I’ve been a big fan of Google’s foray into web applications since the beginning. Google Docs have put an emphasis on the benefits of data portability associated with server-side storage. Indeed, I now find myself using docs and spreadsheets more often than Word or Excel. These products offer a glimpse of the future of web applications, but are not yet ready to replace their Microsoft counterparts.
Being a student, I primarily use these tools to keep from having to email myself presentations, and papers for class. I can work on something at home, and pick up where I left off at school, or vice a versa. I also upload any class materials instructors offer from the class website into Google Docs, for easy browsing on Google’s excellent mobile interface for the iPhone. One thing that kept me from buying an iPhone for a long time was the fact that it was unable to edit or modify Google Docs. I’ve always wanted to be able to sit in class with my iPhone, and hammer out lecture notes, without having to lug a laptop around, or waste a tree writing in a notebook… I’m not sure if Apple or Google is more to blame for this stunning omission, but today Google has opened up a bit of a workaround (albeit unintentionally).
Today Google released a new sharing feature for its Spreadsheet application that allows you to invite users to enter data into a spreadsheet via customized forms. Intended for use in surveys and sign-up sheets, the plain text entry method allows you the ability to enter data directly into a spreadsheet via your iPhone too!
Without further ado… How to take notes directly to Google Spreadsheets from your iPhone!
1. Log into Google Docs you your computer, create a new spreadsheet, give it a name
2. Go to the “Share” Tab, under “invite people:” choose “to fill out a form”
3. Click, “Start editing your form”
4. Enter a title and description for your form
5. Add a question, name it whatever you’d like the sub-head for your notes to be.
6. For question type, choose “Paragraph Text” This will allow plenty of room for notes.
7. Add additional questions as desired.
8. Click “Next, Choose Recipients” add any email address (you’re just looking to get the confirmation email sent to your email acct.)
9. Click “invite people” to send the invite.
*Note* “Include form in invitation email” is selected by default, leave it so.
10. On your iPhone, check your email, and find the confirmation. Tap the link to your form, and you’re good to go! Be sure to bookmark it for later use.
While this is a somewhat quick and dirty work around, it is the best option I’ve found for iPhone note taking and management, the spreadsheet is auto-formatted in a way that is easy to view on the iphone, and perfect for note-taking.