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Getting my priorities straight

January 10, 2008

I am down to the last two weeks before I can move in to my new place. When I first move in, I will have minimal furniture. By that I mean really minimal. In fact I can count all bits of furniture on one hand….one ugly hand. I have some IKEA Billy shelves, and IKEA Ivar shelves that are actually my current computer desk, and an IKEA mattress I lie on the floor when visitors come. That’s it!!! Which means I have a hell of a lot of stuff I need to buy.

To help me figure out what gets the priority, I have been using some of the cool features of Excel 2007. Actually, the features could have been there before, but I just noticed them now. First, I listed the item, a rough cost, a location and a priority. I set Conditional Formatting for the Priority to show ratings. Then I set Conditional Formatting for Cost to show Green to Red for value of the item. Then I sorted by Priority then Cost. As you can see, the XBox and LCD TV come way before a real bed. Over on the right, I have sums of items based on priority. Using the function SUMIF, I can sum up all priority 4 items easily: =SUMIF(C2:C26,”=4″,B2:B26). I thought that was pretty cool.

Prices on most things are fairly low because at first lots of things are expected to come from Ikea. Some of that is because I want to get the basics, and then there are some things that IKEA does better than anyone else. An example is a good desk. My last desk was an Ikea Effectiv. The thing cost me 900 USD and was rock solid. It held 2 19″ Viewsonic CRTs, plus me standing on them and they wouldn’t budge. I sold it for 500 just before I left San Francisco so it retained value well too.

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