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  • Create a Life Dashboard with Google Sheets

  • Google Sheets is widely used among professionals and students. While most people use Sheets as a tool for data analysis or to get their finances in order, this application can also be used for planning, task management, and more.

    Why Google Sheets?

    Let's keep it simple and break down the seven advantages of the app into a list.

    1. You can start with a free template. Google Sheets has a template gallery, so you do not have to build  everything from scratch.
    2. You can share files and collaborate. It is easy to share any spreadsheet with your family, spouse, or colleagues.
    3. You can access it anywhere. Even if all your devices break down and you have to use a stranger's laptop, all you need is your Google login information.
    4. You get real-time updates. You can view every change made to the spreadsheet as they are being made by others.
    5. You avoid duplicates. On a similar note to the previous point, you can "go back in time" and look at older versions of the same sheet.
    6. You save time with automation. Just like Excel, you can change the appearance with conditional formatting, create dropdown menus, and use formulas to generate data automatically.
    7. It is free! Best of all, you can access this application without incurring any expenses (that you would otherwise need to add to your budget tracker 😉).

    Templates on Google Sheets

    Firstly, to access Google Sheets' free templates, go to https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/0/. This will take you into your Google Drive and at the top you will see the Template Gallery. And voila! You have tons of free, pre-made spreadsheets to choose from.

    Google Sheets Template Gallery

    Here are a few different types of sheets to get you started. Disclaimer: Instructions for each sheet are directly on the template. Also, for privacy, none of these are my personal sheets.

    Monthly Budget

    Monthly Budget

    Spreadsheets were made for budgets! This is a monthly budget tracker that will automatically calculate how much you earn and spend. There are two sheets: one is a summary that uses formulas to calculate expenses and income, and the other one is for putting in credits and debits. You only need to tinker the Setup, Expenses, and Income areas. The Summary sheet will automatically populate based on the things you have added.

    Task Management

    Task Management

    This to-do list is a great hybrid between a mobile app and Strikethrough method: you can use Google Sheets on your phone and get the satisfaction of crossed-out tasks. This is a straightforward option, but you can customize it even further with due dates, priority statuses, tags, and more. When a task is complete, Sheets crosses it out but keeps it on the list. You can change this using conditional formatting. You can use this to collaborate with team members for specific projects and assign tasks to keep everyone on track.

    Daily Schedule

    Daily Schedule

    Although I am a big fan of Google Calendar to plan my daily schedule, it is worth trying Sheets, especially if simplicity is a priority. This schedule template is a good way to implement time blocking, if you have been wanting to try it. You can figure out where you are spending the most amount of time and determine if you are using your time wisely. This is an easy way to log your daily meetings, classes, and/or tasks.

    Travel Planner

    Travel Planner

    I have covered the most common parts of your life that you can organize with Google Sheets. You don't have to stop there though! You can get creative and set up spreadsheets to manage other areas of your life. This travel planner is great because you can put your entire itinerary on one sheet and share it with as many people as you want! Although we are currently in a pandemic, I hope this comes in handy soon!

    I encourage you to check out the other free templates Google Sheets offers! Once you have picked the spreadsheets you want to use, combine it into one file and call it your "Life Dashboard." That way, you have everything you need in one place.

    Do you need help setting this up? If so, please feel free to reach out to me at rushvi@productivebreak.com. I'm happy to help!