So, what is SkyDrive and what is Office 365? There seems to be a lot of confusion on the web about what one is and what the other one is. I think the confusion comes from the fact that Microsoft is trying to market Office 365 as the “Online collaboration tool”, implicitly saying that you cannot collaborate using SkyDrive that is marketed as “Online document storage and file sharing“.
Do you need Office 365 to collaborate?
No, you do not.
Well, if for collaborating you mean sharing a calendar, appointments, emails (Exchange), managing a complex documentation system for your company (SharePoint), connect with others using IM and do video sharing, online conference calls, etc… (Lync) then Office 365 is what you need.
Of course, if you are a non professional user (or a self managed professional) you probably do not need all the features offered by Office 365, but you might occasionally need to share and collaborate with other people on some office documents.
What you really need is SkyDrive.
Do you need Evernote to collborate?
No, you do not.
Evernote is a wonderful cross platform to create and share notes, but you can share only notes, there’s not a concept of folder, and there’s not a concept of Spread sheet (you do not always share just text)
What you really need is SkyDrive and OneNote
Let me show you what you can do with SkyDrive:
First of all, open Skydrive and login with your Windows Live account.
Create an Online Word document in SkyDrive
- Click on the work icon next to Create on the SkyDrive toolbar
- Name your document
- Use Word Web App to edit the document
Open an existing Online Word document using Word 2010
- Just click on the Open in Word button on the toolbar
- Confirm that you want to open the document
- Click on Enable Editing
- Change the document and hit the sync button
- At this point if you reopen the document from the browser in SkyDrive using Word Web App you’ll see the change that was made
Share an existing Online Word document via SkyDrive
- Open the document in SkyDrive
- Add a list of emails you want to share the document with
- Send a message to the people you want to share the document with
- They’ll receive an email with a link the the online Word document they can start to edit
Share a SkyDrive folder with other people
- Open SkyDrive
- Select a folder
- Edit Permissions
- Select the people you want to share the folder with
- they’ll receive an email with the link to the SkyDrive folder you’ve shared with them and will be able to work with you on documents you’ve shred with them. You can edit the same document at the same time and every change will be synchronized in real-time with all the people editing the document at the same time