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Is the Best Free-Form Cell-Based Visual Board & Grid .... Excel ?!

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Posted by washere
Aug 8, 2020 at 05:35 PM

 

First, clarifications:

Obviously includes Calc by LibreOffice/OpenOffice or similar, though Excel has more related third party potential (see below)

By Best I mean:
Fast
Easy
Near Infinite
More customizable, coding, macro, plugging in, etc potential than any
Numerous templates, codes, etc
Can teach anyone to move a cell in under a minute
Can have near infinite complexity too, as needed
etc etc

By Free-Form I mean:
You can cut a cell and move (or copy) it to another cell in a moment
Some apps are not Free-Form like that, follow rules etc

By Cell-Based I mean:
A grid of cells, rows and columns
Where the cell holds text, like a Post-It note
It’s not continuous as in a mindmap or visual board where can position elements pixel by pixel
It’s discrete as in a grid

Now don’t get me wrong, I love treesheets as stated before. And use it with templates I made for various tasks.

I like mindmaps too, specially for brainstorming, presentation etc. Same with post-it like boards as in scrivener or Final Draft.


We have read various threads here on kanbans, visual boards, mindmaps, outliners with visual views etc. mentioning numerous apps.

Also task and schedule managers with visual views.

But for initial laying out of A LARGE amount of texts as the schematic diagram of a big project that needs to grow and change, I only see two alternatives:

1) A Robert Caro style big empty walls, preferably more than one, to stick numerous Post-It notes and blank printer papers on or even bigger paper. And not just a corkboard or white board, not big enough for big projects.

2) Or if digital, using: Excel
Preferably with a big monitor and/or multi monitors.

For this particular crucial type of laying out a big project from inception to many changes over time and growth to final status, I don’t see any thing better.

I’m open to suggestions and have tested numerous apps and for this purpose it’s a kind of simple instant clarity:

# Suddenly, Excel with infinite cells
# and (preferably)/or big empty walls

Again, this for laying out very big projects from initial inception and brain storming and data collection, to changes over a longish period to final versions. Not other tasks and projects or sub-stages and other tools needed within the above big project.

Other tools and apps, used too in their place.
But for overall on a big project, that’s how I see it now.

 


Posted by washere
Aug 8, 2020 at 06:23 PM

 

Also for the last couple of weeks I’ve been collecting and adapting some tools or piece for Excel for such unusual purpose. It’s a kind of innovative use but very eye-opening and huge potential as I see everyday with some new plugged-in addition or novel method etc for this purpose on Excel. The potentials are not limited in any way.

 


Posted by Amontillado
Aug 8, 2020 at 07:47 PM

 

Spreadsheets are very flexible things. My oldest son got good recognition at work from Visual Basic macros he wrote for Excel.

If you’re on a Mac you might find Apple Numbers could fit your use pretty well.

Tabs in Excel are near-infinite tables. The tabs in a Numbers file are canvases on which you can put text, tables, pictures, and probably other things. Numbers, in that regard, is like a fancied-up Scapple.

washere wrote:
Also for the last couple of weeks I’ve been collecting and adapting some
>tools or piece for Excel for such unusual purpose. It’s a kind of
>innovative use but very eye-opening and huge potential as I see everyday
>with some new plugged-in addition or novel method etc for this purpose
>on Excel. The potentials are not limited in any way.

 


Posted by washere
Aug 9, 2020 at 04:31 AM

 

Amontillado wrote:
Spreadsheets are very flexible things. My oldest son got good
>recognition at work from Visual Basic macros he wrote for Excel.
> >If you’re on a Mac you might find Apple Numbers could fit your use
>pretty well.
> >Tabs in Excel are near-infinite tables. The tabs in a Numbers file are
>canvases on which you can put text, tables, pictures, and probably other
>things. Numbers, in that regard, is like a fancied-up Scapple.
>

Macros are way and cool. Even more powerful the huge set of APIs, big VB industry wrt to MS Office modules. Years ago I coded into a project many API modules in Visual Basic to manipulate Excel and Access linked into a big database. It worked well. This is more interface oriented though, but the data linkage can be huge, and under the bonnet later as needed.

I’m using Mac less and less every year, mainly on Windows, Linux, Chromebook & Android these days. Will check if Numbers has anything extra that Excel & it’s numerous third party add-ons don’t offer. Thanks.

I was reluctant to post here. I thought it’s unlikely anyone is using Excel in this unusual way. I think I was right. Everyday with new add-ons, methods, tweaking etc it’s getting even more unusual, more weird and wonderful plus useful. It has certain challenges to overcome and many unique benefits.

 

 

 


Posted by washere
Aug 9, 2020 at 04:35 AM

 

Gboard swipe auto-error:

>> Macros are way
Macros are easy

 


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