Mobile reporting with Google Drive enhances collaboration

google-drive-reportingCovering all students with a concept-driven specialty quote is a common goal in high school yearbooks. It’s easy to see why yearbook staffs would want to cover everyone personally in relation to the book’s unifying theme. What’s not so easy is actually collecting, sorting, tracking and using those quotes.

Using Google Drive for iPhone and iPad is the best method we’ve tried — and we’ve tried many.

Here’s how it works: The coverage editor creates one Google Doc of the entire student body (an alphabetical listing from the school registrar) and shares with the rest of the staff. Anytime staff members conduct this type of specialty interview, they access the doc and record the quote next to the source’s name.

During a few “reporting blitz” events at lunch, reporters use their mobile devices to conduct interviews, enter the quotes and mark names of those completed. With everyone working on the same live document, staff members can coordinate without interviewing the same person twice or wondering the status of an interview. The file updates in real time, so it’s easy to see who is covered and who isn’t.

Typing the quotes directly into Google during the interview process means any staff member can copy/paste them onto yearbook spreads easily (no messy handwriting to decipher! no lost interview notes!). They can all access the file simultaneously. When staff members add a quote from the Doc to a spread in progress, they highlight it to indicate it has been used and add the page number. Later this document serves as the beginning of the yearbook index, so everything is stored on one file in the cloud.


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