Online collaboration tools

The goal-oriented version of DIY socials.

I do not want google docs knowing everything about me, but I want to work with my peers. What are my alternatives to collaborative document editing, collaborative equation formatting, collaborative project management?

Working together in the cloud


I should raid one of the alternatives lists and compare the options there. Notion and Nuclino are famous in this realm.

If you absolutely must work on an MS word doc, you could try simuldocs, which is a realtime microsoft collaborative editor.

Task management


Here are some untested online tools that promise realtime code collaboration.

IDE sharing

Live share for VS code is the thing I am currently auditioning. It converts VS Code into a real time collaboration environment It can even run a webserver version of VS code, so your collaborators do not need to install VS Code. Caveat: does not yet support jupyter notebooks.

For Atom there is teletype.

Floobits: Commercial. Supports Sublime text, Atom, Neovim, Emacs, IntelliJ Idea USD15/month for 5 …somethings. Projects?

why do we even have offices

Offices, in my subjective empirical experience, have four well-defined roles:

  1. To put people in a work-priming environment.

An environment where they know that whatever they do for 8 hours, they must focus on works. They have eyes on them and they have colleagues around them talking about work, their brain diverges towards work, as opposed to, e.g. browsing facebook, playing a game, or reading a book, or writing a mediocre blog-article just to fulfill a self-imposed creativity quota.

  1. To provide lonely people the company of colleagues.

    The lonely people are usually highly motivated workers that end up being part of management or essential to the company. So providing them a social environment is critical, otherwise they might move to find one. I know at least 2 smart guys working for much less than what they could have asked for wage wise, which seemed to be sticking for the social element, and finally left during the pandemic.

  2. To work around accountability.

It’s very easy to tell what someone is working on when you can see all the PRs they made a given month (both literally and figuratively speaking, depending on the case). This is uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. It forces acknowledging that some people are doing nothing and are being kept around just because "we like them".

It leads to management having to work more to keep themselves and their teams accountable. In an office, accountability can be proxied onto things like "Well, he comes into work every day and spends 6 hours typing at his desk, he must be doing something".

  1. Social-power hungry leaders.

Some people that lead and/or manage do so because they like having some sort of imagined "social prestige", even if subconsciously. This is rewarding in an office setting, but not when working remotely, being a remote leader/manager probably does not lead to the same social-power highs that fulfilling that role in-person does.