April 09, 2013

Spreadsheets - Shirley S. Tye

Microsoft Excel is an excellent program to keep track of “Income and Expenses”. At the top of the spreadsheet, I enter the months into each column. Down the left hand side of the top portion of the spreadsheet are income amounts (book royalties, magazine articles, workshops, et cetera) with a total for each month. Below that on the left-hand side are listed all the expenses, such as: accounting fees, telephone long distance, courses and workshops, resource books, membership fees, office supplies, photocopies, postage, promotion/advertising, website costs, travel costs (traveling to a place to hold a workshop; gas, meals, hotel room), home-office expenses (heat, hydro, house insurance totals are generally calculated based on percentage of the square footage of the office over the total house). The rows total on the right-hand side of the spreadsheet giving totals for each item such as; total expenses for office supplies and total income from workshops. Each column gives totals at the bottom of the spreadsheet for each month.

Catalogue envelopes (5 7/8 inch x 9 5/8 inch) are great for storing each month’s receipts. At the end of each month, I put like receipts together (for example: office supplies such as; paper, printer toner, pens) and add and print the totals on a calculator. I staple the calculator paper with the total to the receipts and write the month, year, and what the items are on the calculator paper. I enter all the expense and income totals to the Excel spreadsheet. Doing this monthly, saves a lot of time at the end of the year and gives me up-to-date totals for all income and expenses as the year progresses.

Spreadsheets can be set up to keep track of “Writings at Market”. This spreadsheet helps me keep track of the work that I’ve submitted, the publisher or contest I sent the work to, whether it was paid or rejected, and when it was published. At the top of the spreadsheet, I have the following titles; Title (of the writing), Type (article, poem, et cetera), Word Count, Publisher (or contest), Sent (mailing date), Return (date the work was returned if not accepted), Published (publication date), Paid (date I received payment), Amount (payment amount). Another column that I use is Receivables. I’ll enter the dollar amount in this column if I know the amount I’m expecting to receive. Once it has been received, I move that amount into the “Amount” column. At the bottom of the “Amount” column is the total payment received.

Spreadsheets keep a lot of information in one spot for easy, quick viewing. They certainly help keep me organized.


  1. Shirley, Thanks for those helpful tips on keeping the business side of writing organized.

  2. Thanks for the helpful tips. This is an area where I am sorely lacking....

  3. Shirley, "great minds think alike"! Thanks for the tips, from one Excel-lover to another.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. This is definitely an area where I need help!
    Blessings to you ~ Mary

    Thanks for visiting tonight!

  5. Well Shirley, I did it...

    I set up my spreadsheets as you recommended... one for income/expenses and the other for 'writings to market'.

    I didn't have anything that official before, so I'm feeling quite ready to get down to business.

    Now where's my pen, er, keyboard!

    Thanks again Shirley!

  6. Thank you Shirley for the very practical tips. My box of clippings needs organizing next. Any ideas? ha ha

    Pam Mytroen


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