Spreadsheet usage is making things easier.

+24 votes

Ever since the Source-A-Thon I've been keeping a spreadsheet with multiple tabs going that covers the weekly suggestion report, direct links to unsourced profiles, and the weekly data doctor challenge.

This sheet can be used by anyone and has the added benefit of a live chat feature. Many of you have been hearing about this but have trouble finding it or understanding how it is used.

When you first access the sheet you will be assigned a random animal unless I have your email address that is assigned to a google or youtube account. You don't want to be the skunk because that just stinks up the whole sheet. This animal is not assigned to YOU, it is assigned to an unknown connection. Leaving and rejoining will cause it to change.

That being said, the suggestions and week challenge are wiped and updated as soon as I have access to the reports from Ales Trtnik. This spreadsheet is definitely NOT a replacement for his awesome work but merely a way for his static report to become "interactive".

You will not "break the sheet". It automatically backs itself up and I can restore it. This should help to relieve people who worry about messing things up. We all do it, it is part of learning.

This is the link to the sheet. http://tinyurl.com/Doctorsheet

I also have a screenshot showing features that are on this sheet. Feel free to study the photo as it will answer most of your questions.


Feel free to stop by and say hi.


Questions, comments, suggestions are all welcome.

asked in The Tree House by Steven Tibbetts G2G6 Pilot (107k points)
edited by Steven Tibbetts
i love google docs and spreadsheets. PGM is using them, too, differently.

Nice work, Steven.
Question: other than the chat feature, how is using a google sheet easier? (People will want to know.)
Google Docs is different but it does have the advantage of being free and available for everyone. Whereas, one needs to buy Microsoft Office in one form or another. Google Docs encourages "free genealogy" which is a boon in my book.

I love seeing what you are doing, Steven. It's fabulous.
If you need something for free on your computer, search for "open office". I'ts free and it reads all the latest office files and saves as slightly older versions.

Glad you like the sheet.
we currently have a skunk in the spreadsheet. hold your nose. LOL
Any suggestions on improvements?
Libre Offlice too. I like it better then Open Office. And its free.

Hi All,

I use all the Google tools at work, all the time. There are several advantages of Google Sheets:

  • Free
  • Online, real-time, collaboration
  • Does everything that Excel (and other) do, plus has more functionality
  • Backed up, and every transaction saved in a history

All the Open Source solutions like Libre Office or Open Office, while free, do not offer online, real-time collaboration between multiple contributors.

Go Google Sheets all the way. :-)

7 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer
I started using the Doctorsheet 2 or 3 challenges ago, and love it! I have had an easier time just going down a list updating profiles without running into other people who've already done the work. The possibility for headbumps is still there, but it is much diminished now and no longer a frustration. I hope anyone who plans to work on a particular group visits this spreadsheet. It really helps!
answered by Joyce Rivette G2G6 Mach 1 (13.9k points)
selected by Debbie Parsons
+4 votes
I am interested in this, but I don't feel like I will be very active this month. I don't understand how it works though. What do the coloured cells mean?
answered by Dawn Ellis G2G6 Mach 7 (76.2k points)
If you are working in a certain area you color the cell to let people know you are doing those. In cases where you are working on a really big one you can if you chose find a blank spot, type the column row in and then put pages you will work on. Like "G44, pg 1-6". This lets someone know that they can start in at page 7.

The sheet usage is for convenience so we don't do the same areas. Chat is to communicate and possibly holler for help. The "open" and "new"  columns aren't good choices though because they spread through all the century columns.

And of course, when you want to take a break you can always chat for a few minutes and get to know fellow wikitreers.
+2 votes
Just to let everyone know, I have started an "Info" tab where we can put quick links, info to make profiles better, etc. I'm sure quite a bit of it can be found in the help section but it is sometimes more convenient to have it 1 tab over and directly to it.

Feel free to add links, tips, tricks, etc.
answered by Steven Tibbetts G2G6 Pilot (107k points)
Thanks Steven!
Added 3 common templates to help with the FAG challenge in the info tab.
+2 votes

It is true you don't have to use the sheet. But the sheet IS a direct copy of the table made by AleŇ° Trtnik. I literally hilight his table and paste it in the sheet. This is done so we can track what we are working on. It is an enhancement, not a replacement. It also has a built-in chat. Try it. :)

As far as coloring the cells, I've noticed someone went in and grabbed almost all the cells and when I checked, they were not actively working on them. This is NOT why you color a cell in to keep it only for yourself. Color it if you are actively DOING it. Some profiles will already be done because 

A. all people don't use the sheet

B. many people fix all errors on a profile while they are there including the one you are looking for. (profiles have multiple errors)

C. 1 change can fix multiple errors.

D. people doing their own suggestions may fix their own errors before you get to them.

E. some people do regional instead of global.

DO NOT ASSUME a recent visit fixed the error you are targetting either.

The red cells did get fixed thank you.


There are tabs at the bottom that can be used by multiple groups and then the chat would be shared.

answered by Steven Tibbetts G2G6 Pilot (107k points)
+1 vote
Since the new challenge only covers 811 unmerged profile errors I added the link to do them by country/state as well. Just mark in a blank cell what you are targetting.
answered by Steven Tibbetts G2G6 Pilot (107k points)
+1 vote
This is the same sheet btw that currently has the US  name history in the States tab. This is turning into a bear of a project trying to get it all inclusive by states with notes, dates, and wikipedia links.
answered by Steven Tibbetts G2G6 Pilot (107k points)
+2 votes
Just to let people know, not only did I add a link to the new "Data Doctor Challenge" guide but I often add helpful tips that people might find useful. And by all means, feel free to check the "INFO" tab at the bottom and add any favorites you use that I might not have found yet.
answered ago by Steven Tibbetts G2G6 Pilot (107k points)

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