I’m struggling using Google Sheets as a reading tracker, although I’m likely to use it at least in part since I would like to see all the fun graphs and charts comparing what I’ve read over the year. Page length, time spent reading each book, are audiobooks quicker or am I quicker with ebooks? And so many more questions I want to see the answers to.
I wanted something I could maybe share with others. Everyone has their own tracker, and some use these Google Sheet trackers other readers have shared and then modify the trackers to fit more their needs. I couldn’t seem to find one which tracked everything I wanted or had the charts, so I started creating my own.
One issue I have, which I still have slightly with other reading tracker apps, is I don’t remember to log new books when I get them. If you’ve been around this blog, or were with me way back on the YouTube channel, you’ll know I mostly purchase ebooks. I live in a small space, and don’t have room for a bunch of physical books. I also like how easy they are for travel. I don’t have to know what mood I’ll be in at any given time on a week long out of town vacation – wow that feels weird to even think about; being out of town for a week. Anyways. As long as I have internet, I can download or quickly purchase a new book to my device. I can read on my phone, although I prefer my tablet. But these two things means I always have a book with me. When I forget to log a new purchase, I can’t just pick up the book out of a stack of new books, I have to turn on the computer, and then try finding that book I purchased. Or remember to check through my purchase history and compare with what I’ve logged on the sheet. With other tracking apps, you can usually just search a book and add it to your shelf/library without needing to go find the number of pages, the narrator if an audiobook, publisher, year published, and all that jazz as it should already be there for you in the app.
Another issue I’m having at the moment is struggling to learn the formulas for Sheets as they are not the same as they are in Excel. It’s been a while since I played with this tracker I’ve started, but a few times especially in the beginning, I’d start entering a formula such as a vlookup and learn the hard way, Sheets wouldn’t recognize the formula. Then I need to search for what formula would work for my purpose. This is sometimes hard to find as you need to use the right search terms, otherwise you may find a formula, it just won’t be the one you were looking for.
Then of course there is the minor issue, if I start reading away from home and away from my laptop, I won’t log that I started a new book. If I don’t remember to log it soon after, even though it will take me a while to read the book, for some reason I’ll just forget to log the book. This of course messes with all the fun charts and reading analysis to be done at the end of the year. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll forget to log a book if I’m using another reading app, but with Sheets, I don’t like using it on my phone. I have small hands, but my fingers are still somehow too big and I’ll have issues clicking in whatever cell I want to click in. It’s also hard because to make things easy, instead of typing everything in again, if I can I’ll copy and paste the book information from my TBR list in to the reading list. Can’t really do that from the phone, but I could at least type the title and do the copying later; since I have issues clicking on the next cell which the book should be entered in I’ll just not log the book.
But because I have yet to discover a reading tracker app where I can get all the fun charts and graphs at the end, or when I wish to check on my reading, I will likely try to work some system with an app and Google Sheets. If I can find an app and extract my books read into Sheets and the tracker, that would be my ultimate tracking method I think.
Do you track your reading with something other than Goodreads? Suggest what you use in the comments so we can all benefit and try out other ways. 😀