Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rows and Columns

When I used to do research for a living, I needed to collect my findings, sort them into all sorts of categories, and present them such that they made sense, such that I was able to establish connections that (hopefully) no one had ever unearthed before. And for all this, and much more, I readily resorted to good old MS Excel. I selected two rows and in one click managed a bar-graph here and a pie-chart there. I added worksheets on the same excel file, and maintained thousands of data matrices on different but related inputs all in one place.

And then I became a mom, and the need to use a computer-aided sorter vastly diminished. It is real-time action now and the chances for those cogitated outcomes are rare. We are dealing here with 'pee-pee right now' and 'not hungry (forever)' situations where most presentations to the toddler are strongly rebutted with the endless 'whys' and 'hows' and the infant's desire to be stuck to her vending-machine (that's me) has crossed the realm of innocence and now seems almost a little devilish. So, after that long hiatus, today when I needed to actually make a formal list of a variety of things to do, for an upcoming event, and to then relate them to the resources on hand, I was glad that my instinct to go for the Excel sheet was still alive. Soon the big jumble of ideas and plans, that was giving me sleepless nights, was now formally 'sorted', under appropriate headings with relevant resources like time and person in-charge neatly tagged. And I thought to myself, "Ah! the power to confine ideas to their allotted rows and columns." The impermeability of the boundaries within the matrices, renders things less grey, and more black or white.

I know there are so many fantastic features in the software, but for me, for now, just the site of the grid, is gratifying enough. I can see that the upcoming event will be well fortified in the logistics. The spirits and attendance, I cannot guarantee.