How to Use Excel to Get Organized

by eHow Home & Garden Editor

If you're familiar with Excel, it can be a handy tool to help you get and stay organized with a number of different things. Here are just some ways you can use Excel to keep track of personal finance, food shopping, household chores and general purpose "to-do" lists.

Personal Finance

Create a budget in Excel. Create a spreadsheet in Excel that tracks your salary, your monthly expenses and periodic expenses.

Use the spreadsheet to track income and expenses over several months to see your financial position.

Put together a separate monthly cash-flow sheet. This worksheet should start with your bank balance. Account for any outstanding checks or bills. Then subtract expected monthly expenses to see your cash flow before your next paycheck arrives.

Household Chores

Make a spreadsheet that will track household chores.

Include on the spreadsheet categories like daily, weekly, bi-monthly and monthly chores.

Leave a check box next to each entry. That way you or the family member who does the chore can check it off when it's done and everyone in the house will know what still needs to be done.

Consider assigning the chore to a particular family member in an additional column. You might also assign a particular day to an item.

Food Shopping Lists

Configure an Excel spreadsheet into columns.

Divide the spreadsheet into categories for each section of the supermarket like dairy, deli and produce.

Write down what you need in each part of the supermarket.

Fill out the list, print it and bring it with you to the store.

To-Do Lists

Construct a spreadsheet that covers the week. You can have a separate block for each day of the week.

Make a list for each day what you need to do. Include weekly and daily chores on your list.

Copy the list each week into a new sheet in the same document on Excel. That way your list of weekly chores will move along each week. You can then input new things, like phone calls you need to make or work you need to complete, on a daily basis without having to rewrite standard chores.

Tips

  • check Don't forget to account for food shopping and day-to-day expenses like gas or lunches bought outside the home in the monthly cash-flow sheet. Also consider whether you have large periodic expenses like quarterly life-insurance payments that need to be included.
  • check Create the spreadsheet according to the layout of the supermarket to save time when you're shopping and eliminate backtracking.
  • check Recognize that these are just some of the ways you can use Excel to keep yourself organized. Be creative in what works for you.