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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Open Thread: How are you using Excel?

Yesterday, I mentioned I'd been talking with someone who's looking at interesting things people are doing with Microsoft Excel. I talked to her again yesterday, and with her official okey-dokey, I'll virtually introduce Tralee Pearce (*waves*), a reporter from Toronto's Globe & Mail whom you might remember from a very swell article about the Hipster PDA.

So, by request -- and to help Tralee with fleshing out her fun-sounding article -- I hope you all will jump in here: What kind of cool, novel, and non-obvious stuff are you doing with Excel? What's the wildest, most obsessive, most nerdy thing you ever saw someone do with our favorite spreadsheet program?

Chris Hayes's picture

You want nerdy & obsessive,...

You want nerdy & obsessive, I think I can give you that...

I use excel for just about anything that's a lot of data & comparisons. Particularly a decision process I learned in my AI classes in college - how to pick the best from a large set of options. It's great for this because of the simple list filtering & sorting options (and obviously the formulas - who doesn't use the formulas?) I've used this thing to decide on everything from which computer to buy to what apartments I should look into renting. I've even gone so far as to set up a chart of girls I could date, to see which one I should 'scientifically' be pursuing.

The results were actually not far off the mark from my instincts... but it was still good to be sure.




An Oblique Strategy:
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