Friday, September 21, 2007

Planning Trips Together

Planning trips can be fun...(Ha!) ...vacation trips, not business trips. But no matter what type of trip I'm planning, there's almost always a need to share the itinerary, if not the planning process itself, with other people.
So, of course I see an opportunity to use a Google spreadsheet here (yes - I know Google Calendar is the more natural choice...). I was inspired by another spreadsheet I found online - where Disney trips specifically were being planned - to create a generic template that anyone could use to plan a trip. Knowing how hard that was (the Disney trip), I could relate to the value of having a 1-page view of the whole trip - particularly the meal reservations (don't get me started on that topic).

The main feature of the template is the automatic creation of the "Agenda View", which is a shortened version of the schedule (yes - I know Google Calendar has the best Agenda view)... so as you fill in the Trip Planner matrix on the front page, the Agenda View is populated with that data. You could even share a link to the published version of that simpler Agenda View with people - and as you update your plans on the main page, they'll always see the most recent version (as long as you use the "automatically re-publish" option on the "publish" tab).

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