Creatively Use Microsoft Excel to Organize Your Home and Family

Although Excel is often viewed as a business application, it is popular as a consumer product as well. People use it for everything from tracking their personal finances to logging their DVD collection.Home users find taking a Microsoft Excel course enhances their understanding of the spreadsheet and opens new possibilities for using it to manage their own lives. As an example, let’s examine how some of the techniques learned in Microsoft Excel courses can be applied to a diet and exercise program.Tracking WeightSticking to a healthy routine is hard at first. You are overcoming years of bad habits. To maintain motivation you need results and the easiest way to see that is by monitoring weight loss. Tracking weight loss is simple. Each day weigh yourself and enter the data into Excel. Of course you could do this with pencil and paper, but Excel lets you do something with the data.Using techniques from a Microsoft Excel course, you can create a moving average which makes it easier to see the trend. Most people can’t really wrap their head around numbers, so adding a simple graph lets you watch the weight drop off over time.Make this more sophisticated with other statistics such as daily loss or Body Mass Index. Over a long time you can spot seasonal trends, such as the dreaded Christmas bump. Techniques from advanced Microsoft Excel courses let you add VBA scripts to make data entry easier.Count Your CaloriesAs you get more sophisticated you might add another sheet to your workbook where you keep a meal log. Each meal you jot down what you eat and you enter it into your Excel sheet as well as the calorie count of each item. Using lookup formulas, add columns to tally your calorie intake for each day.You could add a food database so that rather than trying to remember how many calories is in a grilled chicken breast, the sheet can look it up and enter it for you. Some people like to add more detail like grams of fat, cholesterol, or nutrition information. The extra detail is nice, but if you make it too much work you’ll stop doing it.Add As Much As You LikeThe beauty of a self-created application like this is you can make it whatever you want. Some people track exercise. Runners might enjoy keeping track of time and distance. Weight lifters document different exercises, weights, sets, and reps. Even a simple step like wearing a pedometer and monitoring how much you walk each day can inspire you to do more.The best way to use a spreadsheet like this is to have it with you all the time. Some keep it on a thumb drive in their pocket. Others use their PDA to track it. Remember: you are creating an application to keep you motivated. Keep track of the information important to you and don’t worry too much about the rest.There are countless ways to use Microsoft Excel to improve your daily life. From managing birthdays, to keeping track of receipts, to managing stock performance, to tracking your personal health record, Excel can be a powerful tool for helping you organize your life!