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I’ve been the editor of Future Tense for more than a decade now—a long time to live in the future.
But part of me is stuck in the past: I am deeply committed to Microsoft Word. I see the ascendence of Google Docs—which has been around in various forms since 2006 but has become an unstoppable force over the past several years—as a personal affront. Word is clunky and expensive and all those things, but it’s also wonderful in a lot of ways: The track changes function is superb (even if it takes a little getting used to), it’s customizable, and, frankly, it’s familiar. I know its quirks and its features, I can troubleshoot it, and the mere act of staring at a Word document tells my brain: OK, time to get to work.
I’m not saying Google Docs is completely useless, just mostly so. There are some good use cases—in particular, planning…