In a Life Change? Making a Spreadsheet Can Help

Our friend Jody Lotito Levine has been mulling a geographic: moving elsewhere in the hopes of creating more of the life she wants. There are quite a few variables she needs to consider, so as a first step, she and her very practical brother collaborated on an Excel spreadsheet to capture basic info about various places on her radar.  Since many people we know are navigating BIG life changes and possibilities, it got us thinking about making a spreadsheet that includes less tangible considerations…


…What hidden talents or passions we might draw on to reinvent ourselves when our work or profession no longer exists or we have been “aged out” or priced out of the running…

…The personal satisfactions/meaning  versus the financial yield that every one we know hopes to balance.

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

Although our usual practice in a creative project is to make a rough, handwritten, unedited”spill” of ideas onto a huge pad to get the total picture (and capture unexpected ideas we didn’t know we had), we realize that a spreadsheet can be useful adjunct to that, especially where we need to see side-by-side comparisons of options. So we started to block one out, just to see if the very linear Excel could accommodate our non-linear hearts (detail below).

What’s cool is WE/you get to choose the variables: whatever matters to us/you. Like: Things We Don’t Like…Satisfaction/Meaning…Pleasure/Enjoyment…

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

As helpful as we know these kinds of tools can be, we also know that the path often unfolds in ways we can’t imagine. No amount of plotting can foresee that kind of magic.

But the beauty of a spreadsheet is that you can change the variables at will…or as the path unfolds…

Ellie Davies/Come with Me

Ellie Davies/Come with Me


Whenever we are thinking about life paths, Elle Davies’ extraordinary photographic series “Come With Me”  comes to mind.

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