Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Google Docs for Family Support

I talked before about using Google Docs as a small-time wiki, but I've recently come up with another, slightly less geeky use for Google Docs. My sister and I live in Oregon. Our mother lives down in Orange County, CA. She was recently diganosed with stage 4 lung cancer and was temporarily hospitalized and then released.

My sister and I have been in the difficult position of trying to coordinate care from far. We both work full-time, and so we tag-team on calling people. As we call various professionals and friends, we learn new names and phone numbers of more people to call. (Sounds like Amway, but it isn't. :-)

Anyway, I set up a Google spreadsheet with the names and numbers I was working from and shared it with my sister. She added the information she had collected. We also have columns for email addresses (where relevant) and notes about the person (e.g., a friend from church, the social worker from the hospice, etc.).

The collaborative feature of Google Docs (and spreadsheets) is a life saver. And, if you're away from the Internet, just print it out and take it with you - how 20th century. Joe Bob says, four stars - check it out!