What Google Docs Taught Me About Living Innovative Life

1. Version History

I love how Google changed the name of the feature from Revision History to Version history because I believe version simply means you can live out your best version of life. Version History is my favorite feature because it’s a time machine as I can see the process of a document being made. I can check who edit and comment. I can revisit the process of document in the making. If I see something wrong and I need to fix it, I just need to restore the version I want.

In your life, I encourage you to use version history feature to look differently and find something that you might not see. See the process in the ways you’ve never seen before with new perspective.

I spent 7 years of teaching Social Studies & ICT and now I am working as full time Google Certified Trainer to help schools. Initially I aim to apply for master program in the US in educational technology but I didn’t get accepted so I realized I must choose another version of my life by living out the educational technology. Once all my friends advice me to continue my study to advance my career and I told them I have my own version of advancing of my career. Learning educational technology in university is awesome but currently I am living another awesome life by learning edtech through online, conferences, summit and training.

As an innovator, don’t be afraid of making changes and choose the best version you want to live to inspire others to live the best versions of themselves. Don’t try to be some version of what you think the other person wants.

How do you become the best version of yourself? Just like in Google Docs, revisit who you work with and what contribution they are making. You can always try and change things no matter what people said by clicking restore button. Then, you can start over with your own version of life!

2. Explore:

Explore is another amazing tool that allow us to search our related existing file on Google Drive, information & data on Search, and images from Google Images. To stay relevant, I believe we need to activate explore feature in our life as we need to explore what we’ve learned from your ‘drive’, search new perspectives from ‘Google Search’, and seeing different and new images from ‘Google images’.

As innovator, there is no way you stop exploring. Limited budget? time? energy? Well… I have similar struggle but that don’t stop me to keep exploring. The easiest way to do it is to open your twitter, follow some amazing twitter profile like me, Wendy, and Google for Education. Read chat, group, blog or innovation project from others to keep you inspired and motivated. Believe me you’re gonna need this feature after leaving this place. Read books from EdTech Team and be inspired by their stories, examples, and ideas. Watch Edu On Air, Talk at Google, TEDx video. The point is do not limit yourself to explore new ways.

3. Make Available Offline

Make available offline feature allows you to keep working productively while you’re offline or disconnected from the internet. Why offline? Sometimes in life, you need time and space to be offline. Disconnect yourself with online and social media hype. Spend time with you people around you. Family is always number one. Also, don’t underestimate the physical presence of empowering colleague, inspiring leaders, and local educators around you. To better understand the moment we live in, we need to stay connected with people around us. Spend time with friends in your area to dig dive into real problems in your country. Be the leader you’d like see. Join face to face seminar, workshop, conference, summit just like this. Nothing can replace the physical presence and face to face interaction where you can learn empathy in the ways you’ve never imagined.

Feel unconfident, lack of experience? look at me. I have very limited experience, I am still learning, I am not perfect, I am on my way to be the best version of my self but I am available for you offline all now.

4. Share

Sharing feature is one of the biggest game changer in Google Documents and since that feature has been put, I’ve realized this feature has changed the way you create documents, spreadsheet, and slides by collaborating with others. It’s no longer in ‘the box’ of certain device but you can access your documents in any devices. I love how this Google feature made us realize we don’t need to fit inside the boxes. Many people said you need to keep your ideas between the lines, but no we don’t need to keep our ideas inside the lines. We can transcend boxes and reach higher!

That’s exactly the moment when you need to open the sharing setting and share it to people whom you trusted who can view your innovation, suggest some edit, and give constructive comment. Even further, don’t be afraid to say, “Hey, can we collaborate?” because that’s exactly what share button is made for us. To invite people to collaborate. What if somebody neglect it, laugh at it, and negate at it? Well, you have the first button we discussed, version history to revise things to be better and better. Don’t worry with the haters, there’ll be only viewers who just read it, focus on someone who really can give positive contribution on your work! Get out of the box.

How many that we do not use this ‘share’ button in our life? How often we do everything by ourselves and keep our innovation private because we feel it’s not good enough? That’s me. I used to be person who feel like what I did was never enough to make me as innovator especially I first assumed that nobody will like my blog and instagram post. What people will think about this crazy ideas This fear often shut me down prevent or restrict access from other negative people to download, copy, and print of the fun of my innovation which will slowly kill my innovative spirit.

So, this is how Google Docs taught me to live as innovator:

  • Version History : Always become the best version of your life.
  • Explore : Never stop exploring new things.
  • Make available offline: Be available offline in the now moment.
  • Share : Open your sharing setting to collaborate with positive people.


Steven is a life long learner and multi-award educational technology coach with international certifications from Google, Apple, National Geographic, TED Ed, Google Earth Education, EdTech Team, EduTECH Asia, Young Southeast Asia Leaders Initiative, US Embassy, Tech in Asia, and many international and local institutions.

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