Random acts of Networking

The main page with the day's randomly chosen task

The main page with the day’s
randomly chosen task

This post introduces you to one of the coolest tools I think I’ve ever created using a spreadsheet.

Today, I’m going to leave out nearly all the theory or logic of creating it in the first place.  I’ll share that next time.

I call the tool my “Networking Roulette” spreadsheet.  You can see an image of the main page on the right, click on it and a larger version will open in a new window.

This pages shows one lone networking task highlighted in yellow with dark red text.  The tool chose the task randomly among the possible networking activities you’ve activated.  The tool works with anywhere from two to 40 items.

Besides highlighting only one task, the worksheet hides the remaining possible items.

A portion of up to 100 action items you can choose from

A portion of up to 100 action items
you can choose from

The master list of possible tasks are on a different worksheet and you can maintain an inventory of as many as 100 possible action items.  You get a sense of what some of the items are or could be from the list at the right.

There is a worksheet where you can log the actions you’ve taken.  Why?  I don’t really find most of the action items all that interesting.  In order to keep myself using the tool, I need to make a game of it.  Thus I log my actions and review the graphs of my progress.

Make it a game!

Make it a game!

One quirk I’ll admit to is that for the sake of tracking, I’ve split the year into 13 months with four weeks each to make the comparisons closer to being fair.

If you’re interested in giving this a try, you can for free.  (As soon as I figure out how to sell products from my web site, you’ll be able to buy the tool.  Right now you can have it as my gift.)  If you download this free version, I would appreciate it if you would subscribe to the blog as well.

The tool is really easy to use if you know Microsoft Excel.  Even if you don’t know Excel, you shouldn’t have any trouble especially if you watch the demo/instructional videos I’ve created (if you watch the first two, you’ll know enough to decide if you want to try it).

If you have a problem, post a question as a comment to this post and I’ll try to help.

Not just for Networking

What if you either don’t care about networking or you don’t need any special tool to support your networking efforts.  Might this tool still be useful?

Well, imagine you have 20 direct reports and you’d like to have lunch with one of those direct reports ever two weeks or so.  Would it be helpful to have the tool tell you who to invite?  You could replace the text of the networking items with the names of the people who report to you and let the tool pick them randomly for you.  Because it’s random, however, realize there’s a chance you’ll draw the same person/item twice in a row.

Check it out

If you’re curious, you can follow the link below.  It will take you to a page on my site where you can download the tool and where you’ll find some videos showing how to use the tool.

Click for more information

Click for more information



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