This week’s theme is ‘Office 2.0’ and we’re kicking off with Google’s attempt to replicate traditional office programmes: Google Drive (formerly Google Docs).
Google Drive offers versions of typical Office programs: Word documents, Presentations (see the posts on Prezi and Slideshare for other ways to create a presentation), Form builders, Drawing tools and Spreadsheets. They can’t do quite as many things as the programs we’re all used to, but are an easy, web-based way of working on documents – and you can download them easily as .doc files (Microsoft Word) or PDF files, among others. You can organise your files into folders, and they’re easy to manage and delete (especially if you’re used to the Google interface).
Many of us have to work on documents with colleagues, and the Google Drive allows this very easily. It’s useful if you work from a number of machines, and can’t remote desktop, as it saves you having to carry a USB stick and hope that the computer you’re using has the correct software to access your file: Google Drive documents are standard, as they are web-based.
One of the main purposes of Google Drive s to allow multiple people to edit the same document, spreadsheet or presentation without creating duplicate copies. Documents can either be uploaded from your PC or created from scratch within Google Drive and the fact that everyone can access the file in one place means that it is much simpler to edit and update. This can be very useful for researchers who are collaborating on a project; for example, and for this 23 Things programme the team used Google Docs to store and share post content and schedule.
This is quite useful for researchers who are working with colleagues in different countries, or librarians in different offices. The University of Sheffield have rolled out a number of Google services instead of their own internal email and other (expensive) collaborative tools, and have referred to themselves as “The University of Google”.
Accessing Google Drive is quite straightforward:
- simply login with the same username and password that you would use to access your Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, you can quickly set one up by clicking here and completing the online form.
- Once you have logged in to Google Drive, click ‘Create’ and choose what kind of document you would like to create – such as a spreadsheet, word-processing document or a presentation.
- Create your document and it will save automatically, or you can force a save by pressing Ctrl+s.
- Now you are ready to share your document, either with a colleague or even with another 23 Things participant if you wish! Click on the ‘Share’ button in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
- Change the ‘Who has access’ section from ‘Private’ to ‘Anyone with the link’ or ‘Anyone on the web’ IF you want to make the document completely public. If you’d like people to be able to edit, click ‘Can view’ and change to ‘Can edit’. This allows anyone with the link to edit the document. Click ‘Save’.
- In the ‘Add People’ box, enter the email address of the person with whom you would like to share the document and decide whether you will allow them to edit the document or just to view it. Click ‘Share’ and this person will now receive an email with a direct link to your document.
Compare this with last week’s Evernote and other file-sharing tools. Do you think it would be useful in your work at all?
No more piles of notebooks
Evernote is a web application which is also available to download on to mobile devices, desktop PCs, lap tops and just about every computer. This means that you can literally use it anywhere and it will sync with on all your devices and the website.
Why use it?
* You can log on to the web version (http://www.evernote.com/) anywhere with an internet connection and you can share your notes so it is a great way of quickly creating a simple web page or putting a plan together.
* You can clip all or part of a webpage into a note by using the web clipping tool (this is easier to install at work on Firefox than on Internet Explorer).
* You can create checklists so you can tick the boxes to keep track of what you have done.
* You can tag notes so notes in different notebooks can all use the same tage and be found on a search.
* If you are using it on a mobile device you can add a location so you can see all notes made at that location by you.
Evernote is particularly useful for projects as this video shows:
Examples of Evernote uses
- Create a note
- Tag it
- Share it
Instructions and some more information are available here.
One of the most popular scheduling tools is Doodle. Doodle is free, easy to use and doesn’t require any registration (although it offers added features to registered users). For this week’s Thing, please explore Doodle and, if you can, give it a try for scheduling something.
- Go to http://www.doodle.com/.
- Click on the Schedule Event button.
- Follow instructions for Steps 1-4 each time clicking ‘next’ to get to the next page. Decide on the dates that you are free and the time slots within each date that you are free and add them in the chart.
- At Step 4 you need to decide whether you want to send an email to your colleagues yourself or whether you want Doodle to do this.
- If you have chosen to send the poll out yourself then check your emails from Doodle and follow the clear instructions in them.
- Send the link out and wait for response!
You can view your responses at any time by visiting the Administration link. Once everyone has
replied, all that’s left is to choose the time that everyone can do, and let everyone know.
You can integrate Doodle with other online tools, including your Microsoft Outlook calendar, Google calendar or iCal; Doodle can sync meetings you set up with these calendars and update based on poll results. Doodle’s calendar integration page provides more info on how to set these up.
Doodle isn’t the only online scheduling tool, although it is one of the most popular. You might want to explore other options such as Meet-o-Matic or Scheduly.
Thing 11: Invite some other participants to meet up using the instructions above.
Remember the Milk (RTM) is a To-do list which you can access online or on a mobile device and link to Gmail. For the cool extra thing this week create a list and share it with other 23 Things Participants. You can also link it to Outlook but you need a plugin which requires admin rights to install.
RTM allows you to create various lists so you can separate your to-do lists. The default is personal, work, and study but you can create more in the settings section.
This is a 23 Things List showing the different weeks as individual tasks. Details of the different tasks are in the notes section and the tasks have been tagged with the initials of the people doing them so we can search for our own tasks:
You can share tasks amongst a team by adding other RTM users as contacts (they also have to add you back). Tasks that have been shared with you appear in your inbox.
It is possible to add a location to a task and these are linked to Google Maps so you can view them all on a map. You have to create the location before you can use it but once it is created you can keep using it.
To set up an account go to: http://www.rememberthemilk.com/.
Remember the Milk has a great Getting Started Guide and blog which have lots of helpful hints plus things you can do with it including using it with Twitter and Siri (for iPhone users).