This started as a simple sheet in January 2017. Then as I kept using it, more sheets were added and formulas set up to make for easier and quicker calculations. Some things stuck, like weighing myself almost every day so I could record it in the spreadsheet. Others did not. Such as the Benjamin Franklin inspired “What good have I done today?”
At the end of the year, I created a ‘cover sheet’ or ‘summary’ sheet as I do for most things at work. This sheet is to hide all the messy data or numbers and calculations on other sheets. To make it easier for future years, or others to use, I added spots to fill in monthly goals, like “lose 5 pounds” or “write 20,000” words. Then had those goals and values fill into the monthly sheets. I also had overarching goals for the year as a whole, so I added a spot to type them in once and then see them reflected on each month’s sheet. This way when I went to write out the monthly goals, I would have the big picture in mind. Those monthly goals also did not go as planned, but the structure was nice.
To make this easier for others to use, I deleted all my data and emphasized the areas to edit. On the first page, the text in blue is to be edited by the user. This will then fill in on all the month’s sheets. Then on each month’s sheet, I highlighted the cells to add to in yellow.
The main caveat to this sheet is that the weight must be entered into the first day of the month, all cells in that column must be filled in, and the last cell entered needs to be a number. Both other columns, goal 2 and goal 3, are simple sums.
My main admiration with spreadsheets is the ease with which to organize information. Especially with the added benefit of Google Docs, information can be quickly shared in real time between several people. Add in filters or equations, and the possibilities are endless. Sure this isn’t the solution to everything, but I’ve come across situations where we’ve tried to find systems already made for our needs. Like task list manager or bug tracker. In the end, the complex systems with several points of data entry and upkeep were too much, or too expensive, and the problem of miscommunication was solved with 1 sheet. So long as everyone on the team knows where to find it, what it means, and remembers to edit it, some communication can be boiled down to a simple sheet that keeps everyone on the same page.
My Related Blog: For the Love of Spreadsheets- “How I used Google docs and spreadsheets to lose 20 pounds (give or take a few) and get into the habit of writing.”