Foryoureyesonly spreadsheets

As the name implies, no one except you —the creator —will ever see or use the spreadsheets that fall into this category. An example of this type might be a file in which you keep information relevant to your income taxes. You open the file whenever a check comes in the mail, you incur an expense that can be justified as business, you buy tax-deductible Girl Scout cookies, and so on. Another example is a spreadsheet that you use to keep track of your employees' time records (sick leave, vacation, and so on).

Spreadsheets in this category differ from quick-and-dirty spreadsheets in that you use them more than once, so you save these spreadsheets to files. But again, they're not worth spending a great deal of time on. You might apply some simple formatting, but that's about it. This type of spreadsheet also lacks any type of error detection because you understand how the formulas are set up; you know enough to avoid inputting data that will produce erroneous results. If an error does crop up, you immediately know what caused it.

Spreadsheets in this category don't qualify as applications although they sometimes increase in sophistication over time. For example, I have an Excel workbook that I use to track my income by source. This workbook was simple when I first set it up, but I tend to add accouterments to it on a regular basis — more summary formulas, better formatting, and even a chart that displays income by month. My latest modification was to add a best-fit line to the chart to project income based on past trends. I'll probably continue to add more to this file, and it may eventually qualify for the single-user application category.

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