Google Sheets as a Mindtool

I’ve been using Google Sheets for a few years now.  I say this with pride because it’s a spreadsheet tool that I feel I can actually use proficiently.  Even though I’ve been exposed to Excel for many more years than Google Sheets, I’m still no where near a proficient user of Excel.  It just always seems to be just out of my grasp.  There’s too much to do, too much to learn, and the math element makes Excel even more daunting.  However, Google Sheets never felt that way.  If I had to describe the difference between Excel and Google Sheets for me as a user, I would say that Excel feels like it’s a tool for math/accounting geniuses to make their tasks easier; whereas Google Sheets feels like it’s a tool for people who aren’t comfortable with math/accounting to make their tasks easier.  But that could just be my own math bias.

I started using Google Sheets at work for everything number related.  It was helpful in organizing the budget and purchasing for the textbooks for all of our courses and programs.  What I loved the most about using a Google Sheet is that a field can both occupy information AND a usable link.  For example, in the sheet below that I’m currently using for work, I’m able to give myself a full view of the materials we’re purchasing and how much we’re spending for some of our programs, and then I can even link the PO’s to this master spreadsheet.  So it’s a tool for calculations but it also becomes an organizational tool as well.

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 10.18.34 AM

More than anything, I think that it’s this organizational feature that elevates Google Sheets from being just a tool, to being a mindtool.  While any spreadsheet technically organizes information, Google Sheets makes housing and storing and connecting AND organizing information all the more easy.  Every file that’s needed can be stored within the same Google platform making the linking files easier to navigate, locate, and connect.  It’s this level of cognitive use that transforms Google Sheets from a tool to a mindtool.

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