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Five Times a Spreadsheet Came in Handy

A spreadsheet is a powerful tool. It can be used for almost anything and there are times when the perfect solution is simply the perfect spreadsheet.

In fact, I can think of at least five different times that a spreadsheet offered the perfect solution for my not so perfect situation.

1 – Finding a Place to Live

Finding a place to live can be a real challenge. Either you have too many options to pick from or the perfect home seems just out of reach.

Sometimes, there is a tradeoff here and a compromise there. Not to mention all the different steps involved in moving from one place to another.

There are many decisions to make and lots of steps to take. And this is where I used my Excel workbook for sanity’s sake.

Within my spreadsheet, I was able to keep a running list of all my choices as well as any attributes I wanted to consider or track. On top of that, I kept all of my tasks in one place too.

My workbook even included a page to help me weigh the different decisions I had to make. In the end, I was able to make the best decision possible and move into my new home without a single step missed. All thanks to my apartment hunting spreadsheet.

2 – Spelling Out Acronyms

I’m not sure if you suffer from the same problem I do, but when it comes to being an engineer, there are SO MANY acronyms to keep track of!

There doesn’t seem to be a day that goes by without me seeing a sentence like this: “In the case of DO connections that are FTPS, the CN of the DO must be the FQDN.”

That’s four different acronyms in the same sentence! I needed a solution, so I created one with a spreadsheet.

With my handy dandy Excel workbook once again, I was able to capture all the different acronyms, what they stood for, and a small description for each.

On top of that, I built in a feature that allowed me to simply type in the acronym and look up all possible definitions and notes I had previously recorded. In just a pinch, acronyms became a synch!

3 – Planning My 22nd Birthday Party

My 21st birthday was a disaster. I came down with the common cold the day before, and I felt even worse the day of. Suffice to say, I didn’t really get the chance to go out and truly celebrate my one and only 21st birthday.

I haven’t let that stop me though.

Ever since that day, I vowed to always throw extravagant birthday parties each year for all of my friends and family to enjoy. I may have missed my 21st, but I’m sure not going to miss the next 79! (I’m aiming for Age 100!)

To keep my promise to myself, I made my 22nd Birthday Party as original and fun as I possibly could. I even created extravagant and over-the-top invitations to go along with it.

With all this planning though, there were many things to keep track of. Enter in my handy dandy spreadsheet!

In a single workbook, I was able to track and organize everything from my entire guest list all the way to the music playlist specifics. And without a doubt, the party went off without a hitch. All due to my burning desire to celebrate along with my handy dandy spreadsheet.

4 – Organizing My Movie Collection

I don’t just organize my movies. I ORGANIZE my movies!

And how do I do that? Well, I use a spreadsheet.

Within my spreadsheet, I keep a tight list of all my movies and their storage locations. On top of that, I am able to keep a virtual pdf file full of pages filled with a movie poster picture for each movie I own. I then print out my lists and movie poster pages and put them in a binder.

Whenever I have company, I simply pull out my movie binder (built with spreadsheet power), and hand it to my guests.

Everyone always seems to really enjoy flipping through the binder looking for their favorite movie or movie poster.

Once they find it, I consult the organized list in the back, and I have the movie out and ready to go in just a few seconds. Then it’s time for popcorn!

5 – Tracking My Yearly Reading

I read a lot. In fact, my family reads a lot. We actually had a discussion a few years back trying to figure out who reads the most.

We couldn’t come to a consensus, so our yearly reading challenge was born.

At the end of every year, everyone in the family tallies up their page counts, and the person with the most pages read gets to keep the family reading trophy all to themselves! Not to mention access to exclusive bragging rights for the next 365 days.

The first year definitely had its challenges though, and one of those challenges was finding a way to keep track of all the pages read.

Everyone in my family had their own method, but I’m sure you can guess how I did it. I used my handy dandy reading spreadsheet! Ever since then, I haven’t looked back, and I’ve been able to keep track of all my reading all in one place.

Once again, with the right workbook for the job, it was just another time a spreadsheet came in handy.

By the way, if you need a reading log to keep track of your own reading, check out our Google Sheets Reading Tracker that you can download for free! It makes keeping track of all your books read easier than ever before!

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