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Best Ways to Track Sweepstakes Prizes

Pick your favorite method of recording your wins.

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Once you know what information you want to record to track sweepstakes prizes, the next question is -- what's the easiest and most orderly way to record your sweepstakes wins? Here are some popular programs and other methods to help you create a sweepstakes spreadsheet that will enable you to record your sweepstakes prizes quickly and view them at a glance.

1. Google Docs Spreadsheets

Google Docs is a free web-based software application from the company behind the popular Google search engine.
  • Advantages of Google Docs:
    • It's easy to track prizes with Google Docs. Simply click on the "New" drop-down button, and select "Spreadsheet."
    • Your prize tracking spreadsheets can be accessed from any computer. Update at home, at work, while visiting friends, etc.
    • It doesn't matter if you have a Mac or PC, you can use Google Docs to create your sweepstakes tracking documents.
    • You don't have to install anything.
    • Google Docs are free.
  • Disadvantages of Google Docs:
    • You need to sign up for a free Google Account to use this program.
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2. Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a popular spreadsheet program that can be found on many Windows-based computers (and now, some Macs as well).
  • Advantages of Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets:
    • Excel is a popular program that many people have installed, and know how to use.
    • Excel allows you to perform actions like automatically totaling up your prize values or number of wins.
  • Disadvantages of Microsoft Excel for Prize Spreadsheets:
    • Microsoft Excel is quite expensive, if you don't have it already.
    • Advanced Excel functions can be difficult to learn.
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3. Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is another program in the popular Microsoft Office Suite. Although it is not a spreadsheet program, you can create a table in Word that should work to track sweepstakes prizes.
  • Advantages of Word:
    • Word is simple to use.
    • Many people are more familiar with it than with Excel.
    • It is available for Macs and PCs.
    • It is already installed on many computers.
  • Disadvantages of Word:
    • It is quite expensive, if it's not already installed.
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4. Open Office

Open Office is a free program that is very similar to Microsoft's Office Suite. You can use the spreadsheet program, Calc, to track your sweepstakes wins, or create a table in the word processor.
  • Advantages of Open Office:
    • It's free to use.
    • Open Office is similar enough to Microsoft's Office Suite that most people who are familiar with Word and Excel can use it without trouble.
  • Disadvantages of Open Office:
    • You need to download and install it onto your computer before using it to track sweepstakes wins.
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5. Text Editors

Text editors, like Notepad for Windows users and TextEdit for Mac users, are a simple if not elegant way to track your sweepstakes prizes.
  • Advantages of Text Editors:
    • There are many free text editors.
    • There's probably already one installed on your computer.
  • Disadvantages of Text Editors:
    • You can't easily make tables, although you can just list the information by prize.
    • The lack of table information makes it harder to see information at a glance.
    • There's no ability to work with the numbers, add up columns, etc.
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6. Forum Posts

One way that I've used to track wins in the past is to use a thread in a sweepstakes forum. Start a thread with a title like "Sandra's Wins" (well, but use your own name or username!) and create a post in that thread for each month.
  • Advantages of Using Forum Posts to Track Sweepstakes Prizes:
    • You can access the forum from any computer.
    • You can receive congratulations from other sweepers.
    • You don't have to learn to use any software to track your wins.
    • It's quick and easy to track your wins this way.
  • Disadvantages of Using Forum Posts to Track Sweepstakes Prizes:
    • It's harder to see your information at a glance.
    • You can't total numbers automatically.
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7. Paper Notebook

If you don't want to mess with computers at all, you can still track your wins using a paper notebook. You can either list them by grouping each prize's information together, or draw out a table.
  • Advantages of Using a Notebook to Track Sweepstakes Prizes:
      You can track your wins even when you're away from your computer.
    • If your computer dies, you don't lose your work.
    • Some people just like the look of having their win list where they can put their hands on it.
    • It's easier to show your friends and family.
  • Disavantages of Using a Notebook to Track Sweepstakes Prizes:
    • You have to actually write things out!
    • If you have bad handwriting, it's difficult to read later.
    • You can't total your numbers, reorder your list, etc.

8. Scrapbook

A scrapbook is a fun, offline way to track your sweepstakes wins. Use your creativity to design a beautiful book featuring all of your prizes to share with friends and family.
  • Advantages of Scrapbooking your Prizes:
    • There is room for fun additions like pictures of your prizes.
    • You'll have more fun telling your friends and family about your prizes.
    • It's a creative outlet.
  • Disadvantages of Scrapbooking Your Wins:
    • Scrapbooking can get expensive.
    • This is the most time-consuming way of tracking your wins.
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