Num Sum, which stands for “Number Summation,” presents users with a unique, original tool that is not common on the internet. The application uses social spreadsheets. Although there are many programs designed to use spreadsheets, Num Sum offers a helpful feature that allows users to share them quickly and easily. Rather than emailing a file or posting something where unauthorized individuals can see it, Num Sum allows users to share their spreadsheets with family, friends and colleagues. The user has the option of keeping their spreadsheet private or making it publically accessible. Public spreadsheets can be seen by the Num Sum community. Other users can look for those who are creating spreadsheets that are similar to the ones they are managing. This provides a layer of social networking to the way Num Sum works.
The creators of Num Sum felt a bit disgruntled by new versions of spreadsheet creating software. They felt that at this point, most programs had run out of ideas to make new, innovate features that are worthwhile. The result are many annoying or useless features that are added on to justify a new version of the program. Num Sum creators wanted to build a tool that was easy to use and included features that the user actually will use without the useless extras.
The social spreadsheet aspect of Num Sum is what really makes it stand out. Users can share their spreadsheets with others. Multiple people can manage a party RSVP list, or a couple can budget household expenses or their next vacation while at work or otherwise apart. Num Sum can also be used in a professional setting, allowing multiple members of a team to collaborate on a single spreadsheet. The Num Sum community can also check out a user’s spreadsheet to find common interests.
Num Sum offers a unique approach to creating spreadsheets, however the site is really not very unique. The design is very plain, featuring primarily text and a white background. There are faint hints of color and a few screenshots but it is otherwise very straight forward and bland. Not that this is an entirely bad thing. The site is based around spreadsheets, and the bland design allows users to avoid annoying clutter and get right to spreadsheet creation.
Num Sum is currently in beta, and anyone can create an account for free. The FAQ states that the site’s creators plan to keep a free membership option available after they introduce the paid membership. However that is still a work in progress and no details are provided as far as how limited the free account will be or what the paid membership will cost and include.
Anyone who has a need for a spreadsheet and wants to collaborate with others could appreciate Num Sum. The application is easy to use. The social spreadsheet concept could come in very handy in a number of professional and personal situations, but there are other easy applications available like Google Docs.