Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Google Docs. Why didn't anyone tell me about this earlier!?

(Week 8, Thing 18)

Seriously, why didn't anyone inform me of the existence of Google Docs before!? The website has applications very similar to Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, except they are run in a web brower and - obviously - they are done by Google instead of Microsoft.

Many of our patrons have had problems saving their work. They can't save to our hard drives, they can't burn CDs, most don't have Flash drives (and half of our PCs don't have functional USB ports), and we continuously have problems with floppy disks. With Google Docs, these patrons could create documents online, save them, and access their work at any location with web access in the future. Additionally, there is the option to e-mail documents created on the website as Microsoft Office attachments.

The overall functionality seems to be very good. All of the spellcheck and formatting options of Microsoft Office exist in Google, and the interface is very similar. Patrons who are used to Microsoft Office will not have to retrain themselves to use Google Docs.

The one thing that Google Docs is missing, however, is templates. Actually, I should say that I have yet to find any templates. Many of our patrons use Microsoft Office to create letters or resumes, so the templates offered by Office are necessary for their tasks. If Google adds these functions - or puts them in a place where I can easily find them - I may start to recommend Google over Office. Patrons would be able to save their resumes online and e-mail them to potential employers. This would be far more efficient for our patrons who do not have computers at home.

2 comments:

Jen said...

Brian,

I haven't seen any templates either. Google Groups has a place to post templates. Only one has been submitted, though. Nothing for resumes.

Jennifer

Miss Jill said...

As a public service, perhaps we librarians could make and post templates, and link to them from the Library website? Maybe?