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Doc ApprovED

Even a Monkeylearn Can Do It

Mohseni, Alex, MD

doi: 10.1097/01.EEM.0000552789.34456.4c
Doc ApprovED

Dr. Mohseni is an emergency physician, telemedicine provider with CirrusMD, and the editor of his own blog, http://CreativeHealthLabs.com. Follow him on Twitter @amohseni, and read his past EMN columns at http://bit.ly/EMN-DocAPProvED.

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I'm surprised how many people still use Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It's difficult for me to imagine a bigger waste of time than trying to reconcile different versions of documents, with agonizing file names—MyProject-final-final-really-final4.doc.

I use Google Apps for everything, and I believe Google Sheets is far superior to Excel for everything other than large data sets. And there's one simple reason: Add-ons.

Google Sheets offer add-ons, which are extensions that can greatly boost your power, functionality, and efficiency when doing spreadsheet work. Here are my favorites:

  • Power Tools: Any repetitive task that would normally take you many hours, like removing all blank rows from a sheet, looking for and extracting duplicates, merging sheets, capitalizing each word, and removing extra spaces, can be done with Power Tools from AgileBits in just seconds. This is the add-on I use most often.
  • Autocrat: This is essentially a document merge tool. You have a list of 1,000 people on your sheet, and you want to generate a custom letter for each one.
  • Blockspring and CloudIgnite: Both of these tools allow you to access dozens to hundreds of application programming interfaces (APIs) and data sets via their interface. Imagine you need longitude and latitude for a set of addresses so that you can map them, or you need to find the website domains and their Alexa rank for a list of businesses, or you need to standardize the formatting of a list of phone numbers. All of this plus much more can be done easily with these tools.
  • Monkeylearn: Easily one of the coolest add-ons, Monkeylearn allows you to apply AI algorithms to your data set, doing things like sentiment analysis, topic classification, and even build and apply your own AI algorithms.

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