The 7 Best Version Control Apps to Boost Your Productivity

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Version control applications and software are necessary for almost everyone as they help increase productivity and increase efficiency in everyday life. This article will cover seven apps that you probably didn’t know had version control features.

What is version control?

Version control is a method or practice of managing changes to files, directories, or documents in real time. Every change made by a user or group is tracked, and that change is called a release. These changes are then stored and managed by a version control system (VCS) and are available to you at any time.

There are three types of version control systems:

  1. Distributed (decentralized) version control system

  2. Centralized version control system

  3. Local version control system

Version control works like this: let’s say you’re working on a document and you store ten characters in it. When you save this document, it becomes the first version or version 1. A few hours later, you may decide to add five more characters to the document. When it is saved, it becomes version 2. If someone else with access to the document makes another modification and saves it, this modification will be version 3.

The latest and previous versions will be available to you at all times. This means that you can revert to existing versions of documents whenever you need to. Version control also enables efficient team collaboration and traceability of changes.

7 version control apps you need

When you hear version control you may think of Git and assume version control is for software development only. This is not entirely true. While Git is a great version control tool, it’s not the only one available. Here are seven version control systems to increase your productivity.

1. Git

source-code-1

Git, which stands for Global Information Tracker, is a free, open source version control system used to manage source code and projects of all sizes. Popular among developers, Git is used to branch, merge, and commit changes to code.

Related: Advanced Git Tutorial

It allows large groups to work on projects simultaneously. Because it uses a Distributed Version Control System (DVCS), the project’s version history and its code are saved on the computer of every developer working on the project. Above all, Git is secure, flexible, and easy to learn.

2. Google docs

MacBook with Google Docs logo

Google Docs is an online word processor that lets you create and edit Word documents on your web browser from any device. Google Docs is one of the office tools provided by the Google Editors Suite applications. It offers great styling techniques, smart editing features, and stores your work online.

With hundreds of unique fonts and designs, Google Docs is one of the best word processing software available. Google Docs allows multiple users to collaborate on a single file and make edits to it. It also saves the changes made to each file and stores the version history.

google-docs-version-history

To store a version on Google Docs, click To file in the toolbar, then click Version history from the drop-down menu. A new window opens which allows you to name and save your version.

To view your version history, enter the command Ctrl + Alt + Shift + H. This would open a new window that lists all the versions of the documents available.

3. Google Sheets

Google-sheets-apps

Google Sheets, one of the applications in the Google Editors suite, is an online spreadsheet program that enables collaboration, efficient visualization of data and information. It is cloud-based and has built-in functions, formulas and tables. It’s free, easy to learn, and quickly replaces Microsoft Excel.

With Google Sheets, you can analyze data, generate lists, create tables, and create information. You can also import XLS, CSV, and other spreadsheets files into Google Sheets seamlessly and work on them.

Google Sheets allows many people to work on a sheet and has version control features. The steps for creating and viewing versions are the same with Google Docs.

4. Google Slides

Google Slides logo on computer

Google Slides is an online presentation program that comes with lots of free templates, animations, and fonts to make your presentations flawless. With Google Slides, you can work with people to create beautiful presentations and slides. Coupled with great add-ons like Slidesgo, Google Slides increases productivity, quality of work and collaboration between colleagues.

Google Slides has version control features, and because it is one of the Google Editors Suite apps, the steps to view and access version history are similar to those in Google Docs.

5. Microsoft sharepoint

An image showing sharepoint integrations

Microsoft SharePoint is a web-based program that enables effective team, collaboration, project management, and version control. A branch of Microsoft SharePoint allows organizations to host websites on its platform.

Integrated with Microsoft Office, SharePoint enables seamless creation and sharing of files, documents and data. here’s how enable version control in Microsoft SharePoint.

6. Cloth

Basic canvas design

Canva is a graphic design app that lets you create aesthetic infographics, posters, flyers, presentations, and even videos. It’s free, easy to use, and comes with plenty of templates and fonts. You can use Canva to create charts and collaborate with other members. The versions of the work you do are also saved automatically.

If you’re new to Canva, here’s a simple guide to using the Canva app.

7. Figma

Figma's new macOS icon

Figma is a user interface design application that enables collaboration. It is used to design and prototype user interfaces for websites and mobile applications. Figma isn’t just about designing user interfaces. It’s also a graphic design tool and is used to create everything from social media posts to wallpapers and logos.

Like Git, Figma allows you to merge changes, branch into your file, and save versions of your file. If you don’t save versions, Figma will automatically save versions of your work, and these versions are called checkpoints.

Version control and productivity

Over time, version control features have been added to many applications to improve productivity. If you are into engineering design and manufacturing, you might be interested in the fact that Fusion 360 has version control features and enables collaboration.

Choosing an application or program with a version control system would undoubtedly increase your productivity.


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