This is Part 3 in a 3-part series. To see Part 1 and 2, click HERE.
I have previously shared with you how Google Drive has simplified my life as a wife and a mother - by helping me keep track of all of our family contacts and by maintaining our family cash flow.
Today, I'd like to show you how I use Google Drive as a blogging tool.
Creating and using forms on your blog:
Google Drive makes it simple to turn a spreadsheet into a pretty form you can use for your blog. Why might you need a form? For example, I offer other bloggers a chance to co-host a monthly linky party with me, as well as offer a weekly Quick Tip. Rather than having a boring spreadsheet to fill out, or, even worse, having piles of emails to sort through, I created forms to use as sign-up sheets!
First, you simply create your spreadsheet. Name your columns with the information you need to gather from anyone who fills out the form.
At the top of the spreadsheet, click on "Tools" and select "Create Form". It will open another window that will look something like this:
At this point, you will be able to edit your form. Select the column headings that you want to be visible on the finalized form. You can create a drop-down menu for dates or categories or whatever you need.
Once you have the basic form set up, you can get a little fancy! At the top of the screen, click on "Theme: Plain", and it will open up a lot of different themes from which you can select your favorite:
Choose the one that fits your blog best, apply it, then go back to editing (at the top left of the screen).
To get this form onto your blog, you will need to embed it. You do that by first clicking on the "More Actions" tab at the top right of the screen.
Another small window will appear, like this:
You will need to copy the entire link, then paste it into your blog as HTML. In my case, I created a new page just for my forms and embedded them both there.
Head over to my Sign-Up Forms Page now to see the finished product (and sign-up!). It looks a little something like this:
As people fill out the forms, it will save their responses into the spreadsheet you created and you can view it at any time, from anywhere you have internet access.
Cool, huh? (I even used a Google Drive form to send to friends when collecting Girl Scout cookie orders for my daughter!)
For Linky Parties:
Most of us bloggers like to share our creations, recipes, etc. in other blogger's linky parties. There are a couple of problems that Google Drive has helped me solve, though:
Problem #1 - Adding all of those links to the end of my post.
Solution: A document in Google Drive that I copy and paste to the end of each post, already containing links to each blog. All I do once I add it to a post is make the text smaller. Easy, and done.
Solution: A document in Google Drive that I use to log my post and the parties I linked to:
This helps me tremendously. If a blog post goes live on, say, Wednesday, I will (obviously) link up to Wednesday parties. But it also reminds me to go back on Monday and possibly Tuesday to see if those parties are still open and link up there, as well! That means more exposure for my creations + I can go back the following week to see if any of my projects were featured! (If they are featured, I will be highlighting the "X" for that particular party and date.)
There you have it! A run-down of how I use Google Drive to simplify my life! For the complete series, go HERE.
How have you simplified your life this year?
Monday: Sew Can Do, The Girl Creative, Boogieboard Cottage, Keeping It Simple, Skip to My Lou, Craft-O-Maniac, Lines Across, The Dedicated House, Kathe With An E
Tuesday: Cedar Hill Ranch, Sugar Bee Crafts, Not Just a Housewife, Reasons to Skip the Housework, Today’s Creative Blog, Carolyn’s Homework, The Kurtz Corner, The Winthrop Chronicles, Mercy Ink, Funky Polkadot Giraffe
Wednesday: Trendy Treehouse, Night Owl Crafting, My Girlish Whims, Ginger Snap Crafts, Southern Lovely, Sugar and Dots, The DIY Dreamer, seven thirty three
Thursday: The Shabby Creek Cottage, Somewhat Simple, The 36th Avenue, A Glimpse Inside, House of Hepworths, The ArtsyGirl Connection
Friday: Fingerprints on the Fridge, Simply Designing, Happy Hour Projects, Craftionary, Too Much Time on My Hands, One Artsy Mama, Six Sisters’ Stuff, Just Us Four, Mom on Timeout, Tatertots and Jello, My Favorite Finds
Weekends: Family Ever After, Crafty Scrappy Happy, Under the Table and Dreaming, Be Different Act Normal, Lovely Crafty Home, Nifty Thrifty Things, Life on Lakeshore Drive