m so used to use Word for everything that if I ever did this I’ll probably have separation anxiety. LOL

  • You can use google docs offline. On the left sidebar of drive.google.com, click Enable Offline. You still open your web browser, but you can view, create, or edit offline. When you finally get back online, your docs automatically sync.