human, being


Spreadsheet freak
March 6, 2009, 5:06 pm
Filed under: money | Tags: , , ,

The other night, I wrote my blog about what I would do with $16 million netted from the lotto or a dead uncle. Was that ridiculous or what? (I blame it on insomnia and lack of new posts by Dooce. Sorry, Heather, your vacations are bad for my mental health.)  I did the math of how to spend the money in a spreadsheet, down to the last dollar. Want to know how I’m paying down my debt over the next two years? Got a spreadsheet on that. Grocery list, with frequently purchase items pre-populated in a drop-down list? Let me show you the Excel file. Want to know how many hours of comp time I have? There’s a spreadsheet for that, too.

Hi, my name is Lynn, and I’m a spreadsheet-aholic.

There’s something about the perfect little boxes that I love for making schedules and lists. Everything lines up neatly, and if I happen to want to sum or average a column, it takes a click of a button. I can format, shade, make dollars dollars and dates dates. I can insert pictures. I can create charts and graphs. I can go absolutely hog wild and it makes me happy.

I’m not an advanced user. Sure, I can create some basic formulas because Algebra was totally my gig. I heard an NPR story last Saturday that said that spreadsheets are all about Algebra, which was a fascinating answer to the whine, “But I’ll never use this stuff in the real world.” Yes, junior, you will.

My biggest complaint about my spreadsheet addiction is that I often have the one I need at work when I’m at home, or at home when I’m at work. I’m hamstrung by accessibility. But no longer. Today, I discovered Google Documents and the spreadsheet tool there. The docs are saved in my Google account, so if I want to make up my grocery list at the end of my workday, I can! And if I want to log in my work hours from home, I can! Miracle of miracles, I say.

But wait! There’s more! Not only does Google Documents have spreadsheets, it also has documents, presentations and forms! I can share all of this with others too, so when someone asks me, “Lynn, how on earth do you keep your life so organized?” I can link them to my spreadsheets.

So excuse me if this post isn’t my usual War & Peace tome. I have to cut this short and go move more spreadsheets into my new favorite online tool.

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