I have a spreadsheet to create for the business today. I’ve been mulling it over for a couple of weeks now. What info does it need to convey? Actual monthly sales by consignor, items sold, sales tax, percentages, formulas, numbers, numbers, numbers. But it has to convey this information in a way that’s easy to populate and easy to read.

In short, I need an elegant spreadsheet. Much easier said than done. In what order will the information appear? Which things go in columns? Which in rows? How do I label each column and row? Do I try to pack an entire year of sales into one spreadsheet or should I create a monthly template and then have a yearly spreadsheet that shows monthly totals?

When building a spreadsheet from scratch, it’s like starting with a blank coloring book. You’ve got to draw all the outlines yourself before filling everything in.

Time to get to work.