Tangent: Google Docs

…likely the first in a million part series of tangents…I intend on making them relevant, and if I don’t, entertaining…and if I don’t…

…full of ellipses…

I have fallen head over heels in love.  It’s true, it’s true.  We are registered online at google.com, and you can find the list of things we love here:

Click Here To Add To My Registry!

Yup, I’m in love with Google Docs.  Prior to this I fell in love with Google Wave…but after a long illness, Wave passed late last year.  Don’t worry…I feel as though there’s still a little bit of Wave in everything…

I also fell in love with Evernote, and I still…*ahem*…have a fling on the side.  Evernote serves me in different ways, though…and I think Google Docs understands.

It’s Docs that I keep coming back to, though.  And there’s good reason for this: everything is in one place, and unlike an email that shoots out around the world in fragments and comes back in bits…you can ‘invite’ people to a document…and they can add or take away as they please!

You could just use Google Docs to do the same stuff you’d do with a word processor, and that’s great!  You can get it from any place that has a net connection and a browser…if you forgot your USB stick, who cares!  It’s online…

…but using a word processor as a word processor is so…Word Perfect 5…

 

In other words...the early 90s are over, it's time to think outside the box!

Here are some ways I’ve used Google Docs this week:

  • Event Planner: I made a document with the general concept for an event and then invited some creative minds to add their two cents…in the end, many minds are working on one document, and little things that are often forgotten (napkins…seating…your best friend’s invitation) can be brainstormed by everyone.  The final product is a calm collective creation rather than a manic clusterfuck.
  • Database Builder: I wanted to send out ads to all events events to my geeky summer camp, but first I had to collect all relavent events, contact points, dates, maybe even some notes as to differing requests for print production, or even requests for animated ads to be used in digital promotion.  My friend and I sat in the same room, chatting to each other, doing identical research…but there was no doubling up or confusion as we were working on the same spreadsheet!  I could watch his work as he did it.  In an hour, I had done more than would have taken a week before using Docs…and I had fun doing it!
  • Content/Copy Collector: the website for my summer camp au nerd is very copy heavy, as is the convention handbook.  I can toss the ‘Code of Conduct’ online into a doc and invite people to read, edit, update or comment…rather than hold a boring meeting where everyone goes over the document with a fine tooth comb, there are now months where people can check in on their own time…same goes for information on events taking place at the convention, on thank you lists (to make sure no one is missed), or even on new ideas!

In essence, the whole exercise is about having one document, in one place, that many people can use.  But with a little brain power you can turn that into anything!

That blog you’re writing missing some citation?  Put the copy up, invite some trusted friends to go over it, and in a couple of days (on their spare time) they not only find the citation but also some facts you missed!

Trying to get a complete budget for an album you want to record?  Put the spreadsheet up, give everything you need a row, and give friends a column…they can go out and find various quotes for you, and in the end you not only have a budget set up but you might have found some deals you didn’t find otherwise!

Think differently about how you can use the internet to be more productive.  It’s amazing what’s already out there.

If you’re into collaboration, event planning, organizing shows, or anything that requires a document to help stay organized…or maybe you prefer having data that you’ve created accessible from anywhere, and backed up for free up in the cloud…I highly suggest you give it a shot!

Also…be generous on my registry.  I didn’t think it was biologically possible…but there may be a baby on the way!!

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