Tyler Robertson

Blooming flowers in Google Sheets 🌼

Saturday, April 24, 2021

I've been thinking a lot about the point of my hobbies. We've reached a point where, unless a hobby can be actively monetized, or unless you're quantifiably the best in the world at it, many hobbies feel pointless. Maybe not even worth pursuing. But, there are lots of things that I'm interested in, specifically because I want them to be pointless. For example, my Google Sheets obsession over the last year+; besides a few funny articles for work, I don't really want to turn that into something that I make money from. I just want to have fun doing it.

Is that okay? I haven't seen a lot of examples of just doing things for fun lately. Maybe that's just where we're at in the world (which makes sense, given… everything), or maybe I'm just not rolling in the right circles anymore.

Ron Miller's Advanced Improv Practice Guide and this customizable remix of it mention that the purpose of practicing an art shouldn't be to make a profit, or to become famous. Instead, it should be to "contribute to the world's spiritual growth." I like that, and I hope that in some small way, maybe I can do that with silly spreadsheets at some point.

To that end, I made something for you:

Here's a spreadsheet where, instead of a progress bar, a flower blooms 🌼

It works with any percentage number between 0 and 100 (it can go beyond, but that looks silly), and a flower slowly blooms as you reach the end.

Each flower is in a single formula, using the sparkline function to draw a simple Bézier curve as the stem, and a growing rhodonea curve as the petals. Enjoy!