23 Things for Archivists

Thing 22: Google Docs

By Jessica Miller

Google Docs is another example of a service that stores users’ data in the cloud and allows them to access it from any computer via the web.  Users can upload files they’ve created in a variety of software applications (like Word or Excel) and can even use Google Docs to create their own text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

Anything uploaded to Google Docs can be shared with other users who can be given the authority to edit and re-load them.  Files created with Google Docs can be edited in real time by multiple users.  Google also offers user-created templates to use as a starting point when you don’t want to start with a completely blank slate.  The limit for free storage is 1GB, but users can choose to pay for additional storage.


  1. Take a tour of Google Docs and read through the quick start guide.
  2. If you haven’t already done so, create a Google account and e-mail your username to 23thingsforarchivists@gmail.com so we can invite you to view and edit documents in our Google Docs account.
  3. Edit and add comments to the document posted there.  Feel free to be as creative as you want with fonts, bullets, and the like.
  4. Log into Google Docs with your Google account and use Google’s software to create any kind of file you’d like.  Share it with other 23 Things participants and allow them to edit it.


  1. Create a Google Docs template and share it for public use.

Blog Prompts

  • How do you think the Google Docs applications compare to other commercial software programs?
  • What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages to sharing and editing files in real time?
  • Do you have any concerns about using services like Google Docs for important professional or personal projects?


  1. […] Thing 18: Video Sharing Thing 19: Online Timelines Thing 20: Social Bookmarking Thing 21: Wikis Thing 22: Google Docs Thing 23: Online Surveys LikeBe the first to like this post.▶ 2 Responses /* […]

  2. Google docs worries me a tad…only in that people mistake it for a rec man system. Sometimes people send me a google doc – then I can’t read it on certain browsers. But on the upside – I suspect this is the way of the future with all edrms systems. Certainly appears to be very user friendly.

  3. […] sharing is kind of, partially Thing 16 on the libraries list and Thing 22 on the archives […]

  4. […] I confess I am not sure what it is doing on a list of tools that can be used for outreach. In this Thing, Jessica Miller discusses what Google Docs does and the great advantage of the service (i.e. that […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: