Make A Private Wish List With Google Docs

Make A Private Wish List With Google Docs

Wish lists are the obvious way to let people know what you want for Christmas and where to get it, but they come with a few problems. Here’s how you can put together a wish list using Google Docs that your loved ones can use to track the gifts they get you. You can add new items to your wish list at any time, but you’ll never see what people are getting you.

We’ll walk through two methods using Google Docs. The first is the easy way. The second is the awesome way. (We prefer the awesome way.)

The Easy Way

The easiest way to put together your super secret wish list is to simply create a spreadsheet in Google Docs. Just make one with the following fields:

  • The name of the item you want
  • A link to where you can purchase that item (if applicable)
  • The cost of the item
  • An empty field that your friends or family members can use to add their name if they decide to purchase the item

Once you’ve created this list and added everything you want, just share the spreadsheet with everyone who might want to know what to get you this Christmas. Once you do, set someone else as the owner of the spreadsheet. This will allow you to remove yourself as the owner and have no access to your own document, keeping all activity a secret until you start unwrapping your presents.

The Awesome Way

The above method is very simple, but there is a much more useful and awesome method you can employ without doing much more work. Instead of creating a spreadsheet, create a form in Google Docs. You can make the form with the same fields listed above and remove yourself as an owner in the same way. (Note: You’ll need to remove yourself from the spreadsheet the form creates, as the form can’t have that kind of restriction even if you wanted it.) The upside, however, is that you can still add items via the form afterwards. This is great if you find something you want after you lose access to your wish list because you can just add it. You’ll never see any of the activity on the spreadsheet the form creates, but you can still alter it.

That’s all there is to it. It’ll take you just a few minutes and make it much easier for your family to buy you what you want this Christmas.


  • I tried something similar a few years back.

    I put together a large document outlining what I wanted, the three cheapest places I could find it for sale – with at least one bricks n mortar retailer for each – and the prices they were advertising compared to RRP, so that even if they couldn’t get to one of the listed retailers they’d still have an idea of what was a good price. I had a range of stuff – some cheap, some expensive – with the understanding that some would want to buy an individual gift, others would want to pool together.

    I sent print outs and emails to my whole family. I got nothing from the list.

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