From closet to cooking to creativity, becoming that girl is nothing short of a lifestyle change. Combining my love for Microsoft Excel and my never-ending quest to fully become that girl, I have put together a list of the seven most necessary spreadsheets to help you (and me) become HER.
One of the most used spreadsheets in my collection is the one that analyzes my closet and outfits. I’ve seen girls use this in a multitude of ways: the visual girlies scan their outfits and create a look book in their notes app, the fiscal girlies use their spreadsheet to calculate the cost of their outfits and individual pieces, the sustainable girlies use a spreadsheet to track the wears of their pieces and create a capsule wardrobe, and if you’re like me, you combine it all into one complete with data analysis. My first tab is pretty tedious to set up but only has to be done once; a massive catalog that assigns a number to every item in my closet including shoes and accessories. The second tab tracks what I wear each day, complete with a count feature to determine how many times I wear a piece, and if, at the end of the year I haven’t worn a piece, its spot in my closet is evaluated. The third tab is chock-full of graphs and other visual data showcasing what is depicted in the spreadsheet, and the fourth tab is where I keep photos of outfits.
One of my work-in-progress spreadsheets is my pantry catalog and recipe book – dedicated to make dinner time easy and fun. This is an intermediate level spreadsheet, so if you’re new to Excel feel free to look up videos on how to complete these commands. As it is affected by the other tabs, we’ll circle back around to my first tab, which is a catalog of every item in my pantry and fridge and the amount of each item. The next five tabs are dedicated to breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snack recipes, respectively. The sixth tab acts as my meal plan, and each Sunday I have it randomly select meals for the week based on what I have in my fridge and pantry (the first tab). I can also set it to allow recipes where I am missing X amount of items. Throughout the week, when I cook the meals, I check them off, which updates my pantry catalog accordingly. The final tab acts as my grocery list, adding items automatically that are at 10% or less of their starting amount according to the catalog.
Every year as the holidays arrive faster than I am prepared for, I find myself scrambling to find the perfect gifts for the loved ones in my life. A few years ago, I decided to give up the stress and create a spreadsheet. Mine is pretty simple; it tracks the person, what I got the last year, what I got them this year, where I got it from and the dates purchased, wrapped and delivered. It also helps me keep track over the course of the year about gift ideas I have so I don’t blank when the winter months come around.
Where would that girl be without her budget? Luckily for us, Excel has tons of budget templates to help out the most beginner of spreadsheet users, just find one you like, input your data, and let them do the rest of the work for you. If you’re ready to put your skills to the test, you can pick and choose elements you like from each template and combine them or start entirely from scratch with your own vision. The girls are making money moves!
Perhaps one of the easiest spreadsheets for all users is the habit tracker, able to be as simple or complex as desired! Simply enter your desired habits along the Y Axis, the dates in the time period along the X Axis and use the checkmark feature to track your progress! For the analytical girlies: consider adding a data analysis feature to see which habits you meet most consistently, which days of the week you meet most habits or which habits need the most attention!
One of the first spreadsheets I ever made was used to track my reading, where I would put the title, author, genre and other relevant factors of every book I read into a table and run data analysis; I could see how many books I read written by female authors, how many books I read of a particular genre, my fiction to non-fiction ratio, and so on. I now use an app called StoryGraph to track a lot of this information for me, but I still keep my spreadsheet up to date as I can customize it to my tastes better. I’ve also created a feature that will calculate my star rating of each book for me, where I list the positive and negative qualities of a book with weights attached (+0.25 stars for memorable, -0.5 stars for not passing the Bechdel Test, etc.) and use the checkmark feature to add and subtract all of a book’s points to get its star rating. I even recently learned how to use sparklines to visualize each rating! While I no longer use this spreadsheet for books as consistently as I first did, I have since created nearly identical versions for movies, tv shows and podcasts to track information about all of the media I consume!
As a travel connoisseur (check out my articles titled Travel Central!), I love a good itinerary. Especially for group trips and splitting payments and multiple factors, utilizing a spreadsheet to keep everything together is ideal. One of the most helpful features I utilize is the basic functions to calculate everyone’s share of expenses, like transport, accommodation, food and excursions. I also have recently discovered that Excel will convert currencies for me, which has been incredibly helpful as I plan a grad trip to the British Isles this summer, where I’ll be switching back and forth between the Euro and the Pound. Excel will also create maps for you to help visualize your trip or see which location costs the most – another feature I’ve been using pretty heavily.
There you have it! The seven spreadsheets That Girl needs to be her best self.