43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Open Thread: How are you using Excel?

Yesterday, I mentioned I'd been talking with someone who's looking at interesting things people are doing with Microsoft Excel. I talked to her again yesterday, and with her official okey-dokey, I'll virtually introduce Tralee Pearce (*waves*), a reporter from Toronto's Globe & Mail whom you might remember from a very swell article about the Hipster PDA.

So, by request -- and to help Tralee with fleshing out her fun-sounding article -- I hope you all will jump in here: What kind of cool, novel, and non-obvious stuff are you doing with Excel? What's the wildest, most obsessive, most nerdy thing you ever saw someone do with our favorite spreadsheet program?

Joody's picture

Lately, I have started keeping...

Lately, I have started keeping shopping lists in Excel when starting a new project. I record the category, description, price, and a link to the Web site where the object can be purchased (or just list the store name if it's not a Web purchase). After the initial craze of putting everything I could possibly want on the list, I can use subtotals and/or PivotTables to get things organized, analyzed, and pared down.

As far as tips for Excel newbies:

1) Learn how to use VLOOKUP. 2) Learn how to use PivotTables. 3) Pretend you don't have a mouse and have to do everything using your keyboard. You'll be shocked how much quicker you can work once you know all the keyboard shortcuts.

I found a great series of Excel training products the other day for anyone who is interested... this is a 3-disk course and they also have specialized disks on things like Macros and PivotTables, which I haven't checked out yet. Access too.





An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »