How I Keep Track of my #RAK Books

Posted 7 July, 2011 by Amanda / 19 Comments

It’s no secret I like to be organized.  So when I signed up for RAK and started receiving and sending out books, I knew I had to do something to keep track of my books.  My solution?  A google form and spreadsheet.  And because I am willing to spread the love, I thought I’d post how I created mine in case you want to make one, too.

NOTE: I have not included information on how to create questions because it would take too much of my time to post.  But you can go here for a guide.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Some of these pictures are smaller than their original size so that they fit nicely on my blog, but you can click on any one of them to view them full size.

First step, get into your google docs page and create a form!

You should have a new window or tab that looks like this:

Make sure you give your form a name!  Mine is called “RAK Received and Sent”

Next, create a page break. Name it “Received.”  Create a second page break and name it “Sent.”

Scroll back up to your first page and begin to add your questions.  Here is what mine looks like:

This is the ONLY page where your answers are required.  Month is a drop down menu (an option is needed for every month), and year is a text box.  I thought this was important, but you can include whatever information you’d like.  Next is a multiple choice question: received or sent.  Make sure you click the “go to page based on answer” button.  For received, choose “go to page 2 (Received)”  For sent, choose “go to page 3 (sent)”  Make this a required question.

Next, go to your second page and create your questions (you can add them from the drop down menu in the top left hand corner).  You may have to click and drag the questions to get them where you want them to be.  Here are the questions I included (all text boxes):

The only glitch that I have discovered is that after filling out the received page, the only option is to proceed to the third page (Sent books) before hitting submit.  As long as you do not make any of the Received or Sent items required, you should not have any issues.  I added 4 items: Book Title (and Author), who sent it, their blog/Twitter/email information, and the day I received it.  You could also add a space for a Goodreads or Amazon link in case you want an easy way to link to the book in a wrap-up post.

Then, move onto the 3rd page.  I added similar information include book title (and author), who I sent the book to, their blog/Twitter/email, and the date I sent it.  Again, you could add additional information such as the format, the price, or where you purchased it if you wanted to keep track of that information as well.

At the bottom of this window, you’ll notice a link to view the form.  Make sure you keep this link handy.  Add it to your bookmarks.  Anything.  Check it out to make sure it works properly.  Once you start submitting the books you receive and send, you can access your spreadsheet on your Google Docs page.  This is what mine looks like:


This how-to guide assumes you have some basic knowledge of google docs, or you know enough to bumble your way through it (I did).  If you have any questions, please leave me a comment or email me at onabookbender [at] gmail [dot] com.  I am more than happy to help!

Filed under: Bibliobanter,


19 Responses to “How I Keep Track of my #RAK Books”

  1. I bow down to your organization skills. I basically create a draft post page in Windows Live Writer and add books as I receive and/or send them. That way when I get to the end of the month I just have to edit the layout and hit publish. If I wasn’t so lazy I’d probably do it your way. *shrugs*

    • I would do that (and honestly, I have most of my blog posts scheduled up to two or three weeks in advance) but this allows me to keep a running list of ALL the books I’ve received and sent so they are all in one easy-to-find location. Plus, it gives me easy access to everyone who has gifted me a book in case I want to repay the kindness. ;)

  2. Rain Maiden/ Jen E

    I use a note book. Last month someone said they were sending me RAK, but I never received it. How would you go about putting that in?

    • If I didn’t receive it, I wouldn’t enter it. If I received a book the month after (e.g., July’s book in August), I would enter the month and year it was intended for (July), and for the received date, I would write the actual date (August).

  3. Oh, how I love google forms. Tara taught me how to make all kinds of list with them, and there has been no turning back since. :)

  4. Look at you, all fancy!! Great job :D This is pretty badass and super organized. I think I might have to adopt this too!