As an entrepreneur, coach, and trainer, spreadsheets are my friend. They are the most used tool in my biz toolbox. Currently, I’m hopelessly and fiendishly addicted to GoogleDocs, and more specifically, GoogleSheets. I have a long, complex relationship with spreadsheets. My love affair with their straight lines and no-nonsense columns has gone on for so long that I can’t remember its origin. My love blossomed when I was working for a large retail brand and in charge of rolling out a major initiative. We were not a mandate culture, so I had to create a compelling influencing strategy. In order to do that, I needed to track loads of data. This strategy involved influencing ten very autonomous divisions at the top level and then working my down through every department of every division. So I had to have and influencing strategy that basically involved over one hundred people. It was a huge undertaking and spreadsheets had my back…and kept my sanity.
On top of that, I’m a self-professed data geek.
As a Six Sigma Black Belt, I know that you can’t change what you don’t measure ( i also love Peter Drucker quotes). Detailed information that’s quantified showcases a visual representation of matters far more efficiently than lectures or guesstimates. My predilection for data and the way I designed the tracking wowed senior management. I don’t know if it was really anything special, I just don’t think they had seen anyone create a massive spreadsheet where you could easily generate reports with the click of a button before. They were so impressed with my creation that we hired someone to manage it full-time. It was their job to slice, dice, and analyze the data that my calculations revealed. It was truly a work of beauty.
Now that I’m self-employed and loving it, I still live by the spreadsheet. Our love never died or waned over the years. It’s not uncommon for me during a client session to say, “Hang on, let me create a spreadsheet for that!”
I mean, what’s not to love about being organized and delivering results? To make things even better, in GoogleDocs, I can share my spreadsheet love with my clients and my team; AND, we can collaborate on it. Each person adds their own edits or information to complete a project. GoogleDocs is low-cost or free and applicable to so many uses. I rely on it for project management, goal planning, content planning, budgeting, monthly revenue projects, sales funnel mapping, launch checklists etc.
Beyond the 1-D level of spreadsheets, you create collaborative documents, slides, and forms with the resource! Over the years, spreadsheets have never let me down. In fact, our love has only grown more profound. I don’t just use them in my business. I use it for personal stuff as well. Everything is organized in folders labeled with Budget, Household Projects, Party Planning, Health and Nutrition..and so on. When my husband starts talking about household projects or budgets, I immediately stop him with a “Hang on. Let’s refer to the spreadsheet.” I know that beyond the rolled eyes he’s really thinking, “I’m so glad I married this woman. Without her awesome spreadsheets our world would be in chaos!! ” Okay, maybe not.
Would you like to know the best part about GoogleDocs? For busy gals and guys, no longer does one have to worry about closing a tab and screaming, “OMG, I forgot to hit save!!!” The automatic save function preserves my work (as well as glasses and vases from shattering due ear-splitting laments about unsaved files).
In short, God bless you, GoogleDocs!