January 10, 2023 – Day 9 of #ADayInMyLife @PTLPerrin 30-Day #Blogging Challenge 2023 @RRBC_org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

1-10-23, Day 9 In PTL Perrin’s Life

Courtesy of ClKer-Free Pixabay

Welcome to day nine of A Day In My Life! Happy Tuesday!

Yesterday was day eight, not nine. I get the date confused with the day number. So what else is new? Numbers are like a foreign language to me, requiring translation. What year were we married? Uh, well, Bill! Help! And yet, I am the one who gathers all the financial info for our taxes. Thank the Lord for spreadsheets.

How do I use spreadsheets? Let me count the ways.

1. Names: We have eight children and twenty-five grandchildren. Oh, and one great-grand baby on the way. I used every grandchild’s name as a character in my Tetrasphere series. Now you know why there are so many characters! Of course, I changed the names slightly and assigned them to people, giants, aliens, and other creatures bearing absolutely no resemblance to said grandchild. Spreadsheets kept my characters in line and made sure I didn’t forget anyone.

2. Birthdays: I stopped transferring birthdays to new calendars years ago. Firstly, I pay little attention to actual calendars except to admire the photos and poems or Scriptures now and then. Secondly, my writing hand cramped. Thirdly, spreadsheets are easy to duplicate and update annually, and I can update everyone’s ages, too, so I don’t give teenagers cards meant for five-year-olds. I do miss sending those young child cards, though. Can’t wait for more great-grands.

3. Christmas Card lists and addresses: Ditto on the ease of updating. Making labels from a spreadsheet using Word is a skill I need to relearn every year, but it’s simple enough, and printing labels also saves the hand from cramping. I do write a message in each card and pray for everyone on my list. My handwriting confuses even me, so the cards have a better chance of reaching their destination when I print labels.

4. Accounts: Yes, I know the bank keeps records and we have access to monthly reports, but I transfer every transaction to a spreadsheet. It comes in handy when I have to crunch the numbers for taxes.

5. Characteristics of my characters: Who are they? What do they like to do? Where are they from? How do they look? With as many characters as I have, I often refer to this list. Now I have one for dragon names, meanings, and who they’re connected to. Oops. Did I give you a hint about what I’m writing?

6. An Ornament Diary: When did we get the ornament? Did someone give it to us? Where am I storing it? Some ornaments are many years old, and I make a note of it when one breaks or we give it away. It saves me from frantically searching for it next year.

7. Decorations: What, When, and Where did I put it? Same as the ornament diary, but it’s more for noting which bins contain which decorations.

Spreadsheets are like buttresses for my brain, adding external structure to keep everything from falling out. They’re external hard drives where I store data I’d surely forget otherwise. I have more spreadsheets than I listed here, but I’m sure you have your own methods.

Now, why did I got into the subject of spreadsheets? Oh, yeah. The day/date confusion.

How do you keep your writing or activities organized?

Courtesy of GDJ – Pixabay


Patty Perrin (writing as P.T.L. Perrin)


17 thoughts on “January 10, 2023 – Day 9 of #ADayInMyLife @PTLPerrin 30-Day #Blogging Challenge 2023 @RRBC_org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

    • Hi, Donna! Spreadsheets have saved my sanity. I’m adept at using their basic functions, but clueless about anything more complex than that. I found the learning curve to be very short when I first started. Best wishes for your next business! Blessings! Patty

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I don’t even know how to create spreadsheets in Excel. My daughter tried to show me once, and I messed up the columns. I write my characters and their info on index cards for each book. And I use a planner and address book for dates and events. If I had 25 grandchildren, I’d be in big trouble. So far, I have three and can remember their names. Oh, I wrote their birthdays somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Susanne. I tried all those things, and kept losing them, or didn’t have them handy when I needed them. The bigger our family grew, the more I was afraid I’d forget somebody, so I turned to spreadsheets. They saved my sanity! Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Patty, I too am a spreadsheet wizard. I have used them throughout my accounting career (big surprise, right?). We only have 4 grandchildren, so I don’t have any problem with keeping track of them. I do put their birthdays into the calendar on my phone so I get early warning of upcoming special days.

    To me, spreadsheets are about numbers, so I have never tried to use them for other things. That’s a hard-wired accounting brain for you. I loved your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Karl! I’m all about making life easier where I can, and spreadsheets are certainly helpful! I’m thankful for them. God bless your four grandchildren! And all your family. Blessings!


  3. Hi, Patty,
    I use spreadsheets for the writing organization that I am in and will start using them for myself. They are a great way to keep up with expenditures and the profits that come in.
    Great article. I enjoyed it.
    Shalom aleichem

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Pat! At first, I did use them for work, but found them to be so convenient for tracking just about anything, that I started using them to help organize my life. They’re great for inventory, checklists, tracking Christmas and Birthday gifts, and so many things! I even use a spreadsheet for my Tweet Support list!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, Patty, you ARE organized, but with such a large family and cast of characters, I can see why! I do use Excel for addresses, which started as a Christmas card list. Quicken is what I use for my finances, and for me, it is one of the great inventions in life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would love to be able to use Quicken, Maura Beth, but with four corporations to keep track of and the ever changing world of corporate taxes, I’d be totally lost. They’re small, but require care to thrive. I don’t feel organized at all. If I were, I’d have more books written! LOL In fact, one item on my to do list, which has been there for years, is to get organized.


  5. Wow, I’m so impressed! When I was still working prior to retirement, I used spreadsheets all the time. I’ve slacked off since then. Maybe it’s time to get back to that. I’m nowhere nearly as organized as you, Patty. Some days I feel like I’m a scatter brain and sometimes I think I’m just a free spirit from the 1960s. Keeping track of characters on a spreadsheet is probably the best idea–sure beats little post-it notes all over my notebook!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You and I must still have that ’60s free spirit inside us, Wanda, which is one reason I use spreadsheets. I have to rein her in somehow, or nothing would ever get done. I hate to admit it, but I still use the post-it notes, too. LOL Blessings!


    • That’s how I am, Yvette. Fancy schmancy. I want it to be as easy as possible. I do enjoy puzzles, so when I create a spreadsheet, I like figuring out the equations to keep a running balance, for example. I do it once, copy it down, and all I need to do is enter numbers from then on. I’m so glad you had a spreadsheet that kept you afloat! Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Patty, I think that is incredibly impressive! I don’t even know how to do a spreadsheet. I still use a spiral bound calendar. 🙄 As for my writing, I usually have half a dozen stories or ideas started and work on them in no particular order. It helps me to allow manuscripts to “rest” for a while. As a result, from day to day I don’t know what I’ll be working on, until I get one to the close to finished stage, that one takes all my attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Any story you work on is bound to be a great read when you’re done with it, Karen! It’s impressive that you have several going at a time. I wish a regular calendar would work for me, but my mind is too disorganized for that. I’m thankful spreadsheets exist!



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