When I first starting getting review copies I would just shelve the book on my Goodreads under “TBR-review”. Then I created a note in Evernote where I listed the book and the release date beside it. That worked fine for a while but the more and more books I started to get, the more release dates I started to (almost) overlook. It would be 2 or 3 days before the release date and I’d realize not only had I not reviewed the book yet but I hadn’t even started READING it yet. I also couldn’t remember which reviews(for both review copies and my personal collection) I had cross posted to Amazon & Goodreads, whether I had submitted the review or updated my blog archive. I knew I had to come up with a better system. I also wanted something that had all of my review information I could easily reference when drafting my review posts. AND… I wanted something I could easily transfer to my tablet if need be. I use Excel a lot in my job and I am fairly comfortable with doing basic tasks so I figured I’d give it a shot. Needless to say, it has went swimmingly and I am much more organized with my reviews since I created this spreadsheet! Because it worked so well for me I wanted to share it with fellow book bloggers 🙂
Let’s Get Started!!!
Here are the screenshots of my spreadsheets. As you can see I have two sheets: TBR(Reviews) and TBR(Own). For ease, I’ve had all thumbnails open in a new browser/tab. Because the sheets are so large, it’s very hard to see some parts so the larger graphic will open in another window to alternate back and forth if need be.
I created two separate tabs within one sheet. One for TBR(Reviews) and one for TBR(Own). Since I’ve only been using this sheet for roughly a month I haven’t went back and added all of my TBR pile(come on… that will take me DAYS, haha) so for TBR(Own) I only add the books that’s I’ve purchased currently or the books I’m reading.
Keep in mind you can add any titles you like. These are just ideas!
A – Name of the Book
B – Author of the Book
C – Publisher
D – Series
E – Release Date
F – Pages
G – Service that I obtained (i.e. Edelweiss, Netgalley, Publisher, Author)
H – Read(blank if no, yes if have read)
I – GR/Amazon (whether I have cross posted my reviews there)
J – Archive (whether I have updated my review archive)
K – Sent Review (via Edelweiss, to author, etc…)
L – Review Date (on the blog)
M – Review(has it been drafted yet?)
N – Downloaded/Where(Aldiko, Kindle, etc… ; blank if no)
O – Tour(Yes if for a tour I’m participating in)
A- Name of the book
B – Author of the book
C – Publisher
D – Series & Number in series
E – Release Date
F – Pages
G – Type(Ebook, Paperback, Hardback)
H- Read(Yes if have, blank if no)
I – Archive (Whether I have updated in my review archive)
J – GR/Amazon (Cross posted review to Goodreads & Amazon)
K – Challenge (Which challenge it qualifies in if any)
L – Review Date (Date of review on blog)
M – Review (whether I have drafted my review or not)
Purple(All Completed): Review posted, Crosslinks Done, Submitted to publisher, Archive done
Blue(Read not reviewed): I’ve only read it, nothing else
Orange(Review scheduled): I’ve read & drafted/scheduled the review
Green(Review done/No Archive & CL): The review has went live, but I have cross posted it or update the Archive
Red(Review & Archive done/No CL): The review has went life & I’ve archived the review but haven’t cross posted my reviews.
1. Open a new file in Excel(blank).
2. Create your column headings in “row 1”, the top line.(name, author, etc…)
5. To the left of the table, create your legend in one column.
6. Color code your legend to your liking.
7. You can also create separate tabs as I have. To do so, right-click on the tab at the bottom(for new sheets it normally is labelled as “Sheet1”). Click Insert, then Worksheet. This will create a new tab where you can create different “sub topic sheets” under the same spreadsheet. I.E. Review books, Books you Own, Library Books, etc. To rename the sheet, right-click and choose “rename”. You can also choose a tab color and copy the current tab.
8. Tada! Your sheet is created 🙂
9. I color code my review books as they are in a current stage based on my legend. To do so, highlight the row of the book(using your mouse drag over as far as your last column label, if you click the associated number on the tab it will highlight every single column-even ones you don’t have a title in) and then choose a background fill. I find it much easier to look at the sheet to see what books I’ve read, which ones still need to be read and which ones need to be worked on.
The best thing about Excel is that you can do so many different things. I still play around a lot but here are a few functions that I use quite a bit.
I love to sort my review books by release date, review scheduled date etc. Excel allows me to do this very easily. All you have to do is select the column you want sorted, and choose “sort & filter”. You can choose to sort oldest to newest, newest to oldest or a custom sort based on your preference.
Always make sure to choose “expand your selection”.
Sharing to Dropbox/Google Drive
I use my tablet quite a bit, so I like being able to transfer it back and forth. After I save my spreadsheet I always upload the newest save to Dropbox which I can then use on my tablet with Polaris. You can also use Google Drive for easily mobile transferring.
Another great thing you can do is hide/unhide selected rows & columns. I normally do this when I’m scheduling a review so I don’t need to see unneccessary information.
Select the columns you would like hidden and right-click on the last column you select. Choose “hide”. To “unhide” the columns, you would choose the columns that are not hidden(in this case it will be F & J), right-click and choose “unhide”.
Because some text will often be longer than the column width, to avoid having overlapping columns you can wrap the text so it automatically creates a double line. I don’t require this for all of my columns but I do use it, especially for series.
Right click the column you would like to be able to wrap text. Choose format cells, alignment tab, and check wrap text. This will ensure that any new items also automatically wrap in that column as well.
Those are my tips and tricks with using Excel to create an organized review/book listing. If you need any help at all creating your sheet please feel free to email me, tweet me or leave a comment. I will be checking the comments often and any questions I will definitely reply to!
Keep moving for the giveaway!
*UPDATE*: You are not required to use Excel. I apologize, I didn’t realize that Excel may not be the best suited program for everyone. If you still would like to participate using these ideas you are more than welcome to using a different program(i.E. Word).
If the Rafflecopter doesn’t load, please refresh or click the link!!