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Old 12-11-2011   #1
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
Google Doc for Trip Planning

Last season I started using google docs to organize my trip, set meals check off group gear, etc. For the most part it works fairly well. it is no masterpiece by any means. I am curious who else is using google docs or what other systems are you using...

Here is a link to my template:

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Old 12-11-2011   #2
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
Our core group has our routine pretty much dialed in. My buddy & I have all the group gear. We keep our group size small (10-12 people). The permit holder gets to divide up the meal teams. We do all our communication by e-mails. We have been running together for quite a number of years, so we know the drill without a whole lot of excess planning needed.
On trips were there are a lot of folks coming from different locations, the trip leaders have done planning by using Yahoo groups. Google Docs looks interesting.

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Old 12-11-2011   #3
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 390
I've used it to plan several multidays. Works very well except for the inevitable computer-challenged group members that can't seem to get a grasp on the fact that they can actually edit the document themselves / add to the discussion or people that don't have and refuse to get a google account.

Aside from that, it's great. I use it to get everyone in the group up to date info, plan who's doing what meals, when and with who, who's bringing what group gear, who's driving and to keep track of all expenses.

Way better than sending a ton of emails back and forth.
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Old 12-11-2011   #4
FoCo,NoCo, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 280
Yep, use google docs as well. Easy for TL to keep track of gear needed. And to set work/cook crews and schedules.
Some don't quite "get it." Or just can't be bothered, but they usually aren't big contributors anyway.
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Old 12-11-2011   #5
boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 42
ive been using google docs for many different projects for several years now. its an invaluable tool. i find th spreadsheet th most useful for trip planning. u can take already existing spreadsheets and import thm directly..a very nice feature. my general GDss has over 10 separate worksheets for trip planning. i find that for novices u can just share ur screen via skype(or smthng similar) and give thm a 5 min tour and they r thn good to go! th ppl most resistant r th long time river runners who have homed in on their own way to do it. and thats fine for a trip theyre running and r responsible for. but whn on others trips they need to bend a bit and go wth th flow.
theres always a different way to run some rapids
and btw, if anyone wud like a templet i wud b happy to or call me
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Old 12-11-2011   #6
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,346
Originally Posted by sarahkonamojo View Post
Yep, use google docs as well. Easy for TL to keep track of gear needed. And to set work/cook crews and schedules.
Some don't quite "get it." Or just can't be bothered, but they usually aren't big contributors anyway.
Oh give me a break. Some of my hardest working boating friends are older and just not going to "get it". I'm planning a GC trip now and I use a spreadsheet which I manage, then just pdf for distribution. I am reluctant to allow others to input information directly into planning documents, for two reasons. One is to make sure work/gear is spread out and a few don't volunteer for everything. The other is to make sure there aren't any inadvertant changes that aren't discovered until we run out of propane on day 14. Then again, our trips are pretty simple so it's not a ton of work. Really only group gear is of interest as each group is fully responsible for their assigned meals (plan, shop, pack, and prepare). I've done it both ways (including central planning) and I find this MUCH easier as the TL. It also lets each group/person some autonomy in what they are comfortable preparing and what their favorites are. I think GD might have been useful when asking people to tell me their gear, I could have had them enter it directly and planned from that. Vs having them email me a list and I put it in my own spreadsheet. But I think I can use it for overall meal planning, so people input their proposed meals and it will be easier to have an overview of meal sequencing (to make sure we don't have too much repetition).
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 12-11-2011   #7
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
Examples, examples, examples... If those who have used it could link to a document that we can all view that would be great. I would really like to see how people use these documents. (and hopefully get a few idea on how to improve mine.

I as well have the "google challenged" folk who either don't want to log in to the form, or don't have computer access to figure it out. Most of my emails to the group say, "follow the link or reply to this email..."

For my Big Ditch trip I was not the TL, but the TL sent out spreadsheets with the emergency contact and itinerary. As a boat captain I printed both out and kept them on hand.
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Old 12-11-2011   #8
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
I've used it for a number of long river trips. I start with the participant list, the itinerary, and then the gear list. People add to it or sign up next to items. I like it when everyone uses a different color for their stuff and adds initials.

It's a great tool when you're planning a trip and everyone doesn't live in the same area. It also lets everyone add the "oh shit, I almost forgot" items without having to call the whole group time and time again.
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Old 12-11-2011   #9
rafterswhite's Avatar
HSS, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 53
We also generally have our act together, but for a recent Grand trip did the Google docs. It worked very well for those of us sharing organizational duties. and yes there were those that I don't think ever looked at it, but to those of us who felt the details are important, we used it.

Send me a pm, I'll send you a link.

As far others changing details, Google Docs has a great feature that you can receive an alert any time a field is changed. Sometimes the change is good, sometimes it starts a good discussion.
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Old 12-11-2011   #10
boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 42
some of th nice features of a GD are that they r dynamic, multi user & real time. u can make users read only or give them th ability to edit etc on a person by person basis.
i seed mine with a fair amt of original data. i have different 1s for different runs. for ex my worksheet for camps is run dependent. same for shuttles etc. if my template was general enuff for all runs it would have to be very basic. this link is for deso/grey.
ive changed th personal info to protect th guilty. but ive left in th accumulated info to give a better idea of its look towards th finish (near launch). there r 14 separate sections ( wrksheets/tabs).
roster, group gear, alerts, notes, questions, common expenses, boat chk list, food, menu plan, shuttle, personal gear, campsites/springs, hikes, final gear distribution. for this particular trip there were 3 groups of 3 that knew each other and th rest were individuals. 13 total ppl that for th most part didn't know th others on th trip. we eliminated redundancy and didn't end up missing anything. its a very dynamic process as th doc swells and shrinks as ppl ask questions and they r answered. even th ppl that cant edit get to observe th process as much as they want.

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