Sunday, September 30, 2007

Buy versus Rent Calculator

Silver Fern Homes, in Boulder, Colorado, posted a cool spreadsheet back in late 2006 which helps you compare buying versus renting. Plenty of data needs to be plugged in by you (the user of the calculator) to let it help with your particular situation... so you should Get Your Own Copy of this one, so you can edit the assumptions. See their blog post for a full description. As per the note at the top of the spreadsheet: "THIS MODEL HAS BEEN IMPROVED. FOR THE LATEST VERSION (still FREE), PLEASE EMAIL".

Site: Silver Fern Realty - or - Their Blog, entitled The Silver Fern
Page/Post: Buy Versus Rent Using the Model
Spreadsheet: Buy-vs-Rent Spreadsheet
Spreadsheet Template: Click Here to Get Your Own Copy

Thursday, September 27, 2007

List of links - Favorite Articles

Using a spreadsheet to organize favorite or useful links to web sites is a common use case we’ve seen. Here is a good example... Frank Kelly in Boston posted “a collection of quite a number (250+) of the many online articles on Java, Software engineering (architecture, the development process), XML etc. that I've read over the last years - probably going back to 2001. I've included a URL and a personal score (on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being awesome).”

Site: The Art and Craft of Great Software Architecture and Development
Page/Post: Favorite Java and SW Eng Articles
Spreadsheet: Ranked List of Articles

Comparing Health Insurance Plans

Here's a great use of a spreadsheet calculator... tell me which health plan is best for MY situation. Marc Hedlund posted a great spreadsheet and a great description along with it on the blog Wheaties for Your Wallet back in November, 2006. If you plan on using this one, you should copy the spreadsheet using the "Get Your Own Copy" link below - this way you can update the assumptions as intended by the author.

Site: Wheaties for Your Wallet
Page/Post: Getting Health Insurance...
Spreadsheet: Comparing Health Insurance Plans
Copy of Spreadsheet: Click Here to get your own copy (this one will open as a copy in your own Google Docs account)

Tracking Diet and Weight on a Spreadsheet

'Big Daddy D' gives us an example of how he used a spreadsheet to track and share his progress on a diet and weight loss plan. The value of tracking the details you'll see in this spreadsheet is the ability to measure how changes in the diet produce the desired (or un-desired) result. Sharing this data lets others use that knowledge for themselves. He says in his Blog: "In April, we switched to a 14 day carb cycle (11 days low and 3 days high). Under both plans, each of us have experienced substantial weight loss. Here, I share my experiences and recipes."

Site: Big Daddy D's Low Carb Life
Page/Post: Carb Cycle Findings (the link to the spreadsheet is in the comments)
Spreadsheet: BDD Diet Log

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Recipes: Chocolate Chip Cookies is written by Meg Hourihan – who is “neither chef nor foodie nor critic. I prefer the label "food enthusiast." I have worked in a variety of jobs -- in a past life I was an internet entrepreneuer and co-founder of Pyra Labs...” (the company that produced Blogger!). Meg posted an excel spreadsheet and a reader (Harlan Harris) uploaded that to Google spreadsheets to share it more easily (Hey Harlan, you can sort more easily now). I can't endorse the recipes (yet), but just reading them makes my mouth water...

Site: Megnut
Page/Post:A "Mean" Chocolate Chip Cookie
Spreadsheet: Twelve Distinct Recipes, Averaged, or, Get your own copy to edit

Personal Investment Strategy - The Crossover Point Calculator

Back in Jan, 2007, Trent posted some ideas around a financial investment concept he credits to the book “Your Money or Your Life”… explaining The Crossover Point as: “the point at which your investments begin to earn more money than the cost of your living expenses. The crossover point is usually reached by keeping your living expenses lower than your income and investing that amount for the long term.”. Comments were added to this post through August, 2007, including one from an un-linked reader named “Owen”, who posted a link to a google spreadsheet which lets others show their own scenario. I copied that spreadsheet, made what seemed to be 1 necessary fix and posted it here for your consumption (the “get your own copy” link below is the best to use on this particular spreadsheet since it is more relevant to edit privately with your own information).

Site: The Simple Dollar blog
Original Concept from the Book: Your Money or Your Life
Page/Post: The Crossover Point - where “Owen”, a reader/commenter, offered his google spreadsheet: “Here’s my stab at Doing something like this with Google Spreadsheets...”. I made some changes to correct what I think was an error and minor format changes - but awaiting comment from Owen if this needs to be re-fixed or pointed to his site/copy.

Spreadsheet: The Crossover Point Calculator | Get Your Own Copy (by clicking this link you will immediately get your own copy in your Google Docs account - or be prompted to sign-in / register)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Game reviews summary for PC, 360, PS3 and Wii

Gamespot forums poster Nerdman offered this spreadsheet with an interesting angle on 'exclusive' deals... He described it like this:
"Here is a Google Spreadsheet I've created that sorts and totals all reviews of games on all major current gen systems since the release of the Xbox 360. I have now, to the best of my knowledge, indicated the exclusives for each platform in orange bold font and totalled them. This list does NOT include arcade/VC ports, etc. If I've missed any let me know."

Site: Gamespot Forums
Page/Post: Current Gen AAA and AA Game List
Spreadsheet: Current Gen AAA and AA Games by Platform

Gamer spreadsheets - World of Warcraft Hunters

Here's a sample of how technical gamers like spreadsheets to track... well... stuff that's important in their game ;) ... This one is for World of Warcraft, and contains lots of well-formatted, easy to read data. Explanations are welcome here as to the general benefits of this use-case, so other gamers can gain insight. (can you tell I'm not a WoW gamer?)

Site: or originally in wow-europe
Page/Post: Hunter "Database", which apparently was taken originally from the wow-europe forums
Spreadsheet: Hunter Database v2.3

Friday, September 21, 2007

Vacation Planning Template

Inspired by another spreadsheet posted here - where Disney trips specifically were being planned - this one is generic and can be viewed as a matrix or an agenda. It fills in dates for you (no big deal) and is a good starting point for easy collaboration when planning trips.

Site: JRsays
Page/Post: Planning Vacations Together
Spreadsheet: Sample Trip | TEMPLATE (to edit your own copy)

Campaign Contributions Data (Norman Hsu)

Political use of spreadsheets is more common than you might think. Here's one from showing campaign contributions made and raised by Norman Hsu from 2003-2007. Suitably notes: "... the contributions are organized by recipient, by contributor, and by individual transaction. This data isn't necessarily infallible, as it's culled from a variety of sources and undergoes a series of iterations, compilations, and aggregations on its way from the source documents to this uploaded format."

Page/Post: Hsu, Recobbled
Spreadsheet: Hsu Contributions

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Vacation Planning Schedules to Share

This is an example of a trip planner, showing the full itinerary of a vacation in a very useful format - where each day is a column and each critical part of the day is a row (which hotel you're staying in, which sites you're visiting, where each meal is booked, etc). The original is a Disney vacation example - where booking things in advance is critical - but this concept can be applied to virtually any trip - even business trips.

Site: Disney Discussion Forum:
Page/Post: Schedule - Easy to Share
Spreadsheet: Vacation Planner (original, as posted)

Five Friends Meet in Hawaii

A Trip to Hawaii was planned using a spreadsheet for friends living in four different Timezones... a great story...

Snippet: "Today we have been laying out the plans for what we are going to do. Good times. We were sitting in four different time zones and making the plan in Google Spreadsheet. Fernando sitting on Hawaii, Ivan in Minneapolis, Alberto in Tennessee, and Femi and me in Prague."

Site: Blogging Gelle
Page / Post: Going to Hawaii - yay!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Collaboration and Drafts for Sports Fantasy Leagues

David Kaufman gives an overview of the usefulness of collaboration and access from anywhere that players of fantasy leagues get from using Google spreadsheets. He describes his site, Techlife, as "where the crossroads of Technology and Life intersect"... perfect.
A Comment from Mike added: "This year, I formalized my draft tracking (to help learn league tendencies and help project drafting runs, etc.), and created the following quickly using Google Spreadsheets. Very simple, and the graphing provides a nice illustration of this year’s patterns."

Site: TechLife by.David.Kaufman

Page / Post: Fantasy Football and Google Docs - Winning Strategies


Hawaiian Language Lessons

Podcasts to learn Hawaiian - with spreadsheets of dictionary terms as a companion learning resource...

Site: Learning Hawaiian for Beginners
Page / Post: Beginning Hawaiian Class Lectures
Spreadsheet: Concise Hawaiian Dictionary

Monday, September 17, 2007

Even Tailgaters need to be organized

The Jolly Good Fellows of Georgia Tech are serious about their football, and serious about making sure their tailgate parties are well organized. This entry has a bonus - that is, besides a cool spreadsheet, it has a shared Google Calendar of the GT game schedule...

Site: Jolly Good Fellows
Page / Post: Organize, Downsize and Streamline the tailgate party
Spreadsheet: Tailgate Checklist
Calendar: Add the GT Jolly Good Fellows calendar to your Google Calendar List.

Stock Picking, Watching and Competing

TDavid posted a fun spreadsheet back in July which put him head to head against his wife in a stock picking competition...
My wife and I are getting ready for a little friendly stock competition where we’re both starting with a small amount of money and seeing what we can do with it playing the stock market. I thought it would be nice to share with readers how the stocks we’re buying and selling are doing.
[...and added the reasons he chose to use Google spreadsheets...]
- my wife and I can collaborate on the spreadsheet
- it will be easier for my wife to update from her browser any time she wants
- changes to the spreadsheet can automatically updated on the blog
- it will give me a chance to work with the Google Spreadsheet API. This will allow me to be able to include parts of the shared spreadsheet at Hmm (programming required)

Site: Things that make you go Hmm
Page / Post: How to add your own shared updated stock list using google spreadsheets
Spreadsheet: Stock Competition 2007

Organizing Housework

Miss Practical doesn't seem to keep her blog up to date anymore, but this was a great example of someone who really controlled their housework duties. Durations for each task were used as a common reference point to calculate total duration for each day's tasks. Sorry we don't have the template for this one... but let us know if you re-create it from this published version...

Site: Miss Practical
Page / Post: Housework Timetable
Spreadsheet: Household Chores Weekly Rotation

Cleaning house more efficiently and organized

Best way to describe this one is from their site: "Do you feel overwhelmed, overextended, and overdrawn? Hopeless and you don't know where to start? Don't worry friend, we've been there, too. Step through the door and follow FlyLady as she weaves her way through housecleaning and organizing tips with homespun humor, daily musings about life and love, the Sidetracked Home Executives (SHE™) system, and anything else that is on her mind.

Site: and Flyladies and Flybabies
Page/Post: Discussion re control sheets
Spreadsheet: House Cleaning Zones

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Coordinatinating Teams for NYCFIRST Robotics

This is a team list for the NYCfirst community of the First Lego League (FLL), found on a blog by Norm Scott, NYCFIRST Registration coordinator. His blog is described as: A newsletter for the NYCFIRST robotics community in New York City and the surrounding area.

Site: Norm's NYCfirst Blog
Page/Post: Registration update for '07
Spreadsheet: NYCfirst - First Lego League Teams for '07/'08

Friday, September 14, 2007

Project Plan Gantt Charting spreadsheet

Spreadsheets are so often used as simple project planners. Here's a spreadsheet which was posted by David Seah on his blog in excel format, but then Kent Larsson (in the comments) imported it into Google spreadsheets for the rest of us who are not too interested in downloading and unzipping a file... It's simple and nice looking, so could save you some time - Thanks David and Kent!

Site: David Seah - Better Living through New Media
Post/Page: Manual Gantt Charting...
Spreadsheet: Project Plan Gannt Chart   |   Get your own copy

Investment Spreadsheet with scenarios

This spreadsheet from Hackszine was a collaborative effort...
Described by Jason Striegel: Thanks to the hundreds of you who have collaborated and experimented with the document in the last couple of days, I've put together an update that accounts for your pre-tax 401k contributions as well as a home loan. Special thanks to James G. McIlhargey, who contributed the loan debt model! In the interest of proving a point, I've put together 3 example scenarios of very normal people becoming wealthy by being excessive in their frugality.

Site: Hackszine
Post/Page: Investment Spreadsheet 2.0
Spreadsheet: Link to shared version | Get your own copy

Losing Weight through Caloric Deficit Tracking

This is a really nice spreadsheet which helps track and calculate all sorts of body mass, fat, caloric info towards the goal of losing weight in a healthy way.

Site: TribalWar Forums
Page/Post: Look for it on this Forum post page
Spreadsheet: Published version | Get your own copy

The poster - woodfucious - offered this spreadsheet in a post which included the following:
Hussman Fitness (
This site has some great information about nutrition and calorie management. Just read sections 1-6 and ignore the Body for Life stuff. Once you get calculate your BMR and get a consistent caloric deficit going you'll start dropping weight fast.
Using a spreadsheet to track progress is very helpful. Here's the one I've been using: Google Docs & Spreadsheets - caloric deficit tracker v2 ( rQJSYA)

Blood Sugar Tracking for managing diabetes (again)

Carol in the UK welcomes people to her blog: Welcome to my blog about diabetes. I am embarking on an attempt to alleviate if not cure my type 2 diabetes through the elimination of trans isomer fats from my diet, following the plan advocated by Dr John Midgely. (more...)

Site: Getting the Better of Type 2 Diabetes

Post/Page: (It's actually linked from the right pane of the blog)

Spreadsheet: See it Here

Tracking Blood Sugar Levels on a spreadsheet

I've seen many examples of people with diabetes tracking their blood sugar levels on a spreadsheet - sometimes in association with their diet/food intake. This is a site where Sherrie shares her experiences as a diabetic. I've only seen the public ones, like this - I bet there are many more private ones...

Site: Piece-by-piece
Post/Page: Blood Sugar Readings on a spreadsheet
Spreadsheet: See Sherrie's spreadsheet or Get Your Own Copy
Other: Great description for creating your own spreadsheet online...