Posted on April 13, 2011 by Jennifer Pointer


Google Docs


If you aren't already using Google Docs, you might want to give it a try.  I often find myself accessing the web from computers other than my own.  I never know what version of Microsoft Office I'm going to be working with, and if a document or spreadsheet is created in a newer version of the software than the one I'm using, it may not display properly.  That problem compounds when I'm exchanging files with one of my clients who travels a lot, and also uses computers all over the U.S.  We've solved this problem with Google Docs, which can open any Word Document, Excel Spreadsheet or Power Point presentation - from anywhere, because it's web-based.


One of my favorite uses for this program in the past has been the ability to maintain and update shared contacts lists. 


There are also a variety of other tools and templates that can be used to develop a budget, write a resume, collaborate on a "to do" list, share a calendar or scheduler, take a survey, or keep track of sports brackets (I have no idea what that means).  Each "document," (or spreadsheet, or presentation, or form, or picture, or chart, or whatever), can be set to private or public or anywhere in-between with only specific individuals being able to access them.  The people you share with don't even have to have a Google account - although it's beyond me why they wouldn't want to.


To try it, go to, and you'll start from a page that looks something like the above photo.  The instructions are pretty straightforward from there.  "Documents" works like Microsoft Word, "Presentation" works like Power Point, "Spreadsheets" works like get the idea.  Any of these documents can be downloaded and used in all versions of their respective Microsoft counterparts.



Jennifer Pointer


Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. 


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