River Trip Planning Using Google Docs
River Trip Planning Template
I have created this Trip Planning template you can upload to Google Docs to get you started. The file is in Microsoft Excel format so you can also use it and/or customize with Excel if you prefer.
:: Google Docs is a free service offered by Google. The document's "owner" (usually the trip leader) is the only person in your group that is required to have a Google account. The rest of your group doesn't need to have a Google account to access and make changes to the document. We have put together a brief tutorial to get you started. Google provides excellent support and documentation if you need more help than we have provided here.
Step One: upload the template
Download the Trip Planning Template then go to Google Docs and log in or create a Google account if you don't already have one. Once you are logged in you are taken to your Google Docs page. Press the "Upload" button and choose the template you downloaded from this site.
Step Two: customize the template
The document now appears on your screen and you're ready to start customizing it. The document is broken out into seven sections (worksheets). They are listed at the the bottom of the screen and you go to each worksheet by clicking on it's title. You can rearrange the order by clicking the small arrow icons to the right of the worksheet buttons.
We tired to include all the basic information that you might need to plan a trip and suggest you take a few minutes to look over each worksheet and make any changes you want before you start adding your trip information. You can also add any new worksheets that you need at this point. Once you have it set up the way you like you can export the file and save it to your computer to use as your template for future trips. Export the document by choosing "File" then choosing "Export" and selecting the file format (choose "xls" if you want it be an Excel file).
Step Three: Add the Information and Share the Document
Now you can begin filling in all the information. You can assign the gear, meals and groover duty to your group members or you can invite your group to volunteer and list their names and relavant information next to the gear meals and other items. You can share the load and have different people in your group be in charge of different sections. You might want to change the title to something more meaningful like "2009 Yampa Trip" by clicking on the title and typing a new name in the panel that appears.
Now that you have added your information you will want to share the file and send everyone an email that has a link to access it. Press the "Share" button and choose the "Invite People" option. Type or paste in the email addresses separated by a return of all the people that you want to access the document. Add a note and click the "Send" button.
One of the great things about google docs is that you can get an email notification any time someone makes a change. Then you can log on and actually see what has been changed. To do that you will want to set up your Notification Settings. Click the "People with access" tab. There are several things you can do here in addition to modifying your notifications settings. One of the more useful things is that you can email everyone who you invited by clicking the "Email these people" link.
Click the "My notification settings" to set up how you would like to get notified when changes are made. You can set what changes you want notifications on (any is usually the best choice). You can also choose to receive emails about changes right away or as a daily digest.
That's all there is to it! There is a lot more you can do with Google docs and they provide plenty of online support if you want to learn more.
Email us and let us know what you think and send us your template with any cool modifications that you made.
See You On The River!