Is SQL the way?

I have a binder with over 200+ kids’ activities printed out on paper. Each activity has a detailed description and step-by-step instructions. I’d like to convert it digitally. I will need to set up the database and then I’d like to be able to search activities based on keywords or tags, which have to be dynamic enough so I can make changes later on. I’d appreciate it if anyone can give me some ideas on how to make it happen. This project is only for personal use. Currently, my skill is limited to excel and some SQL . Thank you in advance.

I should have done these steps:

  1. Find out if you are doing this for learning purpose or just to find a solution. There may be solutions out there off-the-shelf you can use if you intention not is to learn coding.

  2. Set up a simple test site (just a few pages) using pure HTML and CSS in order to figure out what you want and what you need more exactly. This test site may be helpful to show other what you are looking for and easier to get help.

  3. Find out if you need a SQL-database (MySQL/Posgresql) or a noSQL (MongoDB) or can do it in other ways. Will you need more than one tag on each activity? Should you be able to add tags on-the-fly or are they static?

  4. Find out how you should interact with the database. And do the programming.

Assuming you are looking for something in this direction:

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You can do this just in Excel without really any problem, but yes, using a relational database would make things easier in some ways (going to depend on your relative levels of knowledge). You can do this all via a GUI as well if that’s what you’re more comfortable with

I don’t know what level your knowledge of SQL is, but what you’re asking about is an incredibly common need, so you’ll find a lot of directly relevant support online. There are online playgrounds that’ll let you figure things out here – eg

So as a start (apologies if you already know this), you’re going to need three tables. One of those is activities (so columns for title, description and instructions). One of those is tags (column for tag name). An activity can have many tags, a tag can be attached to many activities. So final one of those is a join table, which holds combinations of the IDs of entries from the other two tables

Regarding going from that → printing out binders of activities based on specific queries (I’m guessing this is the intent?), you can just export results however you want (eg if you’re already using Excel for this, you could just export SQL query results as CSV and chuck them into Excel), but that’s a slightly different subject (there are lots of ways you can template results for printing, anyway)


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