I recorded this "live poll" video after discussing a situation with a few of my chat room moderators. We were trying to come up with a way we could all vote anonymously on an issue at hand. Suddenly, it struck me: why can't a Google Docs spreadsheet form do this? I created the poll, set the options I needed... and the vote was underway. We answered our question quickly and easily - all the while, feeling secure in knowing that none of us were influenced by another's answer.
So, if you want this secure feeling, and instructions on creating a live poll with spreadsheets forms, check out the video, right here:
I am a middle school band director. I teach nearly 300 students each dayand have communication with them and their parents - nearly 1000 people inall. With Google Docs, my program has reduced its paper use by as much as 90%.Instead of using hard copies, thousands of times over, we can now set everything up to work online with documents, forms, and spreadsheets. Previously parents had multiple pieces of paper for certain functions. We can now eliminate these by using separate online forms. Rather than going through so many pieces of paper, parents can now just click the next link.Most recently we have used spreadsheets forms to collect orders for an annual project, a professionally recorded CD of our students' performances, available for purchase. Our greatest goal is simply to pay for the cost of producing the CD, but we do also hope to raise additional funds to support music activities for families that cannot afford them on their own (instrument rental, equipment purchases, cost of band trips, etc.). Parents can now log onto the band website and enter their orders into the online form which dumps right into the Google Docs spreadsheet.In the past I would spend hours sitting at the computer entering information from paper forms that kids brought in order to keep proper record of orders and money (as required by the state). Now I only have to match check numbers and amounts to what is already entered in the spreadsheet.Perhaps the best part is that I can share the document with our treasurer and my team teacher so that we can collaborate and error check. Previously, I would have to print off hard copies of everything and then go through it line by line to proof. Now, since I have my spreadsheet formulas in place to do all the math for me, it is a simple matter of sharing the doc with another person to examine areas of concern.
Google Docs "cuts" both ways -- it cuts many hours off of the time needed to compile this information, and it cuts reams of paper from our materials cost.Inspired by Matt's story? Tell us how you're celebrating Earth Day, with Google Docs or otherwise, on Google's Earth Day '08 site.
I founded, and host, an annual conference called Gnomedex, which brings together tech enthusiasts from across the globe, highlighting present and future trends as we see them taking shape. My wife/business partner helps produce it, and we have just hired an event manager for help in coordinating efforts.
As an integral part of getting an event of this size off the ground, I have a spreadsheet to store conference contacts and budget calculations. With Google Docs, I have been able to share this important info with various associates whenever they need the information. It's much easier than having to look up the accounts one by one, then pasting them over and over again into an email or instant message -- where the information would remain disorganized in any event (no pun intended). Also, keeping them stored online via Google Docs allows me to keep my hard drive cleaner, and not worry about the need to back them up so they are never lost (which would be disastrous when organizing a conference of this size).
Never having to ask if I'm looking at the latest version of a document or spreadsheet in the middle of the inevitable fire drills that accompany organizing Gnomedex? It's a dream come true. I don't have to worry about saving something, backing it up, copying it to multiple machines or anything of that nature. I simply create, save and be done with it.