#### Baby Name Scorecard

Having trouble deciding between a handful of baby names?

I've created a free tool for expectant parents that may help! It's called the Baby Name Scorecard, and it's a simple, easy-to-use spreadsheet modeled after a weighted decision matrix.

Not only will the Baby Name Scorecard allow you to score all your favorite names factor-by-factor, but it will allow you to weight those factors according their importance to you. Just write in the names, the factors, the scores and the weights...and all the math is done for you, automatically.

Here's how you use it:

1. Go to the Baby Name Scorecard, which I've put online as a Google Doc. It's set to "public" so no sign-in ought to be required, but I've found that this can be glitchy depending upon your browser. Hopefully Google will address the issue soon.

2. Click "File," then "Download as..." to save a copy of the spreadsheet to your computer. This way, you can modify the spreadsheet, save your work, and return to it later.

3. Remember that you'll only be writing in the white cells. Please don't type anything into the gray or yellow cells, as these cells contain formulas that can be overwritten. If the formulas are overwritten, the scorecard won't work correctly.

4. Add baby names, up to 10 of them, in column A. If you don't have 10 names, no worries -- just fill in as many names as you have.

5. Add factors, up to 6 of them, in row 1. The factors could be things like popularity, rarity, style, length, meaning, origin, or whatever else. If you can't think of 6 factors, that's fine.

6. Score each name, factor by factor, in the upper grid. High numbers are good scores; low numbers are bad scores. You may want to stick to a predetermined range as you assign numbers. For example, you could call 1 the minimum and 5 the maximum.

7. As you add numbers, unweighted total scores will automatically pop up in the yellow column on the right.

8. Now weight each factor according to relative importance in row 16. Again, high numbers are good and low numbers are bad.

9. As you add weights, two things will happen automatically. The lower grid will fill itself in with weighted scores. As that happens, weighted totals will start appearing in the yellow column on the right. These weighted totals are the final scores. The name with the highest score is the winner.

Finally, please note that the spreadsheet actually comes with three pages. The top page is blank, for you to fill in. The next page is an example of a filled-in page, so you can see what the end result should look like. The last page is another set of instructions.

I hope you find the tool useful! Please contact me if you have any comments or questions.

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