Skedsheet Blog

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What’s wrong with using Excel for scheduling?

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We talk to companies every day who do all their scheduling with whiteboards and spreadsheets. There are good things about this setup, but it also has a lot of pitfalls.

Good points:

  • Cheap: you already have Excel on your computer, Google docs is free, and a big whiteboard costs a few hundred bucks.
  • Easy: everyone can figure out how to change info on a whiteboard and a simple spreadsheet

Problems:

  • If you’re using both, you have to enter the same information in two places. Which guarantees one of them will be wrong sometimes.
  • Excel spreadsheets only allow one person to edit them at a time. So if you have multiple people who update the schedule, you’re going to get frustrated waiting on someone else to close the sheet.
  • Excel spreadsheets are difficult to share across the internet. This makes it very difficult to share with remote offices, or if you’re trying to work from home. (Using Google docs can get around the last two problems.)
  • Whiteboards are bolted to the wall, so it’s hard to view/edit the info if you’re not in the room.
  • Once you change something, the old data is gone forever. If you erase something on a whiteboard, sayonara! The same problem if you delete a row in Excel. A common problem we hear is the fear of someone erasing/deleting the wrong info. That can be a costly mistake.
  • Security: if you can reach the whiteboard, you can change the info.  It’s possible, but can be complicated to setup read-only security on a shared Excel spreadsheet.

We’ve designed Skedsheet to keep the good parts of the spreadsheet and whiteboard scheduling system, but without their associated problems.

Skedsheet:

  • Cheap: free to get started, cheap if you use it heavily
  • Easy: as easy as using a spreadsheet
  • Visual: view your schedule in a calendar format
  • Multi-user: can have multiple people editing at once
  • Tracks changes: everthing you change gets saved, so you can go back and recover what you accidentally deleted
  • Security: simple to setup what users can edit or just view data
  • Sharing: not only can you share with other skedsheet users, but you can also make skedsheets available to anyone on the internet by making it public.
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Written by Ted Pitts

February 6, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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