Weird and Wonderful Spreadsheets

A while ago, I suggested that we pick a day to celebrate as Spreadsheet Day. There was a poll to pick a date, and October 17th, the release date of VisiCalc, got the most votes.

So, we still have lots of time to plan events for this year’s Spreadsheet Day. Do you have any ideas?

Spreadsheet Day

In the meantime, we know that every day is spreadsheet day, and we can celebrate that. I’ve been looking for examples of unusual ways that people use spreadsheets, and posting them on the Spreadsheet Day blog.

Why sunflowers? Why not? They’re lined up nicely, like a spreadsheet grid, and they look like they’re celebrating.

spreadsheetday01

So far, the spreadsheet examples have been intriguing, such as:

  • planning a spa day
  • drawing a town map
  • keeping track of World of Warcraft data
  • designing amusement rides

and much more to come.

Your Awesome Spreadsheet Examples

What’s the strangest thing you’ve used Excel for? If you have examples you’d like to share, please let me know, in the comments below, or by email: ddalgleish AT contextures.com. I look forward to seeing what creative things you’re doing.

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8 Responses

  1. Fred Chidester says:

    Layout, material, and cost lists for remodeling bathroom, work in progress. (Sheet being sent.) Has saved a lot in shopping for materials has really been a lot simpler. It also help in doing the layout work. Saved running up and down the stairs for measurements, two story house. Blew the print outs up and marked cuts on the drawings.

  2. BrianR says:

    In a past life, I was the Quality Information manager for Guinness in Ireland. We were taking back from the pubs the responsibility for cleaning the Guinness beer-lines and so we needed to divide all the pubs amongst hundreds of Dispense Reps (the guys who would maintain the beer-lines). Because of the complexity of the cleaning process, there was a very fine tolerance for the workload that each of the Reps could handle. To make matters worse, we would only know the Dublin region within a week of going live – and without any budget for using a logistics company.

    Excel to the rescue! I built a Pivot Table which displayed a schematic map of Dublin based on the geographical co-ordinates of each pub.
    The District Manager (who had no previous Excel experience) could then build Districts of the correct work-load by simply clicking and dragging on cells within the Pivot. The Sum value in the status bar showed him the workload for the selected pubs, allowing him to tweak his selection until it was correct. At that point he would click on a button to “freeze” the new District and start the process again for the next one.

    The Dispense Manager saw Excel for the first time at 10:00 and had the job finished before lunch. Result – lots of happy consumers of the black stuff!

  3. @Fred, thanks, I got your file and will use it on the Spreadsheet Day website.

    @BrianR, great story, thanks for sharing it! My ancestors came to Canada via Ireland, so I can appreciate the importance of the task you had. ;-)

  4. I couldn’t get past BrianR’s first sentence. The only way I’m a Guinness employee in a “past life” is because I died, most likely of alcohol poisoning at work. Really BrianR. What do you do that is better than working for Guinness?

  5. Bob Ryan says:

    I developed a spreadsheet to see the total of all the vitamins, amino acids and other stuff that’s in the nutritional supplements I take each day.

  6. @Dick, no word from BrianR on what he’s doing now, so maybe you convinced him to go back!

    @Bob, thanks, that use of a spreadsheet is probably healthier for us, than pub related activities.

  7. Bob Ryan says:

    Debra – As an idea for Spreadsheet Day… How about using our Excel expertise to help individuals or organizations that need it? I have no other details, but thought this might be a worthwhile way to celebrate it.

  8. […] Debra Dalgleish can create a Spreadsheet Day, I can most certainly create the Sheet […]

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