Friday, September 14, 2012

Google Docs

Just in case you are still lacking an acquaintance with this now-integral part of [my] life...

Google Docs is another "new best friend" of mine since I started wedding planning. I used it a bit before, but once I started planning, I quickly became completely addicted. The main advantage to using a "cloud drive" like this (as opposed to Word documents saved on your personal computer) is simple--you, and your fiance, and your mom, and his mom, and your maid of honor, and your planner/coordinator, etc. (whoever you choose to "share" the document/spreadsheet with) can access the documents anywhere at any time. I've got dozens of files, from our guest list to our to-do list to our shopping list to our list of things to add to our registry, saved there--and it's SO convenient to be able to open them not only when I have my own laptop with me, but also on Caleb's iPhone, or on his computer, or at my parents'--not to mention that my bridesmaids can check stuff out (at least what I've allowed them access to) whenever they want. (My three sisters, all younger than me and all first-time bridesmaids so it's hugely exciting--love me for this!)

So. If you have a Gmail account already, all you have to do is click on "Documents" in the black bar at the top of your email screen, and you can start creating files. If you don't have a Gmail account, you can go to to sign up (it's free of course). Side note for you engaged ladies: when creating a username, keep in mind that your last name is about to change! :)

Now, a disclaimer. It would only be fair to share with you a few of the "cons" that I've discovered, as well as the "pros," right? If you are all into your "artistic-looking" Word documents, you're going to be crushed to realize that Google's formatting options are quite limited. Only a handful of fonts available, no ability to create multiple columns for lists (I get around this by just using a spreadsheet instead)...etc. And with the spreadsheets, some of the things I was used to doing in Excel, aren't options with Google. BUT in my opinion, these are sacrifices I can live with for the sake of accessibility/convenience.

This post is getting long, but I want to also put a plug in for Google Calendar at the same time. I realize not everyone is like me, but I have a BUSY schedule and would be a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y LOST without my calendar. Again, I love that I can access it anywhere (well, not quite anywhere--anywhere there's wifi--which is not quite everywhere...but if you're luckier than me and have an iPhone, you can use the app and not have that problem). So that can be helpful for all the scheduling that goes along with planning, as well!

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