Kristi Smith of Darling Little Spreadsheets

I can’t seem to stop creating the little buggers.

I create them at work, at home, and even at the railroad crossing (gotta love spreadsheet apps).

My go-to program is Excel*, but I admit to having frequent menages à trois with Google Sheets and Apple Numbers.

Does this make me weird? ABSOFREAKINLUTELY!

My Excel addiction has been dominating my life for maybe the past five years, but I’ve used (and sworn at) the spreadsheet king for well over a decade.

I am not sure how to best quantify my expertise, but I will say that I do know quite a bit – enough to provide value to all but the most advanced Excel user.

Anyway, I cover a lot of ground here, so feel free to jump to only those sections that interest you. Also, why not poke around DLS, sign up to receive seriously useful and exclusive content via email, and download some FREE spreadsheets while you’re at it!

Oh, and I just wanted to mention that my stock photos come primarily through Haute Chocolate, Pexels, and Pixabay. The latter two offer incredible free stock photos that do not require attribution, so if you are seeking gorgeous free images for your projects – including projects of a commercial nature – definitely check them out!

*While there are differences between Excel, Google Sheets, and Apple Numbers, the three programs are far more alike than they are different. While I’ll often discuss Excel or Google Sheets specifically, most of what I’ll share will be equally applicable to Apple Numbers as well. Feel free to comment on specific blog posts if you need help applying anything to any of these programs.

What follows:


 

Why, oh why, do Excel tutorials have to be so freakin’ BORING?!

 

Guess what? They don’t.

Unfortunately for you, darling reader, those smarty pants IT guys who post video after painful video on how to troubleshoot function x, y, or z didn’t get the memo.

Don’t believe me? Google “Excel tutorials”. I apologize in advance if you end up hating me for this suggestion.

So what’s the problem?

Typical Excel instruction tends to be sterile and dry and emphasizes learning the program’s fabulous tools in a vacuum.

Books are encyclopedic and function more as a reference than as an empowering source of actionable information.

They teach you how things work, but they don’t teach you how to create cool problem-solving shit like pretty budgeting calculators.

The Excel books I own are about as much fun to digest as hearing the dentist tell me that I need a root canal. No joke.

Excel blogs aren’t much better, as they tend to focus on more advanced functionality (boo for beginners!) and approach Excel from a linear perspective. These blogs nearly always lack personality, are overly academic, and use jargon that keeps things intimidating for less advanced folks.

Can you say ugh?!

Look, I’m no Excel guru – I’m just a gal who obsessively crunches numbers, makes my spreadsheets look pretty, and loves to help out other ladies really own this empowering piece of software.

Time and time again I hear women say that they should really learn how to use spreadsheets but don’t know where to start; that none of the educational tools out there speak to them.

Their desire to learn combined with their aversion to using existing educational options inspired me to create a spreadsheet resource like no other.

That resource is this blog, Darling Little Spreadsheets.

Darling Little Spreadsheets aims to empower the fempreneur blogger to create her own spreadsheet-based solutions by offering her easy-to-grasp, wickedly unconventional tutorials and resources.

*Psst – If you happen to be a guy who can tolerate cotton candy pink tutus and girly-girl themes, you may really dig Darling Little Spreadsheets as well. #notjudging


 

Never fear! Darling Little Spreadsheets is here!

 

DLS is intended to be a hub for all of you lovelies who seek actionable Excel information contained in pretty packaging.

Why the emphasis on aesthetics? Well for starters, I want my biz to reflect my personality, which – if I were to “color it” – has a tendency to be pink!

In all seriousness, though, DLS is for the creative fempreneur blogger who places a premium on aesthetics when it comes to her own biz and branding.

She wants things to be beautiful. She wants to feel inspired. She doesn’t want to have to tolerate ugly simply because she has no other choice. So, is DLS for you?

Darling Little Spreadsheets is for you if:

  • You are a total spreadsheet newb and want to learn the very basics
  • You already know a lot about Excel or Google Sheets but want to up your game
  • Your vocabulary has expanded to include a slew of potty words as a direct result of frustrating Excel sessions
  • You want to be able to create spreadsheet-based solutions that solve your unique challenges
  • You want to get a handle on your finances
  • You want to learn how to forecast expenses and revenues, create highly functional calculators, and do other fun stuff
  • Your spreadsheets are lackluster and uninspiring
  • You get off on creating spreadsheets for every random thing in a way that weirds out your loved ones
  • You feel like every other Excel blog was written by a techie dude for other techie dudes, and you are soooo not into the techie dude thing

I’m going to warn you that Darling Little Spreadsheets (DLS) isn’t for everyone, though.

After all, it’s pretty darn feminine and may occasionally border on the girly-girl, so if you can’t stand that sort of thing, DLS may grate on you like manicured nails on a chalkboard.

DLS also targets readers who find technical jargon and instructions overwhelming, and there exists the occasional odd duck who gets off on these things. Just sayin’ that you’ve been warned. *insert winky-face emoji*

Still with me?

Here’s what you will find at Darling Little Spreadsheets:

  • Projects – I’ll walk you through how to create cool things like budgeting workbooks, blogging planners, debt-payoff calculators, and more. Stay tuned!
  • Topics & Tutorials – Here you will learn how to use a specific function or feature, which will often be formatted as a tutorial.
  • FREE templates – Very often, I will supplement a blog post with a free spreadsheet, workbook, or other download.
  • Premium templates – I create crazy complex calculators and spreadsheet-based solutions for myself all of the time, and when it makes sense to offer them up to you – the fempreneur blogger – for purchase, I will.
  • Exclusive, HIGH VALUE members-only content – Tips, answers to readers’ questions, tutorials, and even courses delivered to subscribers via email.
  • Courses (coming soon!) – These are premium, guided spreadsheet courses that are intended to be limited in scope to a handful of related topics. Why pay for a ton of information you already know (or don’t need) just in order to learn how to use pivot tables? Everyone else wants you to shell out a bazillion dollars to learn a bunch of irrelevant things. That is sooo not my style. I expect to launch my first course in late 2016.

Woo-hoo!

That’s about it. Keep reading if either my manifesto or blog monetization policy interests you.

And, if you are curious to learn more about yours truly, just CLICK HERE.


 

Darling Little Spreadsheets’ Manifesto

 

  1. I will always write for my audience – the fempreneur blogger.
  2. My overarching goal is to empower women to really rock spreadsheets, and everything I produce will be based on that goal.
  3. I will speak to my audience using the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Sexy) concept.
  4. I will offer extraordinary value in all of my content and products.
  5. I will not try to appeal to everyone.
  6. I will write in an authentic voice.
  7. I will regularly engage with my readers and customers to determine what their needs are and how I can best meet them.
  8. I will never take my readers and customers for granted.
  9. My integrity is my most important asset, and I will never compromise it.
  10. I refuse to “be the best” by tearing competitors or other entities down – let’s collaborate, not compete!
  11. I will keep things pink.

 

Blog Monetization Policy

 

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand Google AdSense or flashy banner ads, sponsored posts, and spammy affiliate linking.

In fact, I have unsubscribed from otherwise great blogs over excessive advertising.

Yup, it really does make my skin crawl!

That being said, I am not the slightest bit opposed to blogging for a living (duh!), and clearly the funds have to come from somewhere. Blogging is an expensive (and time consuming) hobby, after all!

Anyway, here is Darling Little Spreadsheets’ monetization policy, which is subject to change. [Note that any changes to said policy will be notated below]:

  1. Affiliate linking will be employed, provided that:
    1. It complements this site’s content;
    2. It is neither spammy nor excessive;
    3. It makes sense. In other words, I would have linked to the item even in absence of an affiliate program.
  2. In general, sponsored posts will not be allowed. An exception may occur if there is zero expectation of product promotion (e.g. “This post about how to create a budgeting workbook has been brought to you today by WordPress Host X.”), and said sponsorship will be fully exposed.
  3. In general, external ads will not be allowed. An exception may occur if I want to share an image of an affiliate’s product (typically in a specific post).
  4. Given the nature of Darling Little Spreadsheets, there will be times when it makes sense to review and promote products and services. In the event that I receive a donated product or service, it will be 100% at my own discretion whether or not I choose to review said product or service. Reviews will be solely based on my own experience and will not be influenced by any outside entities. I have a firm policy in place that precludes me from accepting any compensation in exchange for a review. Earning my readers’ trust is of paramount importance to me, and I never want anyone to question whether my opinions are truly my own.
  5. I will promote my own products and services, and some of those products will include affiliate links if they are relevant to the product itself. I will NEVER employ affiliate linking to any product or service I either don’t or wouldn’t personally use. My integrity is important!

If you have questions about this policy or would like to donate products or services that are relevant to the mission of Darling Little Spreadsheets, please contact me HERE. Thanks!