Monday, February 27, 2012

Google Docs

I thought I'd share one of the ways that I manage the sea of information that I have cataloged for my daughter.  As I shared in another post, I have been using the Facebook Timeline to keep track of events or incidents, but my digital soul belongs equally to both Facebook and Google.  My information is pretty much split between the two and now, little by little, my daughter's information is being cataloged, as well.

If you don't already have one, I suggest you get a Gmail account.  You can do so many things with Google, but for this post, I'm mainly interested in their "Google Drive" (formerly "Google Docs").  You can create documents, spreadsheets, forms, presentations, and the kinds of things you would normally create in the Microsoft Office suite, except for free and with less features that you don't really need for our purposes, anyway.

Here are some samples of the types of files you might create in Google Drive:


  • Diary
    • Foods eaten
    • Weather conditions
    • Behavior/mood
    • Rashes/hives/skin reactions
    • Stomach problems
    • Wheezing/asthma/breathing issues
    • Sleep disturbances
  • Food allergen ingredient lists - other names for milk, egg, etc., in food items
  • Food allergies - Suspect List
  • Sample menus
  • Favorite recipes
  • List of links to pertinent internet articles/websites
  • Doctor visits
  • Immunizations and/or reactions
  • Medications and/or reactions
  • Topical ointments/creams for eczema
  • Blood test results
Now, I don't have all of these documents up-to-date, all the time, but I have had them, at some point.  The thing I love about Google Drive is that they are accessible from anywhere that you can access the internet.

That brings me to another suggestion.  If you have Android phone, you can press and hold a spot on your phone's "desktop" and add a "Widget" and there is a widget for "Drive" and you can add your Drive right onto your smartphone!  I would add the widget to one of your other "pages" on your desktop, though, as it takes up a whole row on my phone.  If you end up creating several Google Drive, you can "star" the ones you want to keep easily accessible on your phone, like your child's food allergen list, or medication list and that will make it easier to pull them up on your phone.  You can also make the Docs available offline, on your phone, in case an internet connection is not available.  It will use the last saved version.  

Even if you do not have a smartphone, I think using Google Drive is a great way to store all kinds of information in a "place" that you can access from multiple locations, as long as you can access the internet.  You can also choose to share the documents with other family members, or anyone else that you choose.  For example, you could create a document, share it with a daycare provider, and have them write down what the child was fed for lunch and then you could add in what you fed them for dinner, if you were keeping a food log.

If anyone else has any other ideas for uses for Google Drive, please share!

Editor's Note: This post has been updated to reflect the name change from "Google Docs" to "Google Drive".


  1. Selena, thanks for writing this post. You gave me some great ideas. I actually don't have Microsoft Office on the computer I use most. I like the idea about putting the widget on my phone. So I can have access to the information on my spreadsheets where ever I am.

  2. You're welcome! Google Docs are certainly useful no matter who you are or what you do! I love Google & Android!