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Create easy 'tracking' apps for iPhone via Google Docs iOS devices
Since I've had my iPhone, I've found a few things that I wish I could do with it. I wished that I had a fuel-economy tracker app for my car, an expense tracker for work-expenses and others. I knew I could've set-up a custom web-page backed with a database, but it just seemed that there should be an easier way.

It seems Google thought so too, as they've just released a powerful new Forms extension to their Google Docs app, Spreadsheets. Using Forms, you can essentially create a survey or email-based input form for a spreadsheet you've created. This has great implications for those needing to create ad-hoc surveys for your work-mates, friends, family and more. However, there's nothing stopping you from inviting only yourself to the form.

To get started, go to Google Docs (sign-up if necessary), create a new spreadsheet. If you want, you can add a few columns with a header row to make things a little easier in the next step. Then, go to Share and invite yourself with the 'to fill out a form' option. You'll then be able to configure your form. Here you can add or delete fields, re-order them, and set each field to 'text,' 'paragraph-text,' 'multiple-choice,' 'checkboxes,' or 'choose from a list' (with the choices, where applicable). You can also set defaults in some cases, and add simple instructions.

You'll receive an email with the form embedded, but there's also a link to a web page version of the same form. On your iPhone, click this link from your email (or import this link via Safari). Once it is open in Safari, scale it to fit better on the screen, then press the + at the bottom of the screen and add the page to your home screen.

Now, whenever I fill my tank or make a business expense, I simply press the button on my iPhone, then fill in the form, and press Submit. All results appear in my spreadsheet. It appends a new row for each submission. I've also set up the spreadsheet to automatically take averages, or compute other figures from the submitted data. You just need to put these work cells at the top of your sheet, and refer to your data with deep-reaching cell-ranges like $C$4:$C$999, for example, so that the range will 'see' new data as it comes in.
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Create easy 'tracking' apps for iPhone via Google Docs | 13 comments | Create New Account
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Create easy 'tracking' apps for iPhone via Google Docs
Authored by: ja on Feb 15, '08 12:30:00PM
The link to Google Docs should be http://docs.google.com/. The link to googledocs.com in the article is page full of advertising.

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Create easy 'tracking' apps for iPhone via Google Docs
Authored by: jrobcet on Feb 15, '08 03:34:01PM

Wow, this is just what I've been wanting. When did Google add this feature? Now I have the ability to add debits to a spreadsheet on the go. Thanks!



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Create easy 'tracking' apps for iPhone via Google Docs
Authored by: robg on Feb 15, '08 08:54:49PM

Sorry about that link error; it's fixed now.

-rob.



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Create easy 'tracking' apps for iPhone via Google Docs
Authored by: andyjw on Feb 16, '08 07:11:40AM

This is perfect. Already created a log for blood glucose readings which I can then analyze as needed. Fantastic find/tip!

-A

---
I'll die with a smile... even if it kills me.



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Create easy 'tracking' apps for iPhone via Google Docs
Authored by: mysty on Feb 20, '08 08:22:42AM

that's exactly what I did, though I am accessing it from a Treo 750v (free from vodafone)

Happy days

ps. HBA1C control, here we come



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Not working
Authored by: jstoneburner on Feb 17, '08 09:37:15PM

I get this message from Google's Mobile Help Center:

"Using many mobile browsers, you can view both your documents and spreadsheets; editing isn't possible at this time. Note also that presentations are only accessible from the iPhone."

Does this represent a change? I have been unable to edit; no edit tools appear on the iPhone.



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Use your computer first
Authored by: mkoistinen on Feb 19, '08 01:05:09AM

Set up the whole thing on your computer first. Your iPhone can be used as a client for the form.

Also, you can *see* the results in your iPhone via Google Docs, but you won't be able to edit the spreadsheet directly from your iPhone.

Good luck.



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Use your computer first
Authored by: neill on Feb 19, '08 07:24:51AM

I'm wondering if this hint would also work for a Touch albeit in a sort of offline/manual/read only mode.

For instance . . . if I create a spreadsheet, edit it from my computer at home then download the sheet to a Touch via wireless at home . . . can I then take the Touch someplace without any internet access and view the saved copy of the document?

My goal is to replace my Palm with either a Touch or iPhone . . . and one of the things I need to do so is some sort of shopping list application. I can easily produce the list in a spreadsheet. My question is whether I can only access this spreadsheet real time via iPhone via the phone or whether I can snag the list down to a Touch at home then have it available someplace without any internet access (like the grocery store).

Thanks.



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Use your computer first... to do what?
Authored by: jstoneburner on Feb 21, '08 12:43:57PM

I created both a spreadsheet and a document on my laptop, and viewing them shows obvious editing tools, but no edit tools can be found on the iPhone view of them.

"you can *see* the results in your iPhone via Google Docs, but you won't be able to edit the spreadsheet directly from your iPhone."

I thought entering data from the iPhone was the whole point of this hint!



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Maybe "form" option is what I needed...
Authored by: jstoneburner on Feb 21, '08 02:33:52PM

The hint said "Then, go to Share and invite yourself with the 'to fill out a form' option." ... "I simply press the button on my iPhone, then fill in the form".

This option is available on the spreadsheet, but not on the document. When you choose the "Share" tab, make sure to click the "fill out form" option.

I was able to add to the spreadsheet from my iPhone.



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Create easy 'tracking' apps for iPhone via Google Docs
Authored by: SSUJoe on Feb 24, '08 07:48:09PM

Any idea why adding the form option completely destroys the spreadsheet??
For instance, data in the column "A" before sharing is now in column "Q".
Thing is, columns B through P are completely blank.

I love this idea for keeping data up to date, but not at the expense of the readability of the spreadsheet itself.



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Create easy 'tracking' apps for iPhone via Google Docs
Authored by: Allenwood on Jun 26, '10 03:42:38AM
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