In 2012, back when I was in business school, I created a spreadsheet-based task tracker to manage my various commitments. Because I’m somewhat of a visual design nerd, I leveraged Excel as my platform of choice because of all the detailed conditional formatting options available.
It’s now been more than 4 years since I created the template. Due to health issues and my professional commitments, I no longer track nor update my blog very frequently.
A few weeks ago, I did happen to log into my website for some general maintenance, and I was surprised by the number of people who had emailed or commented regarding the homework tracker. Apparently, what I had built stopped working in the year 2017.
Anyway, after a nice trip down memory lane, going through my old files and updating the tracker, I’ve updated the template to fix the issue that was causing the problem. It should now work through 2032. (After that, you’re on your own)
Furthermore, I’ve made a couple of other updates to the tool:
Per some of the comments from users of this tracker, I adjusted the template so that you could shift between years more quickly. The original template required you to start in 2012 and manually click your way through the years in the calendar view. Now all you need to do to reset the template is select a baseline year. The template will use the first Sunday of that year as the starting point of the calendar view.
In the example below, we’ve picked the year “2019” and the calendar view has been manually shifted by 2 weeks (with the up and down arrows), so the calendar view would be showing the third full week of 2019.
No Password Protection
When I built the first version of the homework tracker, I collaborated with a friend and put a lot of time into creating something that we believed would help others. We wanted to receive credit for our contribution and for that reason, we decided to protect the file with a password. (which ironically, neither of us can remember today)
The problem with this approach is that, it’s now causing problems rather than helping people. Had there been no password protection, I’m sure the average Excel user could have figured out the problem and addressed it. Additionally, it goes against the principle of transparency I’ve discussed in my model building posts. Therefore, this latest version of the tool will not have password protection.
Please note that since the password protection has been removed, it’s much easier to make an entry error. Because of this, I’ve protected the “Calendar View” tab (without a password) as that tab is primarily view only.
Thank you to everyone who’s downloaded and used this template. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. As some of my followers may know, I am still dealing with health issues, but I’ll try to be more responsive going forward.
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