My first introduction to Microsoft Excel was in the early 90's. I remember when I first opened it and looked at those little boxes I thought to myself "What the heck do I do with this?". I looked around the menu items and closed the program for the day to let my brain take it in. The hospital I worked at had an educational library that included Microsoft Excel lessons on VHS. I checked them out and had fun learning how to use the program. That was over 20 years ago.
Over the years I have used Excel in many different business and personal applications. From listing household items, music collections, balancing my checkbook (before I had Quicken), tracking my Tupperware parties, tracking patients, to tracking and billing construction projects. In some of these cases a database program would be best, but sometimes we just don't have one. To see my database project go to inScoreOrder.com.
When you decide to use Excel to track something the first thing to remember is it is a math program. Plan to enter your data in rows of data lined up in columns. Once you get some data entered you can format. For data filters, pivot tables, and sorting data, there can not be any blank rows. In other cases all like information should be lined up.
The Chicken and the Egg
One of the hardest things about learning advanced skills is having some real data to work with, and before the tutorial, knowing what kind of data should be entered. It's one thing to read how to do something, but without something to practice on, it's all conceptual. For my topics below I have included a practice Excel file with basic formatting. If your computer will not let you download the file please comment below. Please subscribe to my blog to be notified when I post a tutorial.
[mdocs header="Julie's Dream House - Practice File" single-file="JuliesDreamHouse_PracticeData.xlsx"]
This practice file has data to practice:
- Data Filters (future post)
- Pivot Tables (future post)
- Formulas (future post)
- Conditional Formatting
Other topics covered in my blogs:
- Working with Time
- Advanced Paste Special (future post)