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Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
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?

K's picture

I use Excel for my...

I use Excel for my grocery shopping/menu planning. One tab has the "tried and true" recipes (with categories for meat and type of side dish so I can sort/find quickly), one has the current week's menu, and one has the grocery list for each week. Eventually I mean to develop it into some sort of "price book" so I know when I should stock up on certain things because the prices are low... and I've thought about developing some sort of tweak to tie recipe ingredients in, but I'm too busy with kids right now to spend the time on it. It still simplifies my life a lot; with all the history, if I'm stumped on a side dish to go with a main course, I can do a quick find and see what else I've served with it in the past. I can easily sort the grocery list into the order I'll find them in the store so I'm more efficient there, too.

Why yes, I am a geek-in-training who likes to cook.




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