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August 11, 2007

What Do You Use Google Docs for?

It may be a better blog editor than the one included in Blogger or other blogging platforms. You may use it to read an OpenOffice document (OpenDocument) or a Microsoft Word document on a computer that doesn't have a compatible software. Or maybe it's nice to know that your documents are always available even if you use a different computer. You could a keep a simple ToDo list, write a book, brainstorm ideas or collaborate on a school project. You may even use it a wiki, like did when I invited you to define Google collaboratively.

"I used Google Docs exclusively to teach my daughter her senior Civics/Gov't course. In a course we put together she had to analyze and summarize various aspects of each state government's branches. So, there was a doc for each state then a final paper discussing what she found and her supported opinion on what works best. Sharing the docs saved lots of paper and printing and hassle. It was as close to paperless as possible," argues Lynn.

"Teachers are publishing announcements about upcoming assignments and monitoring student progress via the revision history. In the revision history, you can see clearly who contributed to what assignment and when; if a student says he or she worked on a given project for five hours, it will be documented (no more "dog ate my homework" excuses). Additionally, faculty are using GDS to keep track of grades, attendance, student projects and assignments. Students are using GDS to stay organized and work more effectively. Google Docs & Spreadsheets helps promote group work and editing skills, and encourages multiple revisions and peer editing. Students can go online to collaborate with other students, teachers, parents, relatives and tutors, and enter updates anytime from anywhere. And through their revisions history, kids can check how they've revised a document and who has helped. Not to be outdone, Google spreadsheets allows students to track their grades, assignments, semester goals, baseball statistics, car expenses, or anything else that interests them," thinks Gordon F. Snyder Jr.

"I love Google Documents. I'm a journalist and it allows me to work on stories without transfering everything back and forth across devices," says Steven Allen Adams.

"Our daily shopping list was written on scrap paper in the kitchen. If my wife was able to go shopping during her lunch break at work, but did not have the list it took a phone call to clarify what was on the list. Items could not be added at the last minute, again without a phone call to the other. The solution was a shared spreadsheet designed to print on one sheet of A4. The items are categorised in the same order as the layout at the local supermarket. Each of us can add items at any time without having to contact the other, and each of us can go shopping in confidence that we have the latest list. After printing out the spreadsheet, the cell contents are deleted and the list starts again," confesses Mick.

What do you use Google Docs & Spreadsheets for?


  1. I use Google Spreadsheets to track my expenses. As it is accessible from any system, it makes it simple to enter my expenses into it from anywhere and relieves me from the effort of remembering all those expenses till I come home if I use a desktop software.


  2. I use Google Docs to write -- articles, drafts of marketing copy and technical documents, even the occasional blog entry. With Google Spreadsheets, I mainly track my article submissions and prepare time sheets (which I export to Calc, Excel, or PDF for sending to clients).

  3. I teach online writing classes, and I use Google Docs for peer editing between students as their work on their drafts.

  4. I use Google Docs when I want to access a document from multiple locations/multiple computers. When I'm on the road and need to make a todo list of things to do when I get home, or anything else, I can do this from any computer, not just my laptop. And while I haven't done it yet, I imagine I could use it to create a central location for information that multiple friends need to access.

  5. I like using Google Docs for things that I need access to from "anywhere". However, I'm scared to death that something will go wrong, I'll lose my data, lose access, or even give the world access to my stuff. I absolutely NEED a 3rd party backup service (are there any?) and would welcome a 3rd party monitoring setup. With a backup service in place I would probably use it for a lot more.

  6. I use it whenever I have to work on a project at college. Last year, a group of us had to work on a news bulletin. I was a newsreader along with my friend and we both used Google Docs to work together on our speech. (Then, I used Gmail to send the PowerPoint I had prepared to be used on the interactive whiteboard behind us).

    I can't say that I use Google Docs for anything else, for everything else I use Microsoft Word.

  7. Google docs are cool but the size limitations are not so good. Somebody (Michael) said, "For everything else I use Microsoft Word." I have the latest Microsoft Word on my computer which is running vista Home professional. But in my case, for everything else I use because it has the best features, plus it doesn't come from Microsoft.

  8. Google Docs has impacted my life in a lot of areas.

    I share recipes with my parents and siblings using a Google Doc.

    I have a Journal document I keep updated with important events and memories from each day.

    I have a document where I keep track of leads in my search for a job after graduation. It's nice to have one place to find out who you talked to and what was said.

    I have planned camping trips with friends using a document. I'm planning a road trip with friends for the winter using a doc.

    My Toastmasters group keeps a current copy of its schedule as a spreadsheet.

    I've used a spreadsheet to keep track of a loan in the family.

    Finally, I have created a monster personal spreadsheet with all kinds of important personal data, with one tab for each item.

    1. Keep track of ALL my spending
    2. A shopping list like the one mentioned above. I x the items I need as I need them. When I'm ready to shop, I sort the column with the X's, and then the aisle number, and I'm ready to go.
    3. I keep track of fuel mileage and maintenance on my auto.
    4. I log my runs, for distance and time.

  9. i use google docs to make documents with friends. I use it more like a Wiki then a word processor.

  10. For over a year we've used Google Spreadsheet to keep our extended family's names, addresses (esp. e-mail) and birthdays . 2nd sheet takes the birthdays & sorts them so we all know who's coming up next.
    It's worked well as computers' hard drives have crashed and some of us have moved.

  11. I don't. I do real number-crunching work, so I use Microsoft Office.

  12. I'm building a movie database containing virtually all the information on the movies I've seen. It compares my ratings of movies by actor, director, genre, cliches, studio, etc. It has charts and graphs showing trends and what my favorites are as well as showing what to stay away from. Mostly this is just training for a finance database I'm working on.

  13. I've used GDocs to write a short story with a dear friend of mine that lives 500Km from where I am now.

    I've used it to save precious hard drive space on my cheap and only laptop that only has 10GB. I deleted suite and AbiWord, don't need them anymore.

    I keep a journal of all my activities, well, at least the important ones. It's updated daily. Wherever I am.

    I share a lot of docs with my co-workers and we collaborate regularly on those docs. It's a pleasure to work together on the same doc. I really amazed me the first time I did that!

    I write a lot of creative work, all in GDocs. Before that I had plenty of folders with scattered RTF or TXT files all over the place, with GDocs search feature, I really don't care in I tag them or not 'cos I always find the docs when I need them.

    All my docs have been given the gift of Ubiquity. Wherever I am with a net connection (which is everywhere), I have access to them.

    Well, I just love this service from Google more than I can express it.

  14. I use it to keep recipes. When I see something on the web, I copy and paste it into a new google doc, or if the website has a "send via email" option, I just email it to my writely email address.

    I use the spreadsheets for a couple of files that I might need access to via different computers.

    And... I use it to cover my ass. When I have to send a particularly important email, I bcc my writely address and it gets saved offsite in a spot that isn't controlled by the IT staff.

  15. use gDocs only for internal documents.

    the lack of print management (header, footer, margins, templates, etc.) makes it impossible to use gDocs for professional and academic purposes.

  16. I use it to write a book. Every chapter is one Google document.

  17. I used it for writing my pre grade thesis, and for the work, it's fantastic the collaboration that google offers.

  18. Use it when working on documents at school, that I'll need to continue at home. Easier then using a thumbdrive.

  19. I'm a writer, i use Google docs allot
    I find it great that that can work on my projects any where and not have to worry about lugging around a laptop that could be strolling or damage easily

  20. I have tried to use google docs for a few collaborative research projects.

    In my experience, Gdocs does not allow the manipulation of fonts, indents, and such that I would like.

    Overall, I have not been satisfied with this product. If find it MUCH more convenient to edit in Word, then just email the edited file to all collaborators.

    Web-based applications are (IMO) the wave of the future, but until a product is released which is on par with Word, 98% of the world will stick to their PC based word processor. (FYI, I prefer olpenoffice to Gdocs, too.)

  21. I use Google Spreadsheets to keep an online training diary for my running. I like to be able to access this online diary from both my PC and my laptop.

    Similarly I maintain a list of amazon tracking IDs for my associates work.

  22. I use Google Docs to keep a full set of instructions for how to rebuild our computer systems in the event of a drive crash or other catastrophe. Our systems may go down, but Google will be up and the restoration plan will be accessible.

  23. I share a house with two others, we use a google spreadsheet to keep track of house bills etc which are paid between all of us. It shows how much each person has paid total and how much they owe the others in the house. Its the easiest way of us all keeping track of house expenses, just wish you guys would support Opera better! :-)

  24. I personally think Google Applications are the future, however, not their yet! If you are a software developer and trying to move up and be happier at your job, read this post: How To Get The Promotion You Deserve as a Software Developer

  25. Being one of nine children, we have set up a family database of all mailing addresses, kids names, spouses, email addresses, cell phones, birthdays, offspring, etc. What a fantastic tool to keep, maintain and source family information! Over fifty people have access to this and help update it. How accurate and updated is your ms contact info hmm?

  26. I use it to to collaborative work with my friends.

    But reading the comments, one can see a few trends:
    * recepies;
    * colleague work;
    * expenses.

  27. I use Google spreadsheet to:

    - maintain a roster of a soccer team I co-manage (we use Google Calendar to track our matches and gmaps to map match locations)

    - collaborate with coworkers on technical projects: creating functional specifications, researching hardware or software solutions

  28. Being a freelance consultant, providing up to date CVs to possible clients is top important. What makes this especially cumbersome is that at times it might be hard tyo remember if nsomebody got an outdated version, etc. Enter Google docs. I now keep one published document with a CV I keep accurate and just distribute download links to interested parties. Works excellent for me...

  29. I use it to document the goings-on of my management so that I can get to it anywhere I need it. It's as safe as anything else I could use short of keeping a jump drive in my pocket, and there's a greater chance of that going through the wash than anything with gDocs.

  30. I use GDocs to store account / password. It just come handy when you have around 15 account, for things at work and at home, to remember

    I also use GDocs to draft meeting agenda, kind of documents that doesn't require fancy formating

    The best application of Google Docs is for financial report. We keep several Google Spread sheet for our Coffee club, football team ... So people always know where is the money come and go.


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