5 Great Ways to Use Spreadsheets and Stay Organized!

by Tracey Lawton - Date: 2007-02-22 - Word Count: 628 Share This!

Does just the mention of the word 'spreadsheet' cause your mouth
to go dry? Do you immediately think of sums, formulae, and

Well fear not any more -- spreadsheets aren't just for sums!

I'm here to give you some tips on how you can use spreadsheets
in your every day business to help you keep organized and on top
of your work - and there isn't a formula in sight!

No.1 'To Do' List

How do you manage your day-to-day tasks? Do you have a notebook
for your To Do lists and cross out each one as you go along? Or
do you have little yellow post-its stuck all over the place? Is
this really the best way of managing your daily tasks?

Spreadsheets are a great way for you to organise your To Do
list. Set up headings in the first row and add your tasks
below. You can then sort your list by any column that you
choose, making it an interactive To Do list. And best of all,
your list is contained in one place.

Create a shortcut to your To Do list and place it on your
desktop so that you can access it easily, or just keep it open
and minimise your screen each time you're not using it.

No.2 Log Registration/Password Data

Another great way to use spreadsheets is to keep track of all
those websites that you've registered at, and need to insert a
username and password in order to gain access to.

Even though I try and keep to the same username/password I
sometimes find that a website will require you to insert your
username or password in a certain way, with digits as well as
letters, or a minimum of six characters etc. etc. and then it
starts to get confusing remembering which username/password for
which site!

Set up a spreadsheet with Organisation, Website Address,
Username, and Password as your column headings, and keep track
of this information in one easy-to-use place. As your list
starts to get longer, you can also sort your data into
alphabetical order, making it even easier to find your
registration details.

No.3 Create a Simple Mailing Database

Another great use for a spreadsheet is to set up a simple
mailing database. Perhaps you've researched a target market and
want to send them a mailing. By creating a spreadsheet to input
their name, address, phone number, email address, and website
you can easily keep a track of your data.

You can also use this data to carry out a mail merge via Word.
Create active hyperlinks for the email and website addresses and
you can email or visit their website directly from your

And if you add an additional column for 'Responses' you can
simply monitor your success rate too!

No.4 Track Potential Clients and Follow-ups

If you regularly have enquiries from potential clients, whether
they're phone calls or directly via your website, you can set up
a spreadsheet to track this data. You can see where your
enquiries are coming from, which method of marketing is the most
effective, and if the prospect turned into a client.

You can also add an additional column for 'Follow-up Date' and
perform a sort on this column so that you know who to follow up
with and when!

No.5 Monitor a Project/Activity Planning

Because spreadsheets also accept date formats they are a great
way to track projects or plan activities. You can easily use
autofill to create a date timeline too. Use the column headings
for your dates, and the rows for your activities.

As you work along the timeline, you can hide the columns with
past dates, showing only those columns for current and future
dates. And if you want to be really creative, use different
colours for the cells to represent different activities, i.e.
blue cells = to be done; red cells = overdue etc.

There are so many more projects that you could use a spreadsheet
for that don't require you to input complicated formulae. When
I was compiling this list for you, I thought of twice as many
again, all of which would help you to organise your day-to-day
business activities.

Related Tags: planning, tips, contacts, data, activity, project, clients, excel, spreadsheets, formula, follow-up, follow up, password, registration, mailing, spreadsheet, to do lists, excel spreadsheets, excelsheet, sums, using spreadsheets, uses of spreadsheets, project management spreadsheets

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