How to Create & Track Invoices With Google Docs

By Kevin Lee

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Google Docs helps businesses do everything from creating presentations to generating professional looking billing invoices. If you don’t have an application that can generate invoices for your business, build and track invoices online using prebuilt templates that Google Docs supplies. Templates vary in style and design, so you have many options from which to choose. You can use the Google Spreadsheets online software to customize invoices before downloading them.

Install Template

Go to the Google Docs (or Google Drive) website and log on to your account if needed. If you don't have an account, click "Sign up" and create a new account.

Click the red “Create” button and then click “From template.” This opens the Template Gallery page.

On the Template Gallery page, type “Invoice” in the search box at the top of the page and click “Search Templates.”

Review the list of invoice templates that appear in the search results list. Each invoice appears as a thumbnail image with a name. Some invoices even have ratings.

Click the “Preview” link next to an invoice to preview it. Click “Browse Template Gallery” if you would like to preview another template or click “Use This Template” if you want to use the one you are viewing. Google Docs loads the template into the spreadsheet editor. Because each template is different, the items you see in the editor will differ depending on the template you select. Some templates may have a header image while others may not.

Customize Template

Click items you’d like to modify or delete. For instance, if you want to delete an image header, click the header to select it and press “Delete.”

Review the other fields in the template. You will usually find basic labels with names such as “Invoice Number,” “Invoice Date” and “Invoice To” near the top of the template. Sample values may appear next to the labels. Click any of these values and replace them with your own information. For instance, if you want to invoice a company named “Acme Corporation,” replace the name that appears next to the “Invoice To” label with “Acme Corporation.”

Move to the invoice’s body section and review the column headers that appear in the invoice’s table. This is the invoice’s most important part because it contains headings such as “Item,” “Description” and “Quantity.”

Replace those heading names with names that are more appropriate for your invoice and fill in the body of the invoice with your own invoice values. For example, you might add “Camera” to your Item column and “2” to your Quantity column. Fill out the invoice as you would any other invoice.

Finalize Invoice

Click the “Share” button after completing your invoice to view the Sharing Settings dialog box, which enables you choose the people who can view the invoice.

Click the “Change” button in the “Who has access” section and then click the privacy setting you’d like to use. Because it is an invoice, you probably want to click “Private” so nobody can see the invoice unless you give them permission. Clicking “Public on the web” makes it visible to anyone on the Web.

Click “Save” after selecting a privacy setting and then click “Done.”

Return to your Google Docs main page and review the documents that appear in your document list. You’ll see your invoice at the top of that list.

Click “Create” and then click “Folder.” Type a name, such as “Invoices 1” in the “New folder” text box and click “Create” to create that folder. Click “My Drive” to view your file list again.

Put a check mark next to the invoice file you created and then click “Organize” to view a list of folders. Click the new folder you created and click “Apply Changes.” Google Docs moves the folder to the folder.


Create additional invoices as needed using these steps. Keeping them separate in their own folder helps you track them and your invoices organized. You can skip the step that creates a folder if you’d rather not place invoices in a separate folder.

Download an invoice by right-clicking it, selecting “Download” and following the instructions that appear in the Convert and Download window.