A QR code is the new barcode. You can use a QR reader on your smart phone (or just use the google search app. If you search by taking a picture of the code it works as a QR reader) and when you snap the image it loads a webpage. More and more companies are putting QR codes on their advertising.

So how do you make your own QR code? Easy!

Go to http://goo.gl

Note there is NOT a www or a dot com

What http://goo.gl will do is allow you to copy and paste a url of a website and it shortens the link.

For example, the QR code above goes to https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SRFyptuVyKljCtCmW92fJNy48ISBrArGMsx3hFKEMHY/edit?hl=en_US

but I was able to shorten that long URL into goo.gl/WjOLC
This is really helpful for when you are using Google Docs or some other site with a long or difficult to spell URL.  You can pop the URL into goo.gl  and get a shorter web address to share with others.

What is even more exciting about Google’s URL shortner than other URL shorteners such at bit.ly is that goo.gl automatically creates a QR code for you.

If the short URL is goo.gl/WjOLC then you only need to put dot qr at the end and it gives you the URL for the QR code goo.gl/WjOLC.qr
If you click on the dot qr link you’ll notice you are taken to a QR image.

What is also cool about http://goo.gl is it tracks how many people click on your link along with some other interesting data. From the http://goo.gl you will notice a list of the URL’s you’ve shortened. Next to each item in the list is a link that says “details.” Click on the details link and it will take you to the tracking information and also your QR code.

If you right click on the image of the QR code you can choose copy image URL to embed into websites or I use www.tinygrab.com to take a picture of the QR code and give myself an image file that I can put into my documents.

If you do not want to use Google’s URL shortener read this blog post by Lauren Grossberg