Organization Usability

I <3 Google Docs

Check out the video from Google, below.

I thought it was really cute. Google docs is a great, free alternative to MS Office, but that’s not where the real power of it lies. For collaboration, for any document that anyone else is going to use, it’s such a better alternative.

During the summer, I was working for a company that was sending spreadsheets about. Seriously. One of my colleagues and I said “this is ridiculous!”, because it was, and put what we needed into a Google doc. Our job was made exponentially easier and it took less than half an hour.

I’m President of uOttawa WISE (Women in Science and Engineering), and we’re working hard to get things set up for the start of term. There are a myriad of organizational documents, but I think I’ve only emailed one – which was heavy on formatting. I have one spreadsheet on my computer – because it’s confidential. Anyone involved can see what we’re doing, and any new volunteer can be directed to our Google group where she has access to everything she needs to get up to speed. I had to train two volunteers in how to use docs, but given the time and effort it saves us this was an hour well spent.

Google docs has some little differences from MS Office, and some things are a little trickier – you can’t right-click to insert multiple rows in a spreadsheet, for example. But some aspects of it are actually better.

The video below is amazing. And those cool moving graphs? You can make them in Google docs, using the Google Gadget Motion Chart. There’s a quick guide how to here.