How to Use Excel to Get Organized

Everyone knows that one person who always has his or her life together. This person knows what he is making for dinner each night for the next two weeks. This personknows when it is time to repaint the house because he or she has budgeted for it for eight years. This person, (gasp!) remembers all her log-ins and passwords. Chances are all the organized people you know have Excel at the ready on their laptops. As soon as their youngest starts comparing colleges or when its time to make a Christmas shopping list, their fingers start twitching as they think “I can make a spreadsheet for this.” Be like your friend. Get Excel training, so you know how to get organized.

Use Excel for meal planning

Do you feel like you deserve a medal or major award if you show up to the grocery store with a list? Since you usually just wander through the get organizedstore not quite remembering if you have cheese or not, having an actual list seems like such a significant accomplishment. Imagine how you would feel if you created a spreadsheet for your meals for the week. Perhaps your family will cheer for you as they carry you into the house, waving flags and throwing confetti.

Excel is the natural choice to use for meal planning. Populate the cells across the top of your spreadsheet with such titles as day, meal prep, ingredients, and link to the recipe. Make notes under the meal prep category to remind yourself to pick up that last minute ingredient at the store or to set meat out to thaw. You can even share this spreadsheet with other members of your family so if you are delayed, they can begin prepping for the meal before you get home. Sorry, maybe our fantasy has gone a little too far with that suggestion. We can only dream.


Some people wouldn’t even think about packing a bag before creating an Excel spreadsheet filled with travel plans. Each day of the vacation can be neatly planned out with a spreadsheet. Under each date, you can provide your itinerary, complete with links to maps, websites and hours of each location, costs involved, and the estimated travel time between destinations.

Search for Disney travel spreadsheets and prepared to be amazed. Travelers map out which attractions to visit first (based on popularity), restaurant reservations, and parades times.

Kids’ Activities

Once you have more than one child, much less three or four, the need for organization becomes real. Organization becomes no joke when you have kids sign up for Girl Scouts, lacrosse, dance, piano, and computer coding. Create a spreadsheet to keep track of the dates of the activities, the cost, the time, what to pack, and the payment information. Don’t search through pages of emails the day of an event to find out that you should have left an hour earlier.


If you or a loved one are fighting a serious illness, consider using Excel to keep track of your medications. While this seems like data that would be easy to track, it becomes complicated when your care extends to a team of doctors. Record that date the medicine was prescribed and for what reason. Write down the brand name and generic name for the drugs. Record what doctor prescribed the medication. Keep track of what side effects you should be looking for after taking each pill. Record the cost, the pharmacy, and the refill information. Also, record how many pills to take and at what time.

Keeping track of this type of information is vital. Print out the spreadsheet each time you visit a new doctor so he or she can see if there is a danger in mixing medications. Also, make sure you share this information with others. If you aren’t feeling well, you may not be able to remember or explain the medications to others.

Home inventory

No one thinks that a major catastrophe will happen to them, but things often happen that are out of our control. Be prepared for a disaster by keeping track of the large or expensive items in your house. This list will become valuable when making insurance claims.

Not only is this list helpful during the time of flood, theft, or fire, it is also valuable information to have around to keep you and your spouse from fighting. Instead of arguing when you purchased the refrigerator, you can have an easy-to-find record of not only when it was purchased, but also the cost and warranty information.

Use Excel to keep track of the small things and big things in your life.

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