Shared Spread Sheets

Brief Description

A web based application that allows multiple, distributed users to input data into the same database or spreadsheet.


Teams all over the world face again and again the challenged to collect together data in spreadsheets. This was a conversation topic on the KM4Dev community and the source of the initial information for this wiki page.

When to use

  • When you work on multiple computers and devices and want access to your all your files from anywhere
  • When you are sharing files with a group for collaborative editing and you want to make sure that everyone's changes are included in the latest version (Note: also allows multiple authors/editors to work on a file at once)
  • When you would like to embed content on another website (e.g., a table or graph) that is easy to update online and/or has multiple contributors

How to use

Depending on the tool selected, the steps for creating, sharing, editing, downloading files will vary. For tips on using Google Spreadsheets, see Google Drive.

Tips and Lessons Learnt

Examples & Stories

  • CGIAR, FAO and IFAD organized several share fairs in 2009 - 2011. The organizers were based out of Rome, Addis Ababa, Cali, etc. The Google Drive option worked extremely well to share not only documents but also budget sheets, shared task lists, etc. Users can be given access per file to edit/view. The possibility to revert to previous version ensures that information is not lost.

Who can tell me more?

  • Gauri Salokhe (gauri.salokhe [at]

Related Methods / Tools / Practices


  • Numsum - available for free.
  • Conserveonline - A free online place to share documents called They have collaborative workspaceswhich can be accessed by assigned teams.It might be somewhat of a nuisance but if no other suggestions come up, you could save your file there and then people can access it, input information and upload the newer file to the site.
  • Google Drive - Google Drive is a platform powered by Google which allows you to create, edit, store and share files, among those spreadsheets.
  • Smartsheet - no wonder the inventor of this all-inclusive spreadsheet / project management tool received plenty of awards for this. I highly recommend it - they have preferential prices for NGOs and the free version really helps you get a sense of what they have to offer. DO check it out. It's brilliant.


Photo or image credits

If you included any photos or images, please put the source or photo credit here

Page Authors

  • Michelle Laurie, Mark Berthelemy, Steven Buckley, Rodolfo Siles, Jaap Pels