Strong opinions, weakly held

Trying to make use of Google Spreadsheets

I am on a mailing list with some friends from college, and a year or two ago, someone finally got up the gumption to make a list of everyone’s addresses, anniversaries, birthdays, kids’ names, and so forth. That list took the form of an Excel spreadsheet, which gets emailed around periodically and updated sporadically. Whenever someone needs an address or other information, they generally send an email to the list and someone else coughs up the spreadsheet. It’s an imperfect system.

This morning I imported the document into Google Spreadsheets, and sent an email to my friends letting them know that it’s there and giving them permission to edit it. It will be interesting to see whether the gang takes to the Google spreadsheets version of the document, which has the advantage of being accessible from the web and stored in a central location so that when one person makes a change, everyone can access those changes. My friends are notoriously slow to change when it comes to technology, so we’ll see if Google spreadsheets takes with them.


  1. You might want to consider creating a Yahoo Group for your mailing list. In addition to managing the list itself, you can set up tables in its Database section so everyone can manage their addresses, kids’ names, phone numbers, and such.

  2. I doubt Rafe would use that Yahoo! functionality. The import/export ability of Google Spreadsheets is what makes it powerful. Tables in Yahoo! Groups is no where near as usable.

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