Alex Zhurakovskyi's Blog

Excel Lab Notebook

Manual calculation of the reactant amounts is time-consuming and boring. For this reason, many of us have their "electronic lab notebooks" run in an Excel file: the software allows to easiliy re-calculate equivalents and weights.

Over the last years, I have created an Excel template (free download from GitHub) which satisfied almost all of my academic needs. After some polishing, it is ready to go public – or so I believe.

It works very simple: you change the bolded fields as appropriate, and the spreadsheet does the rest. You can choose between g/mg for weights and uL/mL for volumes – the calculations will take this into account. If some number is missing (e.g. density or %purity), the dependent field will automatically ignore it or stop altogether. For example, if no equiv. is given, then the line is skipped.

There is some basic configuration, although at the moment it is limited to your notebook initials:

To accommodate all of this, some of the formulas became rather unwieldy. This is how yield is calculated:

I have provided some basic instructions, which will evolve over time:

The notebook is published on GitHub under MIT license ("do whatever you want as long as you cite me and don't hold me liable"). Everyone is welcome to make their versions or contribute to this one.

Download from Github