Sunday, March 17, 2019

Back Again! 2019 March Madness Spreadsheet System

Guess what?!? After a one year hiatus, I've decided to push out my much anticipated two-file March Madness pool manager spreadsheet system.

The system works the same as in previous years. There are two files: The first is the "master" spreadsheet, used by the pool organizer to track the results of everyone's picks vs. who actually wins, etc. This is where you determine how many points a correct pick in each of the rounds is worth, as well. Also, the pool manager can make his or her picks in this file, too. The second file is the simplified "individual picks" spreadsheet used by the participants in the pool to make their picks and send the file to the pool organizer to automatically pull their picks into the master.

You saw that right, folks! Both the individual picks spreadsheet AND the more complex "master" spreadsheet are FREE this year. For those of you new to my March Madness spreadsheets, I used to charge a nominal amount -- $2.00 -- for the "master" file. I first made these free two years ago and asked you all to help out a good friend who needed to raise money for medical expenses. This year, I've just decided to make it free. If you just have to pay me _something_ for my time, etc., feel free. I'll give you instructions for doing so. The files are still both locked down and protected, and just as before, the master spreadsheet requires a "key code" to unlock its Excel_Geeky magic.

Like I began doing in 2015, I don't make you email me the "lock code" the file presents to you when you first open it and then email you back the corresponding "key code" to unlock the file. I've automated the process via a webpage. You'll no longer have to submit a PayPal payment to see the "key code".

What you need to do is the following:
  1. Download the "master" file by clicking on the link above.
  2. Open the file. Make sure you've got macros enabled. If you didn't have macros enabled when you first opened the file, enable them, then close and reopen the file, making sure to enable macros when prompted. If the file doesn't display a "Lock Code" when you open it, something didn't work right. Try again.
  3. Copy the "lock code" the file presents you.
  4. Paste that code into the "Lock Code" field found on this linked page. Be sure to delete any leading or trailing spaces/carriage returns added when you paste it. For some reason it normally adds an extra trailing space or carriage return. A valid "lock code" will contain no spaces -- leading, trailing, or otherwise.
  5. Click the "Submit" button.
  6. If you've done everything right, you'll be presented with the "key code" you'll need to activate the file.
  7. Copy and paste that code into the spreadsheet into the proper place, click submit, accept my terms and conditions, and you're off and running!
Again, if you don't paste in your Lock Code or if you do it with leading or trailing spaces, you won't receive a "Key Code" or you'll receive an invalid one, and you won't be able to unlock your file. Do not forget this part! One nice thing about me not charging for the file any more is that you can always try again without having to pay again.

These files are protected with a password, so you won't be able to get into all of the inner workings. Sorry, there's some stuff in here, particularly the lock code - key code stuff, that I want to keep locked down for now. If you have some ideas for cool hacks/additions, pass them along, and I'll see what I can do for next year.

So for you folks who must pay me for my efforts, feel free to PayPal me whatever you like:

$5.00     $10.00     $25.00     $50.00

Really you just have to change that dollar amount in the URL --

Thank you and bless you for helping if you can, and best of luck during March Madness, everyone!