One of the easiest way for me to track our countless applications as they progress from ideation to draft to budgeting to feasibility approvals to final application submission includes (what else) lamination and some sticky notes.

grantsheet2I purchased the flag-style Post-It notes and arranged an Grants-Tracking-Spreadsheet with four columns: Preparation, Budget Needs Help, In Review/On Hold, and Getting Submission Ready. These are the four stages where my applications are most likely to be. You can customize these columns to reflect your own workload.

To setup your own Grants-Tracking-Spreadsheet. Open Microsoft Excel and highlight the first four columns of your spreadsheet. Right-click and set the column width to 24.86 points or, if you are in the Page Layout view, set the columns to 2″ wide. Then, select the first 16 rows down and right-click to set the row height to 46.75 or, if you are in the Page Layout view, set the rows to 0.65″ high.

Use the top row of your table as headers for your four main categories. You may choose to number the 15 rows below to help you track the number of projects that you have active. Next, set your page margins in the Page Layout tab to 0.2″ for the top, right, bottom, and left-hand margins. And check the boxes to align the table both horizontally and vertically on the page.

Next, print your spreadsheet and make sure that it looks and feels like you expected it to. Once you are satisfied, laminate the spreadsheet and find a good place to display it in your workspace. Next, write a sticky note for each of your upcoming grant applications and place the sticky note in the appropriate column. You may choose to stick one note per row or have multiple, it’s up to your workload and preference.

Each grant application gets a sticky note and each sticky note moves from column to column as needed. This system allows me to see where every project is at an easy glance. It helps me to prioritize me day and manage my daily to-do list.

See an example of my Grants Tracking Sheet here in both an editable Grants-Tracking-Spreadsheet and a Grants-Tracking-Spreadsheet.