Sunday, February 07, 2010

Sunday Salon: The Snowed-in Spreadsheets!

During Bloggiesta, I mentioned one of my goals was updating my spreadsheets and many people asked how I used spreadsheets for blogging. Well... here you go!

(And if you think these are nerdy and anal, you should see the ones I use for work. Yes, I have multiple spreadsheets for storytime.) Basically, my entire life is lived off a spreadsheet.

Here's the basic blog spreadsheet:

This is where I keep track of books I need to blog about. This is not my list of books I've read (that's in a paper notebook.)

So the columns are date (done in month/year) that I read a book, title, if the review has been written, and notes. My notes column lists what date I've pre-scheduled a review for, if the book was for a challenge, or anything I want to remember when I write the blog post (but not the actual review. I have a paper notebook for things like that.)

I have a spreadsheet for review copies that I'm not going to show you because I'm horrified at how many have gone unread. Also, it's new, so it's not as useful yet. Basically, it goes pub date/title/notes (blog tour, unsolicited, promised review date/etc)/post date (which is 3 months after receiving or pub date, which ever is later, or if I have a promised post date because of a blog tour or something) The 3 months since receiving (ONLY if I asked for the book. It doesn't apply to unsolicited titles) was one of this year's "Be a better blogger" goals. As was "take fewer review copies." I also make liberal use of color coding, to highlight those books that should be read yesterday.

Then, there's the challenge spreadsheets...

Here's the one where I track all the challenges that don't come with a list. So, read 100 books from the library, or read 12 historical fiction titles, etc.

The name of the challenge is on top and then the column is highlighted to the number of books I have to read. If there are sub-categories within the challenge, the column will change colors. You can see this in the second column, which is the Marple/Poirot/Holmes challenge. 2 cells are the regular shade of peach, the next 2 are a bit darker, and the next 2 are orange to break up the detectives.

For challenges that come with a list, they each have their own sheet. This is the one for the Guardian Challenge:

The columns are: last name/first name/title/category/read/read for this challenge.

One I've read a book, it gets unhighlighted. A 1 in the 5th column is for all the books I've read off the list. A 1 in the 6th column is for the books I've read specifically for this challenge. So, in this screen shot, there are 3 books I've read. Bridget Jones's Diary was read shortly after publication in 1998. I read Wind in the Willows a few years ago. I read Cold Comfort Farm last month for this challenge (also because I owned it, and it's part of the 1% challenge.) In the last row, there are equations that add up how many books I've read both off the list in general, and specifically for this challenge.

For books that come with a list where I need to read every book on the list, I don't have numbers, I just unhighlight each book as I read it.

Last, but not least, is the BIG spreadsheet- the master sheet. So, all those challenges that come with a list are combined on this sheet:

It goes last name/first name/title/challenges. It's color coded based on how many challenges a book counts for. Once I read a book, I unhighlight it and then put a 1 in the 5th column. At the bottom, I have an equation so it adds up how many books I've read so far. This is the hardest to update at the start of a year. Books that I've read have to be taken off and new lists for new challenges have to be added in. Also, all the books I own, but haven't read, are on the list, so that had to be updated to add in the books I acquired but have not yet read in the past year.

I use Google Docs for all of these, just so I can access them from anywhere.

Any questions?


GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

That is amazingly organized! I have a notebook where I write titles I've read and what month I read them, but I think I need to start something like this instead of my boring Word doc with what I need to review. Thanks for sharing!

Jennie said...

I will admit, making lists and crossing things off them makes me feel more productive than actually doing the stuff I need to do!

Also, if you click on the screen shots, it'll open a bigger version so you can read what's there...

Serena said...

I'm bad about spreadsheets...I cannot keep up with them. It is so sad.

DougWheeler said...

Oh my! Did you not study ballet, choir, history & literature? Were you not in choir? Praytell, where did such nerdiness come from?

(Oh yeah, excellent job!)