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Google Docs and Spreadsheets December 14, 2006

Posted by heyheypaula in Techie Stuff.
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Take a tour of Google Docs and Spreadsheets.  This is a great online collaboration tool for any document or spreadsheet created when input from many users is key.  You can upload your files in many formats, DOC, XLS, ODF, ODS, RTF, CSV, etc.  Documents are updated in real time, and all the users can see who is currently updating a document.  It tracks changes and who made them, and the finished product can be exported in many useful formats.  This has been a real blessing for collaboration at my work, and best of all, it can be accessed from any computer, anywhere, anytime, without the need for special software.  The only downshot so far is that it doens’t play well with Opera, which I’ve been using a lot lately, but it’s great in Firefox and IE6. Give it a whirl!

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1. Jenny Parsons - December 14, 2006

What an interesting idea! Honestly, this looks like a variation on the wiki– something I wrote about for an earlier project. It’s an Internet website using software to allow collaboration on various projects.

It would be very easy to organize a class, a conference, a best practices project– practically anything!

2. heyheypaula - December 14, 2006

I didn’t think about it that way, but you are right. It is a lot like a wiki, only in a package to appeal to people who may not know exactly what a wiki is. It’s something I’ve used a lot in the workplace for targeted projects. That’s a great thought.

3. Jenny Parsons - December 15, 2006

Well in general, that is a wiki’s definition– an Internet application that allows several people to collaborate on a certain work in real time. The number of contributors is up to the moderator of the wiki– in Wikipedia, it’s the entire world, while in Google Docs and Spreadsheets, it’s only a select number of people chosen by creator/moderator.

Either way, it’s still a great tool for group projects.

4. heyheypaula - December 15, 2006

Here’s the funny thing…most of the engineers at my company are older than me, and not very computer oriented. If I said, “wiki” to them it would be like saying “boo”…they’d kind of think it was something new and unknown, but if I say, “It’s this Google thing”, then they say, oh, well, that’s fine. I guess a lot of bringing tools into the workplace is presentation, also. And, like the public librarian, it’s my responsibility to make sure that the tools are used properly, and that I can explain any new-fangled tool so they can really use it without hesitation. Your comments kind of made me think of this issue I have at work sometimes.


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