At a Glance
GMDesk is a simple application that lets you run Google Docs in a separate application window, outside of your browser. It's like running Google Docs as an application installed on your computer, although your data is still stored in the cloud.
Before installing GMDesk, you'll need to download Adobe Air. Yes, I know nobody wants another nagging Adobe product on their system, but it's worth it. Once it's installed, visit the GMDesk developer's Website and grab the latest version (v1.01 at the time of writing). It'll have an .air extension, and it'll install via Adobe Air when you double-click it after download.
Setting up the application is simple. Just double-click the desktop icon and before logging in, click GMDesk, then Preferences in the small application menu at the top of the program window. In the dialog that appears, click the radio button alongside Google Docs under the Select Startup Service heading.
If you use Google Apps for Business, enter the domain name under the Select Google Services heading and click the radio button alongside Google Apps. For example, I use Google Apps for Business to provide e-mail for keirthomas.com, so I entered this address in the box (without the http:// or www prefixes).
Click the Save button to close the dialog box and then login as usual when prompted (be sure to put a check alongside Stay Signed In). From then on, just double-clicking the GMDesk icon will start Google Docs in its own program window. You might choose to rename the GMDesk icon to Google Docs too, to complete the effect.
GMDesk isn't just for Google Docs. You can switch between Google Docs and other Google products, such as Gmail and Picasa, using the Google Applications menu.
Note: This link takes you to the vendor's site, where you can download the latest version of the software.