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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?

Beth's picture

My current favorite Excel use...

My current favorite Excel use is to track my running progress. I use a log developed by David Hayes (http://www.davidhays.net/running/runlog/runlog.html), and the geek in my just loves it. Sometimes being able to fill out the run information is the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning...

I use it to track projects also like others have said (one column for major project type, one columnn for step number, one column for step description, one column for due date...).

For newbie tips: You really just have to get into it and play around. Taking Excel classes would also be a great idea, since a lot of the tools aren't intuitive. I think, also, if you're naturally an organized person (or, like me, a control freak) you just start to look for different ways to use Excel. As others have mentioned, Excel is so easy to sort and organize. Just know what information you want to be able to group by, and put those in separate columns.




An Oblique Strategy:
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