New Tool to Anonymize Personal Data in Google Sheets Templates

Do you have a Google Sheet you want to share with the Tiller community?

Perhaps you have a clever solution to a complex problem. Perhaps you have improved an existing solution with a new capability. Perhaps you have a problem you want to get some help with.

If you would like to share a spreadsheet, but you don’t want to share any of your personal financial data, the Tiller Labs Sheet Sanitizer can help.

It’s designed to help you reduce the personal data on your sheets to make them safer for sharing.

The Sheet Sanitizer is available within the Tiller Labs Add-on.

Sheet Sanitizer Features

The Sheet Sanitizer will help anonymize your spreadsheet by:

  • Duplicating your spreadsheet so you share a copy— not your original. The version history of your original sheet that is tracked by Google Sheets won’t appear in the copy.
  • Scaling your transactions and balances so they don’t reveal your actual transactions and balance amounts. You can make them greater or less than their original amounts. (We have chosen to scale— rather than randomize— values to preserve the integrity of example spreadsheets like balanced budgets.)
  • Randomizing your payee descriptions. For example, Wells Fargo Mortage turns into Anchovy Mode Properties. The new name is random so it will be different every time you run the Sheet Sanitizer.
  • Randomizing account information including account names, account IDs, and account numbers.
  • Limiting the transaction and balance history that you share.

Be Careful What You Share

While the Sheet Sanitizer will help you prepare your sheet for sharing:

  • It is your responsibility to ensure all personal data has been removed.
  • Thoroughly review spreadsheet contents prior to publishing your spreadsheets.

How To Use The Sheet Sanitizer

The Sheet Sanitizer is available within the Tiller Labs Add-on. You can find it using the following steps:

  • Open a Tiller Spreadsheet you wish to share.
  • Select Add-Ons -> Tiller Labs -> View Solutions.
  • Select Labs Tools.
  • Select Sheet Sanitizer.
  • Configure the settings for Transactions, Balance History, scale factor and history length.
  • Click the red Sanitize Sheet button.
  • Review the sanitizer warning.
  • Click Proceed with Sanitization.
  • Once the process completes, open the sanitized copy of your spreadsheet. The new spreadsheet generated by the Sanitizer will include the name FOR SHARING in the file name. If you chose to share, double check that your are sharing the FOR SHARING sheet and not your original.
  • Review the copy to ensure all personal data has been removed.
  • When you are ready to share your sheet, click the green Share button on the top right.
  • We recommend you share using the “Anyone with the link can view” option. But this choice is up to you.

Learn more and let us know if you have any questions or improvements in the Tiller Money Community.