As a business owner, Microsoft Excel is an essential part of your workflow. It’s important to master the basics so you can use them efficiently and get more done with less effort. In part two of our three-part series on Microsoft Office products, we will share tips for being more efficient when using Excel.
11 Tips Using Microsoft Excel
1. Take advantage of keyboard shortcuts
Microsoft Excel has numerous keyboard shortcuts which can help save you time and energy. Learning the shortcuts for commonly used actions such as copy and paste, undo/redo, formatting text, inserting rows or columns, etc. will significantly speed up your workflow. Some examples of shortcuts you might use are:
- Ctrl+C to copy,
- Ctrl+V to paste, and
- Ctrl+Z to undo.
2. Use templates
Microsoft Excel has many pre-made templates that you can use as a starting point for your spreadsheet. This will allow you to quickly build the foundation of your work without having to design it from scratch. But don’t forget that you are not limited to just the templates Microsoft has created. Consider the spreadsheets you are currently using. Should any of them be saved as a template to save you and your staff time in the future?
Research shows that companies that employ templates in their workflows save an average of 11.5 hours per employee each year.
3. Utilize macros
Macros are another great way to automate tasks in Microsoft Excel. A macro is a set of instructions that can be used to automate a repeated task. Microsoft Excel has a built-in macro recorder which you can use to record your actions and then save it as a macro for future use. You can then apply it to multiple spreadsheets with just one click. This is especially useful if you’re constantly dealing with a similar type of data.
4. Clean up the data
Make sure that your data is clean and organized before starting any analysis or manipulation. This will help you get more accurate results and save time in the long run. A few tips to keep in mind are:
- Remove any unnecessary empty rows/columns
- Delete duplicates
- Check if all data is entered correctly
- Format cells appropriately
5. Use functions
Microsoft Excel comes with a wide range of functions that you can use to calculate and manipulate data. Some of the most popular ones are:
- MATCH and
Knowing how to use these functions properly will significantly reduce the amount of time it takes you to analyze your data.
6. Automate repetitive tasks
Microsoft Excel provides powerful automation tools that allow you to automate repetitive tasks. For example, you can use Microsoft VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) to create macros that automate a set of actions that are repeated multiple times. By automating these tasks, you will save time and energy in the long run. Research shows that companies that employ automation tools in their day-to-day workflows save up to 40% of their time.
7. Use charts & graphs
Charts and graphs are often useful when presenting data in Microsoft Excel. Microsoft Excel has many different types of charts and graphs that you can use to visualize your data. This will help you convey the message to your audience quickly and clearly.
8. Use the “Filter” option
The Filter option is a Microsoft Excel feature that allows you to quickly find and organize your data. It’s especially useful for sorting large amounts of data or finding specific information.
9. Utilize the Microsoft Office Suite
Microsoft Excel is part of the Microsoft Office Suite which includes many other powerful programs such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft Access. Using these other programs in conjunction with Microsoft Excel can provide you with even more efficiency gains. For example, you can use Microsoft Access to store data and Microsoft PowerPoint to create presentations from your Excel spreadsheets.
10. Find external resources
Microsoft Excel has a thriving online community that you can utilize for help when dealing with any issues or questions you may have about the program. There are also many online tutorials available for free which will help you become more proficient with Microsoft Excel.
11. Invest in Microsoft Excel training
If your office uses Microsoft Excel extensively, you may even want to invest in Microsoft Excel training to make sure that you’re maximizing Microsoft Excel’s potential. Microsoft Office offers a variety of courses and certifications that can help you become an expert with Microsoft Excel. This will allow you to save time and increase efficiency as you work.
By following these tips and utilizing Microsoft Excel in your business, you can save time, energy, and money while becoming more efficient and organized. Microsoft Excel is an incredibly powerful program that can provide many benefits to small business owners if used correctly. Always remember that time is money and Microsoft Excel can help you get the most out of both.
Take the first step today and start optimizing your Microsoft Excel processes for increased efficiency. You won’t regret it!