I have been a paper planner for a very long time in my life until I encountered spreadsheets 4 years ago and since then I have been hooked on spreadsheets. I am the person who will have a spreadsheet for everything. Eventually, with use, I have now system to organize almost all aspects of my life with spreadsheets. In this post, I am sharing with you how you can Organize Your Life With Spreadsheets and take digital planning to the next level.
Why choose spreadsheets to Organize Life?
Paper Planning v/s Digital Planning
I have been a paper planner for a long time but the need to write and duplicate the information made it tedious. Also, you do not get all in information in a glance and have to run through pages.
Spreadsheet Planning v/s other Digital planning
When you compare spreadsheet planning with other digital planning systems life pdf planners, good notes, etc. Spreadsheet planner exceeds benefits over all other digital planners and physical planners. Here are the benefits of spreadsheet planning against other planning systems.
- Flexibility and Customization: Spreadsheets Provide a high degree of flexibility and customization. You can create your templates, formulas, and structures tailored to your specific planning needs.
- Dynamic Calculations: It allows dynamic calculations using formulas and functions. This is particularly useful for financial planning, budgeting, and any scenario where mathematical calculations can be used.
- Data Analysis: Excel and Google Sheets allow data analysis. You can organize, sort, filter, and analyze data used for planning. You can also observe trends and visualize data better.
- Collaboration: It offers real-time collaboration features. Multiple users can work on the same document simultaneously, making it easier for everyone to collaborate on planning. You can share your budget or schedule with your partner so everyone is on the same page.
- Automatic Updates: Spreadsheets allow automatic updates when data is changed. Formulas and links between cells ensure that calculations are instantly updated when underlying data is modified.
- Accessibility: You can access it anywhere and even on your phone. You need not carry your planner or log in to some specific software. Just log your Gmail account and you can access it. In case of a mistake, you can restore the previous version of the data. Hence you never lose information.
- Graphs and Charts: No planning system allows the creation of graphs and charts. I love this aspect of spreadsheet for planning as with automated charts I can see the progress, find days when progress for not enough, and effectively monitor everything at a glance and much more.
Choosing the Right Spreadsheet Software
- When it comes to working with spreadsheets there are 2 most common options. The first one is with Microsoft Excel and the second is Google Sheets. There are other options for spreadsheets too but these 2 are the most common ones
- I am more fan of Google Sheets for reasons I will discuss in the next section. Hence in this post, the discussion will be inclined toward Google Spreadsheets however the use for most will apply to Microsoft Excel too.
Google Spreadsheets v/s Microsoft Excel
Here is a comparison of the features and benefits of Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel
|Access and Platform
|Accessed through a web browser, available on any device with internet access. Collaboration is a strong point as multiple users can edit a document simultaneously.
|Traditionally a desktop application, but also available as part of Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), allowing for cloud-based collaboration. Both desktop and online versions are widely used.
|Built for collaboration in real-time. Multiple users can work on the same document simultaneously, see changes in real-time, and leave comments.
|Built for collaboration in real-time. Multiple users can work on the same document simultaneously, see changes in real time, and leave comments.
|Limited offline functionality through the Google Chrome browser or by enabling offline mode for Google Drive.
|The desktop version allows full functionality offline. Microsoft 365 allows for online and offline use with automatic synchronization.
|Functionality and Features
|Offers a broad range of functions and features, but may have fewer advanced options compared to Excel. Some complex Excel features may not be fully replicated.
|Known for its extensive functionality and a wide range of advanced features, including complex formulas, data analysis tools, and extensive charting options.
|Add-ons and Extensions
|Supports various add-ons from the Google Workspace Marketplace to extend functionality.
|Allows for the integration of third-party add-ins and provides a wide range of built-in features.
|Free to use for basic functionality. Additional features and storage are available through Google Workspace subscription plans.
|Traditionally, Excel is part of the Microsoft Office suite, which requires a one-time purchase or a subscription to Microsoft 365 for ongoing updates and cloud-based features.
|Generally user-friendly with a simpler interface. Well-suited for basic to intermediate users.
|Built for collaboration in real-time. Multiple users can work on the same document simultaneously, see changes in real time, and leave comments.
Due to free availability, easy collaboration, easy accessibility, and availability of most required features in Google spreadsheets. Except when I need to make macros, they are available in Google spreadsheets too but the way it can be included in the sheet is not as good as Microsoft Excel.
Based on your preferences, collaboration needs, and the specific features required for your tasks. You should consider the right spreadsheet software.
Do you find Spreadsheets daunting?
If you are keen on using spreadsheets for planning but find it difficult and do not know how to make formulas and charts, don’t worry. You can use a template for your need and use fill in your data and start to use. I have many planning spreadsheets for all the planning needs that are affordable and can be used again and again by just making a copy of the file. You can see them here.
10 Ways to Organize Life Digitally with Spreadsheets
Here are 10 ways you can you can use spreadsheets to simplify your day-to-day life and get organized and productive.
1: Managing Daily Tasks and To-Do Lists
- You can use a spreadsheet to make your To-Do list, plan tasks, easily monitor progress, and be more productive. Here is a macro-enabled Microsoft Excel task planner to see your progress easily.
Dynamic Excel Task Planner
- One-stop solution to have all your tasks
- Schedule your task on the go
- Easily visualize your task status
- Never miss your daily and pending tasks
- Track your progress easily with graphical tools
- Get motivated by seeing 100% completion of daily tasks
- Check Demo video here
2: Tracking Goals and Milestones
- Setting and tracking goals is essential for success in any aspect of life, whether it is in our personal or professional life.
- Spreadsheets provide a visual representation of our goals, allowing us to break them down into smaller, manageable tasks, and have timelines.
- You can visualize your achievements, identify areas for improvement, and stay motivated towards reaching your goals.
- Here is a Goal planner and monthly goal tracker to evaluate your progress.
SMART Goal Planner Spreadsheet
Complete Goal planner designed to break down your big dreams into manageable steps and track your progress.
Can be used for personal, professional, and financial goals
- Effortless Goal Breakdown
- Set specific, action-based, timebound goals
- Easily map your goals and action
- Monthly goal tracker integrated with action
- Score your performance
- Completely automated to track progress easily
You get: Long term goals planner and Monthly Goal planner
Check demo video here
3: Prioritizing Tasks Spreadsheet
- For effective results, you must prioritize your tasks and attend to those that bring high value. This becomes very difficult with other planning system but with spreadsheets its very easy.
- You can use Spreadsheets to prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance and plan those that are critical on priority. For more details on prioritizing tasks, you can read my post How to prioritize work tasks.
- Here is a game-changing spreadsheet to help you sort tasks based on priority and track their progress.
Task Prioritizing To-Do List
Organize your tasks and never miss a task with that task tracker
- Organize all your tasks in one place
- Prioritize Tasks as urgent, high, medium, and low
- Track sub-tasks
- See Total tasks, Overdue tasks, and Today’s tasks at a glance.
- Track task by status of work
- See days left to complete task or overdue
- Completely automatic and access anywhere
4: Managing Your Schedule Spreadsheet
- No need to go through pages in your planner to find the appointment for the day with spreadsheet planner you can easily do the same at a glance in 1 sheet.
- Do Monthly planning, Weekly planning, plan routine, daily task planning, and task priority in 1 spreadsheet planner.
Google Sheet Work and Schedule Planner
With this schedule planner, you get a Monthly planner, weekly planner, and a To-do list to help you plan, and track your work easily.
- Monthly Planning: Plan your month, week, and day with ease. Just add the task and date it will show you the task in the monthly calendar.
- Monthly Goal planning: Plan your monthly goals and track the % completion
- Weekly Planning: Plan your week with a weekly routine or weekly appointment for every hour.
- Daily Task Planner: Plan daily tasks, see automatic task status in 1 glance chart.
- Prioritize Like a Pro: The Daily Planner helps you prioritize tasks, ensuring you focus on what truly matters.
- Check the demo video here
5: Financial Planning and Budgeting Spreadsheets
- Finance planning and budgeting is something most struggle it with conventional planning systems it is very difficult to track expenses in different categories but with spreadsheet-based planning you need not be afraid of numbers.
- You can plan your budget, and set saving goals.
- You can track variable and fixed expenses and with charts and calculations find areas where you spend more and those that can be cut.
- You can also plan debt payments and know the debt clearance date.
- You can get all of this in one Finance planner Spreadsheet
Budget Planner + Debt Payoff Sheets
- Plan and track your Budget
- Track Income, Expenses & Savings.
- Get an expense breakdown to plan your finances better and cut expenses to improve savings.
- Keep a complete log of all expenses.
- Automatic debt payoff calculator to find monthly payments and date you will be debt-free.
- Plan and track debt
- All calculations and graphs are automated
- This Google Spreadsheet finance planner can be accessed anywhere
6: Personal Health and Wellness Tracking Spreadsheets
- You can also use spreadsheets for your health and wellness. There are various ways to use this.
- You can use spreadsheets to plan and track your weight management journey.
- You can use spreadsheets to track daily wellness goals like water intake, sleep duration, and gym sessions.
- Building healthy habits is important for personal growth and wellness you can use spreadsheets to track habits and visualize the progress. Here is a Habit Tracker Spreadsheet
- Mental wellness and emotional wellness is key for good life you can track you mood and find mood trends with spreadsheets. Here is a spreadsheet mood tracker you must try.
12-Month Habit Tracker Google Sheets Template (Blossom Tree version)
- One place for all your habit goals
- Habit needs are different for all, customize this tracker based on your habit needs
- One glance dashboard to review your habit performance
- A beautiful Blossom tree will grow every time you meet your habit goal.
- Track, monthly habits, daily habits, weekly habits, and numeric habit goals.
- Automated habit performance calculation based on your goals.
- Automatic date and day update, when you change year. Buy once and use every year
- Check Demo video here and detailed photos on the left
12-Month Mood Tracker and Mood Journal Google Sheets Template (with cute emoji)
- The ultimate tool to track your mood and emotions
- No need for a complex mood tracker app, use a monthly mood tracker as a mood tracker diary.
- It not only tracks your mood but also your emotions to help you understand yourself better.
- There are sections for each day to write in detail about how you feel about the day and use this as your mood journal.
- With automatic calculations and graphs, you can quickly review your mood and emotions for the month and understand your mood pattern.
- It automatically displays your most frequent mood for the month.
- Check the demo video here and the detailed photos on the left
7: Streamline Work or Projects with Spreadsheets
- Projects involve many people, many sub-steps, and phase-wise timelines all these can be effectively managed with spreadsheets.
- You can use spreadsheets in projects to create a project calendar, task list, timeline, Gantt chart, progress tracking, and risk assessment.
- You can easily share the files with all the collaborates for clear communication and seek updates for work status.
- You can also track budget, track key milestones, and document the project.
8: Cleaning and Maintainance Spreadsheets
- A typical household has many things to take care of and cleaning and maintenance are a huge part. Most common cleaning is taken care of but major cleaning, maintenance of appliances, and less common areas are often missed.
- With spreadsheet planning you can easily make a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly cleaning plan.
- You can also make room by room cleaning checklist to ensure nothing is missed during cleaning.
- Here is a simple-to-use cleaning planner with 4 types of cleaning planners for all planning needs.
Cleaning Planner Google Sheet Template
- An easy-to-use tool that helps you stay on top of your cleaning tasks
- Make a cleaning schedule for all needs
- Use to make your daily, weekly cleaning routine
- Make weekly or monthly cleaning schedules when you are out of routine or planning deep cleaning
- Make cleaning schedule room by room
- Make a quarterly, yearly cleaning plan
- Track your progress easily with graph and % completion
- Customize weekly cleaning tasks that you do more than once.
9: Plan Meals and make Grocery list with Spreadsheets
- One of the most daunting tasks is thinking of meals for each day you can make this easy by planning meals with spreadsheets.
- You can make a masterlist of meals you and your family like and plan the meal for weeks with a single click.
- Making a grocery list is another time-consuming task that is routinely performed, you can make the grocery list in spreadsheets too.
- Here is a meal planner with an automated grocery list to help you plan monthly, and weekly meals and get your automated consolidated grocery list.
P.S. If you are new to meal planning you can read my post Meal Planning Tips to Save Your Sanity
Google Sheet Meal Planner and Automated Grocery List
You get a monthly meal planning sheet and an automated grocery list.
- Monthly Meal Planning Calendar view
- Weekly Split to allow weekly meal planning and grocery list.
- Automated Weekly and monthly Grocery shopping Lists generated.
- Dropdown to select your meals
- Make your Meal Planning Database and use it forever.
- Save time and money with this automated sheet.
- Check the demo video here
10: Organize daily use information
- Here are some more things that you use in your daily life that can be well organized in spreadsheets for easy reference.
- You can safely keep your passwords and various login information in a spreadsheet.
- Automating Repetitive Tasks with formulas.
- Create a template for frequent tasks.
- Plan events and assign responsibility to family members or colleagues.
- Make a family chore chart and share it with family members.
For more ideas of list to organize your life and work, you can read 20 Lists to make to organize your life and 12 Master Lists you must make to be organized at work.
How to plan your life in 1 spreadsheet
You can make make a spreadsheet with all your planning needs and customise it to your needs. By maintaining a single spreadsheet, you’ll have a clear overview of your life and can easily identify areas that need attention. All the spreadsheets discussed above are covering the major aspects of life in detail. If you are looking for 1 place for all the planning needs, here is a single spreadsheet with hyper linked tabs to organize your life in 1 spreadsheet. Below are key features of th digital life planeer-spreadsheet.
Daily Life Planner Spreadsheet
- Plan everything in one place
- You get 10 planners in 1 for all life needs
- Interactive Daily Dashboard that shows everything you need to do for the day.
- It includes:Monthly Planner,Daily Routine Planner, Monthly, Weekly, Daily Habit Tracker, Goal Tracker,Cleaning Planner, Meal Planner, Automatic Grocery List, To-Do List, Budget Planner, Expense Tracker
Spreadsheets are not commonly used for digital planning, however they over benefits that are unbeatable by any other planning tools. This post shares ideas for using spreadshhet for planning your life at work, as student and your personal life. A well-organized spreadsheet can be a powerful tool for mapping out your goals, tracking progress, and making informed decisions. Start by creating different tabs for each aspect of your life.
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