Version controls systems (VCS) are systems that keep track of changes made to a collection of files and folders. The usage of such systems allows for reproducibility of the work done and largely facilitates collaborations. We start by arguing that using such a version control system is a must for any serious work that boils down to text files, which is the case of much of academic workflows. Then we introduce the de-facto standard VCS nowadays, git, through a bottom-up exposition of its internal data model. We end by a review of potential applications to academic workflows, from reproducibility of numerical results to templating of articles and facilitating review processes, showing the usefulness of the concept.