I like to use paper for planning my weekly spreads and checklists, but have made the switch from printables to spreadsheets over the years for planning many things including:
1. Budget income and expenses
I used paper for budgeting during my university days when I didn’t have many responsibilities. But once I reached proper ‘adulthood’ there were many more expenses and it just made more sense to track this is Excel when I can easily compare years, quickly do average calculations and forecast expenditure all within a few tabs of an Excel file, instead of dozens of sheets of paper and a calculator.
I like visually comparing goals versus actual via graphs, which is super quick and easy to do in Excel.
I have another version of the spreadsheets that I use for tracking my business income and expenses which is very handy when it’s time to do my BAS and submit my taxes.
2. Meal planning
I’ve tried various methods of meal planning over the years including against each day on the weekly spread, using a meal planning sidebar sticker, sticky notes, and monthly calendars. But I’d move things around so often so I switched to spreadsheets. Now it’s much quicker to just cut and paste to move things around in seconds.
I use this one in Google Sheets on my iPad. That way I can take my iPad to the kitchen and update the spreadsheet on the go while I’m checking what I have on hand in the fridge / freezer / pantry and writing out my grocery list.
I keep a bank of my favorite recipes and their ingredients on a separate tab in the same spreadsheet.
3. Travel planning
Planning holidays is my favorite thing to plan! I’m always thinking about the next trip I want to take. I like to plan really detailed itineraries. I use these spreadsheets I made which I did a full tour of (including video) in this post, in conjunction with an itinerary template I created in Microsoft Word (which can you read more about in this post).
In the spreadsheets I keep:
1. Handy info reference page
2. To do list
4. Attractions (and their cost)
5. Itinerary by Month
6. Itinerary by Week
7. Flight Comparison
8. Accommodation Comparison
9. Car Rental Comparison
10. Transfer comparison
11. Tour comparisons
12. Travel insurance
13. Spending Tracker
14. Before We Leave Checklist
15. Packing List
16. Outfit Planner
4. Master Task List
I shared more about how I use this spreadsheet in this post.
I mainly use the spreadsheet for blogging tasks and a to keep an organized to do list of all my ideas for future blog posts. However, I wanted the spreadsheet to be flexible so you could really use it for whatever you like depending on what categories you choose to.
5. Annual goals overview
I use this for my annual overview to keep track of holidays, goals for my shop and personal things I want to do (usually photo books which don’t sound like they’d be much work but I take so many photos they turn into a mammoth task).
I wanted to be able to quickly add new things and delete items if I change my mind. I was forever erasing things in my paper planner, or running out of room to add new things so switched to using a spreadsheet.
6. Investment property
I sold my investment property last year (read more about how I did it without a real estate agent in this post), but used these spreadsheets for the nearly 7 years I owed it. Much easier than doing manual calculations on paper, and then I could just send a copy of the Excel file to my accountant at tax time.
7. Home inventory
I created this spreadsheet when I was renewing my insurance so I could more accurately determine how much cover I needed, rather than looking at items and trying to remember how much I’d paid for them.
It now serves another purpose. When I recorded almost everything I owned (as I wasn’t going to do an inventory of every single book / pen / piece of clothing), it helped me realise (well, stopped trying to deny), that there was a bit of stuff I’d had for years but wasn’t using that I could probably sell on marketplace.
I also made renovation planning spreadsheets which I used to plan my parents bathroom renovation and my sister’s kitchen renovation. I also use it to do a feasibility check when house hunting, to see if the renovations I’d like to make are actually within my budget.
I made these spreadsheets back in 2018 when I started investing in the share market. These have evolved over the years and I now use them to keep track of:
1. Helpful resources
2. My investing rules & research questions
3. 10 year summary
4. Annual summary
5. My dividends tracker
6. Share holdings
7. Shares watch list
8. International shares watch list
9. Share trading tracker
10. Share dividends tracker
11. Share price tracker
A few years ago I did try weekly planning using an Excel spreadsheet, but found that I prefer to keep my weekly planning to paper. If it’s on my computer it’s buried amongst everything else I have open on the screen, especially all of the spreadsheets I just mentioned!
More Planning tips
- 10 Strategies for tackling your to do list
- 50 Category Ideas for Color Coding Your Planner
- Buying a planner versus DIYing and making your own (pros and cons)
Found this post helpful? Pin it!