Monday, October 4, 2010

Spreadsheets Are Amazing

I recently quit my job, and am on the hunt for a new one. It makes me particularly glad that I live in Victoria, where the job climate isn't quite so dire as in many parts of the U.S.. Maclean's recently ran a front-page article on the way a lot of the U.S. is deteriorating into circumstances comparable to a developing nation. It's terrifying; as a citizen of the U.S., as a citizen of a country that borders the U.S., as someone who will be in the job and political arenas for decades to come and dealing with a shifting reality no one expected. The U.S. is such an international standard that even BBC reports in pounds and USD - usually with the pounds in parentheses, not the dollars. But, even with the recession officially over, the U.S. continues to slide slowly; I was in the market last week and American tourists, while still allowed to pay with USD (we're a port, after all), were paying on par.

But one to happier subjects: spreadsheets.

I have a deepseated love of them. They make organization simple, clean, and direct. With Google Docs, they're also shareable, and so even more useful! Everything it makes sense to organize via spreadsheet, I do.

Surprisingly, then, it wasn't I who proposed that my latest project be organized via Google spreadsheet. Mason Kochanski and I share a mutual love of music and desire to expand our musical horizons. This project was born out of that mutual love, and an evening when I visited that was spent listening to 90s grunge we'd forgotten about and adored. We started a spreadsheet keeping track of bands we like and why. Having a goal - expanding the spreadsheet with more information - has helped us both find interesting new music we wouldn't have come across under the normal circumstances of itunes and internet playlists. It's a fun project, still underway.