5 Great Ways to Use Spreadsheets and Stay
Tracey Lawton 2005
Does just the mention of the word 'spreadsheet' cause your mouth to go
you immediately think of sums, formulae, and figures?
Well fear not any more -- spreadsheets aren't just for sums!
I'm here to give you some tips on how you can
spreadsheets in your every day business to help you keep organised and
on top of
your work - and there isn't a formula in sight!
#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
by any column that you choose, making it an interactive To Do list. And
all, your list is contained in one place.
Create a shortcut to your To Do list and place it on your desktop so
can access it easily, or just keep it open and minimise your screen each
you're not using it.
#2 Log Registration/Password Data
Another great way to use spreadsheets is to keep track of all those
that you've registered at, and need to insert a username and password in
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.
then it starts to get confusing remembering which username/password for
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
#3 Create a Simple Mailing Database
Another great use for a spreadsheet is to set up a simple mailing
Perhaps you've researched a target market and want to send them a
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
hyperlinks for the email and website addresses and you can email or
website directly from your spreadsheet.
And if you add an additional column for 'Responses' you can simply
success rate too!
#4 Track Potential Clients and Follow-ups
If you regularly have enquiries from potential clients, whether they're
calls or directly via your website, you can set up a spreadsheet to
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
You can also add an additional column for 'Follow-up Date' and perform a
this column so that you know who to follow up with and when!
#5 Monitor a Project/Activity Planning
Because spreadsheets also accept date formats they are a great way to
projects or plan activities. You can easily use autofill to create a
timeline too. Use the column headings for your dates, and the rows for
As you work along the timeline, you can hide the columns with past
showing only those columns for current and future dates. And if you want
really creative, use different colours for the cells to represent
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
require you to input complicated formulae. When I was compiling this
you, I thought of twice as many again, all of which would help you to
your day-to-day business activities.
About the author:
Online Business Manager & Virtual Assistant, Tracey
Lawton, supports professional speakers, coaches, and authors to operate an
efficient, organized, and profitable business. Learn how to create an efficient
and organized office in 7 EASY steps, and receive free how-to articles at
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