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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Learn about topics ranging from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.
Note: Monday Productivity Pointers is currently on a break, but stay tuned for new tutorials!
- I'm Jess Stratton and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. This week I'm showing you how you can make a template from Google Sheets for your organization to use privately. Right now, anyone can submit a template to the Google template gallery. The problem is that anyone can change your template and use it. This is not an ideal situation if you're using Google sheets to do something like timesheets, which is the example I'm using today. Besides you also might have a logo in there. Here's how it's being used right now.
Here's my timesheet, as you can see it's a very basic timesheet. Click share on the top right hand side to see the current share settings. As you can see, the person below can edit the timesheet. That's good, that's what we want. After all, she needs to be able to get in there and put in her time. So right now, all she has to do is come into this timesheet, click file, make a copy, and now she can fill in a new document each week.
The problem is when you have a lot of people using this, the odds that one of them will one day forget to make a copy first is very, very high. Especially as it's a really easy thing to do This time sheet will be constantly filled out with somebody's time. I'm gonna show you how to protect the sheet, so that no one but you can fill it out unless they make a copy first. This is the idea way to handle something like this, and it's very easy to set up. Here's what we're gonna do, click tools, protect sheet, and the first thing we're gonna do is enter a description.
I'll call this timesheet lockout. You can choose whether you want to protect just a range or the entire sheet. In my case, it's the entire sheet, and we're protecting sheet one and you can verity that by looking down in the bottom left hand side of your sheet. Now, I only have one sheet, so that's the right one, but you could have many more. You can choose to do this to all of them or none of them. Now I'm gonna click set permissions.
It's going to pull the permissions from what you currently have for the shared settings for the document. Here's me, I'm the owner. Here's the other person that I want to be able to edit the timesheet but not the template. So in the range protection dialog, I'm gonna change can edit to can comment. I'll click the blue save changes button, click done. and now I've set my permissions. I can click done again to get out of that timesheet lockout setting, and if I really want to be sure I changed the right thing.
If I click back on this share button in the top right hand side, you can still see that that person can still edit the document. Here's why this works. Once you make a copy, those protected sheets get deleted. They don't transfer over to a copy. So this is also important to realize if you plan on securing a document. Anybody can just make a copy and access it that way. Let's see it in action.
Here's my other account. I'm gonna refresh the view so that I can see the best screen. I'll click on that timesheet, and now I can move my cursor over, and you can probably hear me typing on the keyboard, I'm typing but nothing is happening. That's because these sheets are locked out. I can't edit them. So what I need to do now is, click file, make a copy, click ok, and I have my new template and now I can start typing, and so now it's my timesheet, it's nobody else's and I have that other timesheet template saved and ready to go.
In fact, I could rename that timesheet template. Because I'm going to rename it anyway when I make a copy of it, so that it's my own timesheet. So that's a very easy way that you can make your own templates in Google Sheets privately, for your organization to use, so that only you can edit the template.
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