43 Folders

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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?

Cathy's picture

When my baby was born,...

When my baby was born, my husband, mother and I took care of her in shifts. Since she was born prematurely, we needed a good way to track and share among the baby-care team everything that she was doing.

So we created a spreadsheet to track pooping (amount, time, and type), peeing (time), milk drank (amount and time), sleep (time), and other useful bodily function stats.

After a while, we all got punchy with lack of sleep and would leave "descriptive" rather than quantitative entries for each other (for example "WHOA!!!" for an exceptionally imposing bowel movement).

She doesn't need that sort of careful monitoring anymore, but we're saving the printouts for strategic embarrassment when she gets older.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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