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Spreadsheets Can Make a Great Sidekick

With the power of spreadsheets, almost anything is possible. However, I do have to admit that there are times (rare as they may be) that a spreadsheet is not the best tool for the job.

*gasp*

The thing is, although a spreadsheet may not always be the best tool for the job, it can still be used as an excellent sidekick for the main tool you are using for the job at hand.

Let me give you a few examples.

Example 1 – Grocery Shopping

I must admit, it can be a hassle to find a way to take your spreadsheet with you to the grocery store.

Unless you physically print it out and take it with you (which is valid option), there are just not many easy ways to take your spreadsheet with you for grocery shopping.

Instead, it is often easier to write out your list on a notepad or use a simple app like Google Keep. These things make it easy to keep track of what you’ve put in your cart and what you still have to hunt for.

Google Keep List

In this scenario, your spreadsheet can act as a great sidekick before you ever make a list in the first place.

You can capitalize on the power of spreadsheets by storing your recipes and most popular food items in well-organized spreadsheet tables. Then, when it comes to putting your list together, you can whip out your spreadsheet to make the list creation process a lot easier on yourself.

Check out the Weekly Meal Planner to see what I’m talking about.

To recap, the main idea is to use your notepad or Google Keep app for the actual grocery shopping and to use your spreadsheet to put that list together in the first place.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Example 2 – Managing Social Media

In a perfect spreadsheet world, you could program your Excel Workbook to schedule and send your Facebook posts for you all day long.

Unfortunately, spreadsheets aren’t really designed to do that. It probably a much better idea to send the posts yourself or find an application to help automate the process for you.

I’m sure there’s some kind of app out there that could do something like that.

Buffer: Social Media Tools

But how do you put together your posting schedule in the first place? This is where the spreadsheet comes in.

With a well-organized workbook, you can put together a nifty content calendar to plan out all of your posts on all your different social media platforms in one place. This way, you stay organized and stress free in trying to make sure that you get all your posts out on time.

Although a spreadsheet can’t do the posting for you, it can definitely make your social media life a lot easier to live with overall.

Content Calendar Rows

Example 3 – Planning a Big Event

You could definitely put together and organize an entire event with a series of spreadsheets if you wanted to. I know that I like to try this approach from time to time.

But it doesn’t have to be that way if you want to use other tools instead. In fact, I’d say it’s probably better to use the best tool for the job depending on the task at hand.

For example, if you are trying to put together and organize a wedding, one of the most helpful tools you can use is a wedding website like Zola.com. You can do all sorts of things using this tool alone.

Zola Website | Homepage Screenshot

However, you can still have your spreadsheet assist you at the same time.

  • You can store and sort the addresses of your family and friends using a spreadsheet
  • You can use your workbook to manage your budget and help you narrow down your decisions
  • You can even use your spreadsheet to map out all of the tasks between now and the big day

Google Drive Screenshot

The thing is, a spreadsheet may not be able to do everything for you, but it can help you get organized and will make things easier in the long run.

Example 4 – Measure Your Performance

There are so many tracking apps out there these days. You can track your running, your food intake, your habits, and even your day-to-day day tasks.

It’s crazy and awesome what’s available and what data you can capture surrounding your daily life.

Now that you’ve got all this data, what do you do with it? A lot of these apps and tools offer small pieces of performance and data analysis, but what’s available can be pretty limited overall.

The good news is, you don’t have to put a limit on measuring your performance!

If you take all of that valuable data and put it into a spreadsheet, there is virtually no limit to what you can measure and what insights you can gather.

Spreadsheets are designed to be able to work with numbers and data. Spreadsheets give you so many options and tools to drill into the data for greater understanding and insight.

So before you dismiss your spreadsheet because there is a better tool for the job, remember that it can still come in handy and help you out in a big way.

There are certainly times when the spreadsheet is the hero, and there are definitely times when there is something much better. That doesn’t mean you can’t still have a great sidekick though.

After all, sometimes the sidekick saves both the hero and the day just in the nick of time.

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