Monday, February 22, 2010

Mentor Monday: What's Up, Google Docs?

Last week Sister A wrote about her love for the wiki.  Like Andy, I once used a wiki to keep track of my research . . . until I found Google Documents, aka Docs.

You can find Docs under the "MORE' drop down menu on the upper left side of your google home page.  When you click on Docs it takes you to your doc home page.  Here you have easy access to the documents you've been working on -- and categorizes them into when you last worked on them -- today, yesterday, last week, earlier this year..

Your folders appear on the left -- all available for easy access.  You can create documents, files, spreadsheets, and presentations.

You can hide the things you're not working on so as not to get too distracted.  You can click and drag items into folders.

My favorite feature is the ability to save the web searches as links within the document itself.  On the toolbar at the top of the document, there's a button for a link.  Copy and paste the link from your research web page into your document first.  Highlight the link and click the "link" button.  The menu offers up options to link to a URL, a document, a bookmark, or an email address.  After clicking insert, you can now access the link just by clicking it in the text.  Simple!

Another great feature is the ability to upload items on your hard drive into your Docs.  There's a button on the upper left that says "UPLOAD".  Click on it, browse your files, select.  Voila -- your doc is now on your Docs page.  A nice way to back up your files.  There is lots of storage space here.  A feature also allows you to convert the uploaded document to a Google Docs format.  I've yet to fully explore that feature.

Like a wiki, you can choose to share your document with other.  Docs also lets you explore different templates for resumes, scrapbooks, trip checklists.  I haven't used this feature yet, but it looks promising.


Sally said...

sounds very useful - I'll be checking it out! I know my younger relatives use GoogleDocs to do group planning, very like a wiki, although I'm not sure how. . . .

Andy said...

Oooo! Sounds very promising. I'm definitely going to give Goggle Docs a whirl. I just bookmarked what looks to be an interesting comparison of wikis, docs and blogs at which I'm going to check out later.

Thanks for the tip, Janet!