It seems I’ve been in a LaTeX-chatter-whirlwind this past week: someone emailed me about TeX today, I discovered jsmath, this article was on reddit a few days back, and my boss and I were chatting about TeX on Friday. Since I haven’t actually been writing anything lately, I have no need for TeX at the moment, so I’ll just rant.
MS-Word is useless. When writing in word, you’re forced to think about ‘look and feel,’ but when it’s all done, your document will still look like crap (see the aforementioned article for something of intellectual merit on this). Take some time, learn how to use LaTeX (or something as simple as LyX or TeXmacs), and thank yourself later. You’ll write better when you aren’t constantly fretting over the appearance of your document, and it’ll look better when typeset by the brainy TeX algorithms.
Also, if you must collaborate on a document, use a wiki or Google docs, and then paste your nearly complete product into your TeX editor. Emailing a word doc to your colleagues or posting to a website is not collaboration. No one is going to read it, and if they do, they aren’t going to comment. It is too painful.