How to Use Excel to Organize Your Life

Lately, I have been obsessed with excel sheets. Since the New Year, I’ve been really into organizing my life (as you know). And, one of the best tools to do this is Microsoft Excel.

I have several excel sheets that I’ve been using to organizing information. And let’s be honest, these are pretty weird. My family and boyfriend have made fun of some of them, but I find them really useful.

Here are the most useful ways I’m using excel lately:

  1. To keep track of items – in my household, things always seem to go…missing. Someone (my mom) will always be yelling about where her flip flops are or an important piece of paper will be misplaced, creating chaos when someone needs it. In order to avoid this problem, I created an excel sheet. Everyone in my family has their own “sheet” with important or commonly misplaced items listed on it. Each item is listed with it’s location, the last date it’s been updated, and the category which the item falls under, for example “household” or “stationery”. I also made sheets for things such as holiday and baking items. This is totally psychotic and on another level of crazy, but actually really helps when it comes to keeping track of things that have a tendency to be misplaced.
  2. Writing Portfolio – I’m really into writing (obviously) and want to keep track of things whenever my work is published for freelancing, my internships, and so on. An excel sheet is the perfect way to do that. I make sheets for every site I’m published on and then record everything on the sheets. I include the title of a piece as well as the date it was published and finally the URL.
  3. Gift ideas – this is another quirky thing I’m doing. But, I think it will prove to be very useful. I mean, how many times are you stumped on what to get someone for Christmas or a birthday? I’ve found that throughout the year, people I’m close to have mentioned things they like or want, and then I end up forgetting when it’s time to get them a gift. This sheet alleviates that forgetfulness and helps me buy people the perfect gift. I separate this one into sheet by family member or person and then include the gift, the holiday it would pertain to, the price, and the URL to the item.
  4. Grades – I like to keep a very careful record of my grades throughout the semester so that I always know what expected grade I am getting in a class. I separate this into sheets by class, then record the grade and weight of every assignment in order to keep track of everything closely. At the beginning of the semester, I like to put all tests and assignments from the syllabi into the excel sheet with the dates and due dates, just so I only have to fill in the grades. Simple!
  5. Spending – excel sheets are a great way to keep track of spending. I have been recording where I spend money so that I can really understand what I’m spending mindlessly on and budget better. I separate the sheets into “cash”, “debit card”, and “credit card”. Every couple of weeks, I go back and highlight the cells that represent mindless spending that I could have gone without, in order to teach me to think more carefully about how I’m spending money.

How do you use excel to stay organized?



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