When the spreadsheet was invented in the late 1970s, it was a miracle. Suddenly, time-consuming tasks previously done on paper could be completed on a computer. We relied on the spreadsheet for decades, using it to set up contact databases, do our finances, and create reports.
But we live in modern times now, and the spreadsheet, while it still has its place, is slowly becoming passé for many functions.
If you’re still relying on spreadsheets to organize data, manage finances, and keep on top of customer contacts, try these better solutions instead.
- Invest in Accounting Software
Business schools still teach accounting using spreadsheets, and while understanding formulas may be necessary for MBA students, it’s not required for you as a busy entrepreneur. Spreadsheets become unwieldy after a certain point, and they can’t do even half of what good accounting software can.
For example, platforms like QuickBooks let you invoice clients and receive payments, sync your bank account info with your accounting system, and generate reports without spending hours in a spreadsheet.
- Manage Customer Data
Staying on top of who your customers are, what they’re buying, and your communications with them requires more than a spreadsheet. In days gone by, you’d simply have contact details in a spreadsheet, but today, customer relationship management platforms like Insightly let you do so much more than that.
Need to find an email to a client? It’s right there in your contact file. Want to assign a follow-up call to your sales rep? Some CRM platforms have project management features baked in. Thanks to today’s CRM technology, we’ve moved away from passive customer contact to more active and integrative software, and that’s good news for all.
- Create a Better Content Calendar
As blogging and social media have taken a more important role in marketing campaigns, we’ve seen a move toward using content calendars to organize efforts across different media. Spreadsheets have come in handy, though they require a lot of legwork to set up and manage.
A better way to get visibility into the calendar view of your content and social media is content calendar software. Brands like CoSchedule have developed sophisticated platforms that integrate with tools like WordPress and social media, and that give you the big picture view of the types of content you have scheduled.
- Manage Projects Smarter
If you work with a team and use a spreadsheet to stay on top of assignments, you know that doing so usually requires more energy than it’s worth. You’ve got multiple people accessing the spreadsheet, and sometimes people can delete the wrong entries or not see notes they need to complete a project.
Project management platforms like Asana let you assign tasks to team member, communicate on projects, share files, and set deadlines. Nothing slips through the cracks!
We must give props to spreadsheets. After all, they lay the foundation for the technology that followed. But when there is a better solution, why not use it? Today’s software industry is chock full of innovative solutions that can make your life and your work much, much easier.