ARGH! The cry from folks who use Google Docs as a daily part of their life responding to close colleagues who refuse to use it, or claim they have it but don’t really know how to do it.
I have felt this frustration. I offer these tips for dealing with folks who could help you help them if only they could easily collaborate with you:
- Breathe. Bludgeoning them with your cell phone until they have the IQ of a parakeet will not help
- Understand that in the grand scheme of things, Google Docs is still “new” technology to many people
- Understand that LOTS of people have NO CLUE as to what Google Docs is when you mention it – they pretend to know by nodding along, but they have never seen it, maybe never heard it.
- Understand that Google Docs is 100 times easier to show than to describe. Show them. Try not to burst a capillary when they explain that they don’t have a Google account or Gmail. They probably don’t
- Show them, specifically, how the task you are trying to complete is easier with Google Docs, including the time it takes to teach/learn it.
- Suggest to them other common uses you think they could find value in.
- Explain that they will be able to throw out their flash drive and they won’t ever have to buy WORD again. Ever. Assure them that that is ok.
- Encourage them to collaborate with you on something fun, like using a shared spreadsheet to plan a barbecue, or to use a form to do RSVP’s. Anything to take away the mystique.
- If all else fails, bribe them. “IF you can puh-leeez just do this on Docs this one time, I will reward you with a jar of your favorite Strawberry Jam” Something like that.
- DO NOT scare them with the whole “Microsoft will soon quit making Office because everything will be online.” Some people find a lot of comfort in Microsoft Excel, and you don’t want to disturb that.