Google Sheets lets you chat with other people actively using the sheet, but it has no history and overall feels like the simplest thing that could work.

Slack, by contrast, seems like everything you could ever want in a chat client (and probably several things you don't want). It seems like there should be a way to embed Slack into the document (possibly using Google Apps?), but I don't see any straightforward way.

Integration with anything else would also be a big step forward.

  • What do you mean by "slack overlay" How it's different than using the built-it comments and than using two windows, one for a spreadsheet another for a chat client?
    – Rubén
    Jan 27 '16 at 13:01
  • It's different than using two windows in that it uses one window... Slightly less tongue-in-cheek, the chat in the overlay should be tied to the document and accessible to anyone who has access to the document; different documents should have different chat rooms associated. It's different than built-in comments in that built-in comments are associated with cells and not sheets, and also that built-in comments do not have a UI that encourages chat-like behavior.
    – Alex R
    Jan 27 '16 at 16:04
  • The intended use case is for a group of about 20 people, most of whom will have no technical savvy, nor patience, nor training to be able to efficiently communicate with a many-to-many relation between person and document, in which most documents are not being viewed/edited by most people.
    – Alex R
    Jan 27 '16 at 16:05
  • Does Slack work as you wish for other apps? Could work that way for websites, i.e. Google Sites?
    – Rubén
    Jan 27 '16 at 18:44
  • I have not used Slack, only heard good things. I also haven't used Google Sites. Chatlio and slack-chat seem to be two ways to get it to work for websites, but I don't know how to take a solution which would work for a website and porting it to sheets.
    – Alex R
    Jan 27 '16 at 20:41

You can put a comment on any cell, and other people can reply your comment. After the discussion is over, you can resolve it so it get archived.

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On the top right hand corner, there is a "Comments" button. You can use it to browse both active and resolved comments. You can also delete discussion threads you no longer want to keep.

  • Or, you can use Google Hangouts
    – daniel
    Jan 22 '16 at 6:13
  • Hangouts isn't visible in the same page as the spreadsheet.
    – Alex R
    Jan 22 '16 at 12:19
  • But Hangouts could be used for screen sharing :)
    – Rubén
    Jan 27 '16 at 18:45

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