Newbie Help: Getting (re-)started - Where to find a Quick Start guide or any basic step-by-step instructions

Hi folks. This is my third attempt to get going with Tiller Money. I always got frustrated trying to get things set up and would give up, but now I’m determined. :slight_smile:

I saw that the Tiller Community Solutions was new so I’ve installed that. Now I’m trying to go back to the very beginning to make sure I understand the basic concepts, what the current recommend business spreadsheet is, etc., and then copy my transactions for the past year over to the new spreadsheet. (I did already set up my bank feeds so I do have transactions already - some in the Simple Business spreadsheet and the rest in the Foundation Template.) I’m going to rethink my categories so only want to copy the transactions themselves, not the categories (assuming that works).

However I can’t find ANY basic information on how to get started from Step 1. I really want to understand this all better so I don’t give up again. But I’m clicking around in circles on the Tiller site. The FAQs are not FAQs at all but just guidelines for interacting with the online community. Then there’s “New to the Tiller Money Community? Start here to find your way” under Wikis& Webinars, which sounds promising, but clicking there produces no useful information either. There’s got to be some sort of quick start guide somewhere, no? I’ll watch a webinar if I have to - IF it’s the most recent information at least. But again, clicking on Webinars only produces a bunch of esoteric topics that I am nowhere near ready for. I don’t even know if the Foundation Template, which was the one being recommended last year, is the best template to use now or if there’s been an upgrade (like from the previous Simple Business Spreadsheet to the Foundation Template).

Can anyone point me to wherever Tiller provides the basic setup information for new users? Thanks in advance!

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Hi @susantillermoney:

Welcome (back) to Tiller. One of the coolest things about Tiller can also be overwhelming, and that’s the depth of its features, and if you’re like me, you want to understand everything now to get the biggest impact from the new product you’ve purchased. I get it.

My approach was to use the most basic, out-of-the-box solution offered by Tiller and then expand when I believed I was ready.

So, try this Quick Start guide for the Foundation Template. It sounds like you’re on the right path, and these steps will ensure you are on solid ground.

We’ve all been there. It is well worth the effort.

Feel free to ping the community when you’re stuck. (We’ve all been there, too.) Lots of really smart, kind and patient people here. (I am learning so much from them.)

All the best.


Thanks very much for your support Brad. I agree, after looking around at what’s out there I think it’s going to be really worth it to get things set up properly here. And yeah, a good community is what it’s all about! I’m going to dive in again with the Quick Start Guide you posted bright and early tomorrow morning. Thanks!


Hi @susantillermoney! Just wanted to say good luck getting set up! I love using Tiller, even though I’m not actually very diligent in checking in on it. I mostly just take a look at my spreadsheet a couple times a month to categorize all my transactions and take a look at how everything stacks up against our Monthly Budget. All that to say, once you do get things set up, I feel like it’s fairly low maintenance.
One thing I’ll recommend as maybe the first post-setup step is the “Category Tracker Report” which you can add in the “Tiller Community Solutions”. You can find some info on it here: Category Tracker Report for Google Sheets​​. It’s great for when I want to know something like “How much have we spent at restaurants over the past 3 months?” or if I want my husband to take a look at all his pocket money purchases to make sure I’ve categorized them correctly.

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Thanks again Taylor and Brad. Yeah, if I can manage to get things set up and then just look a couple times a month that would be a big win for me. So far so good. Since I originally started with the Simple Business Spreadsheet and didn’t migrate to the Foundation Template until around October last year I still had around a month of transactions to copy over to the Foundation Template. But that worked fine as long as I didn’t try to copy all the rows at once but just the separate columns.

One thing I noticed about the old Simple Business Spreadsheet is that it automatically shows positive transaction amounts in boldface type in the Transactions list (in addition to showing the negative values with a minus sign). I find that really helpful, but the Tiller Foundation Template doesn’t do that. Does anyone happen to know if there’s a way to automate boldface type for positive values in the Foundation Template? I’m pretty clueless about spreadsheets I’m afraid, so no idea if that would be easy to do or not.

Hi @susantillermoney,

Changing the presentation of your data is easy. Use Conditional Formatting.

Here are some great ideas on Conditional Formatting from the Community.

Hope that helps! All the best.

Hi Brad,

Thanks for those resources. I’ve looked through everything and have been playing around with conditional formatting, but I think I’m lacking some basic knowledge to make this stuff actually work.

I was especially trying to make this work, posted by @jpfieber:

"I just did this on mine, making all my “Category = ‘Transfer’” grey, all incoming funds (greater than 0) green, and all outgoing funds (less than 0) red:

I don’t know if the image will show up but he’s made the Transfer category grey-shaded. Then all lines containing positive amounts are shaded in green and negative amounts in red (the whole line plus the font). The first thing I don’t understand is how to make “Category” = “Transfer” grey. There’s a format rule under conditional formatting for “Text contains”, but if I put “transfer” there I suppose it would catch any instances of “transfer” in that line, which might not necessarily reflect my “Transfer” category. And I think I need to categorize the Transfers first, before making the rows with positive/negative numbers green/red to avoid transfers being included in that, right?

Any tips you might have would be much appreciated! I’m a total spreadsheet novice, never got friendly with Excel either which now I’m regretting. :slight_smile:

It’s a pretty simple setup. In my case, the ‘Group’ column is ‘I’ (you could use the ‘Category’ column the same way), so here is what my custom formatting rule looks like for the grey formatting:
Screenshot 2021-10-07 091505
The Red and Green are similar (‘Amount’ column is ‘E’):
Screenshot 2021-10-07 091624

Screenshot 2021-10-07 091722