March 26, 2012

Turn Google Docs into a Lightweight CRM in 5 Easy Steps

If you’re a small business entrepreneur, finding and choosing a CRM system is a time-consuming and expensive task. You could spend hours learning about different products, features, hosted vs cloud, SaaS vs ASP, and the list goes on. When your team is small, the best thing would be to find a simple solution that works, won’t take up too much of your time, and works with your existing tools.

Google Docs does exactly that. We’ve written a guide to show you how to turn your Google Docs into a fully functional CRM that integrates with your Gmail, provides team collaboration, and best of all, is free.

Step 1. Sign up for a Google Account

Get yourself a Google account which will include Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and plenty more. Also, grab the Chrome browser if you don’t have it already.

Step 2. Get Ecquire from the Chrome Web Store.

Grab this like one of of our 6,000 smart and attractive customers.

Ecquire integrates your CRM with Gmail to automatically update contacts in your CRM with each email.


Step 3. Connect a Google Docs spreadsheet to Use with Ecquire.

Once you add Ecquire to Chrome, you’ll be automatically prompted to select the CRM you want to use.  Select Google Docs.  Be sure to disregard the shameless plug here that we connect to other CRMs as well like Mailchimp for example.


Select Google Docs or others as well.

Step 4. Customize columns in the spreadsheet with information to your liking: demographic information, source, and lead stage.

Let Ecquire automatically create a spreadsheet with already defined columns. You can also customize columns for specific information that your users may need. For example, the sales team will need to know information on where in the funnel the contact is, how qualified of a lead, and what the next steps are.

Here’s a downloadable template that we created.

Create your main CRM database

Step 5. Work as you normally would with your Google Docs CRM working in the background.

Record all your contacts and messages automatically into your Google Docs CRM – and without any data entry if you don’t want.

Send an email like normal, Ecquire will capture profiles and the messages for you automatically and with the best privacy and security imaginable… 
Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 7.26.21 AM
After you send your email you’ll see this over the Ecquire Icon in your Chrome URL bar… Click that $*%^
Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 7.26.38 AM
Here is the Ecquire Drawer where you can see all the information we’ve grabbed for you and what you’re about to submit to your CRM. 
Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 7.27.14 AM
Add notes if you want or any other fields before submitting to your spreadsheet….
Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 7.27.42 AM
After you hit submit, Ecquire will show you a direct link to the entry in your Spreadsheet CRM to view… 

See it in Google Docs via easy to see link.

See it in Google Docs via easy to see link.


Here’s what it looks like in the spreadsheet….



That’s it.  Ecquire gives you 15 credits each month for imports and updates to your CRM.  Unlimited imports and updates are available to our subscribers.  For more information about our premium service, contact us at

10 Comments on “Turn Google Docs into a Lightweight CRM in 5 Easy Steps

Lela Donelson
March 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Great for a quick and easy CRM. I will be doing a workshop in Houston to expand on the concept of Google as CRM. Of course part of it will be Ecquire!


[…] Here’s our guide on how to turn Google Docs into a lightweight CRM. […]

September 27, 2012 at 10:40 pm

I used up my my free contact entries before I had time to test this.
I noticed there is a “Date” column added to the spreadsheet. Does this update each time you enter the same person in?

What I am looking for is an easy way to see a list of my customers and the last time that I contacted them.

Toan Dang
September 27, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Hey Justin, right now, we don’t have an automatic way to enter the date into the spreadsheet. Reason being that Google Docs doesn’t have a formula to enter the date when the contact was entered. You would have to create a special formula for that. However, we did make it a bit easier as you could at least manually enter in the date while you’re adding the contact.

August 19, 2013 at 8:23 pm


I downloaded Ecquire and excited about using it. However, I don’t see a way to use connect the contact information with Google calendar to create reminders and followups to clients. Am I missing something or is there another app I should use with this?

Thank you,

Milt Michael
March 23, 2014 at 6:20 pm

It all sounds great but then I’m left hanging not knowing how to customize columns on the spreadsheet…no more info on that?

Paul DeJoe
March 23, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Hey Milt – you can do this directly in the Google Drive Document in the headers. If you have any other questions email support at ecquire dot com.

Yuna Akazawa
April 6, 2015 at 9:21 pm

For small business owners and one person sales teams that do not need complex software like CRM to manage their business activities and contacts, using a free online tool like One Sheet CRM ( would be perfect. The pre-formatted Google Spreadsheet makes it easy for you manage your contacts and track your sales performance.

June 12, 2015 at 6:07 am

can we get drop down as in google spread sheet in the Ecquire drawer

Paul DeJoe
February 9, 2016 at 11:16 pm

Hey Mark – so sorry about the delay here. Email support at ecquire dot com with this issue/recommendation if you still have one. Sorry we did not see this comment come in.


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