I have to put my hand up and admit that I love spreadsheets. I use them for all sorts of things: recording who we send Christmas cards to each year, managing our family finances, outlining my next book, planning the edits to the last one. They are such a useful tool to tabulate and manipulate data.
The most complicated one I’ve got is to record what I do – both the time I spend on writing/business related activities and how many words I write. This is incredibly useful for many reasons. First, I can show what I’ve spent my time on, and when I’m most productive. So I can organise my schedule so that I plan to write when I generally get most words. For me that is the morning.
Second, if I ever do actually register as a business here in the Netherlands I will need to record my working time. So by starting doing that now I’m ahead of the game.
Third, it allows me to run all sorts of reports using pivot tables to see how many words I write a week, or a month, or on a specific project. How much time I spend doing different things: editing v drafting v promotions v admin, or on each project. Setting these sorts of reports up is the bit that scares some people, but now they’re done I can just look at them to pull out the data I need. One thing I’m worried about is how big it will be by the end of the year. Fingers crossed it doesn’t crash my whole computer!
I would advise you to look at what you’re doing and see where a spreadsheet might help. Or let me know in the comments what you already use one for.