028: What Can Excel Do For You?

028: What Can Excel Do For You?

Everyone can remember those famous words, uttered across the grids and lines of our countryside: “Ask not what you can do for Excel… ask what Excel can do for you!”

OK, so maybe today was the first day those words were uttered, but there is truth there nonetheless.

You, my friend, need to do more asking of Excel.

Now, maybe you aren’t an Excel user. Maybe you use Google Sheets, or Numbers or you sketch everything out on graph paper.

Even with those applications (not sure about the graph paper) there are still ways that your software can help you that you might not be familiar with.

But today is about Excel.


Because Excel rocks. And I know there is a ton that it can do that you maybe never imagined.

You’ve just got to ask.

“Can Excel do calculations?”  Yep

“Can Excel give me dashboards to look at my data?” You bet

“Can Excel go out into your folders, find a specific file you’re searching for, open it up, pull in some data, manipulate that data, close the file, move the file somewhere else and then order you a venti caramel macchiato from Starbucks while simultaneously shooting a text to your mom telling her that you’ll be there on Sunday?”

OK, short answer is most of that but Excel already texted your mom about the get together.

Bottom line is this, actually.

Your time is limited.

I know I’m like this. Sometimes I have time (and the desire) to actually learn a short cut or the extents of what an app can do for me. Other times, I just want to be able to ask someone who knows and then maybe just have them do it.

We do this all the time. You might be willing to watch a youtube video on how to cook a new meal, but when it comes to that clunking sound in your car?… well, you might just leave that to the automotive experts.

When it comes to Excel, I’d love to help you either side of the fence you fall on?

If you want to learn new skills, I’ve got 30 great free videos that can build a good foundation. You can find those at www.shawnwashburn.com/excel

But if you just have some frustrations in your processes or questions about what Excel is capable of, I’d love to help answer those for you as well. Shoot me an email at shawn@shawnwashburn.com or head to the Contact page of my site.

Almost everyone that I’ve taught or created tools for has had the same reaction: I didn’t know it could do that.

So, don’t think any question is bad here. Just ask away.

But if you want a Starbucks… you might want to just stick with the app there 🙂

Thanks for listening to today’s episode. You can shoot me an email at shawn@shawnwashburn.com.   Can’t wait to be back with you tomorrow.   I’d love to connect: website / LinkedIn / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

008: Let’s Talk Some Sheet

008: Let’s Talk Some Sheet

Excel and Google Sheets are one of the most used tools at most companies… and yet are often the most underutilized.   I’ve been customizing, teaching and helping businesses get the most out of Excel for the last 25 years and I’d love to help you as well.   Get some great tips and tools out at shawnwashburn.com/excel and let me know how I can help! 

It’s time to talk some Sheet about your business. See what I did there.

I’ve got some things to get off my chest. About you, your business… and how you use spreadsheets.

I know, I know. “Oh awesome, that sounds like riveting conversation”

Don’t worry, I’m not going to get into all the mind-numbing details… unless you like that kind of thing (in which case you can head to shawnwashburn.com/excel for some great Excel lessons).

But here’s the deal. You and your team have so much untapped potential just sitting there on your desktops. Whether you use Excel or Google Sheets, every time one of your team member touches a spreadsheet you are losing out on time that could be saved, processes that could be automated or communication that could be clarified.

How do I know this? Because I have secret cameras hidden in your office. Creepy, I know.

No, seriously. Because for 25 years I’ve been learning and customizing Excel (and more recently Google Sheets), as well as teaching coworkers, friends and businesses how they can do so much more with this tool that they use every day.

Picture this with me.

We meet up for coffee and you are super excited to show me this new device you got. It’s called an iPhone.

I look on as you pull it out of your pocket and prepare to show me what you can do with it.

You proceed to open up the calculator and show me some calculations, followed by the flashlight.

“Isn’t that awesome?” You ask. “Have you ever seen a flashlight with a calculator before?”

“Um, no” I respond. “Can… can I show you something?”

“Sure,” you reply.

I reach over, take the phone and proceed to find the nearest Panera while also answering the question of who was the 20th president of the United States (it’s James Garfield in case you needed to know). Then I call your mom, play some music, send out a tweet (you might want to delete that one), record my pulse and play a game of Candy Crush.

“I didn’t know it could do all of that…” you say, slowly pulling the phone back into your hand.

While Excel can’t do most of THAT, the parallel is real. In fact, if you’re using the Desktop version of Excel, you’d be blown away by all that it can do. Online Excel and Google Sheets are also super powerful, but Desktop Excel is where the real magic happens.

I guess, sort of like how someone with OCD can’t just leave that picture alone that’s hanging slightly off to one side, I’m the same way with Excel. When I sit in a meeting where a file is shared or someone sends me a file to work on, I find it impossible to not just want to “tweak” it.

When you know the potential of something, you want to help it reach that potential.

I know you feel the same way. It’s how you look at your people. And it’s how you look at your processes as well.

But somewhere along the line, spreadsheets became that super-charged Ferrari that only gets taken on 25 mile per hour side streets. It’s meant to see the open road, to hit the high end of that speedometer.

I’ve worked with tons of individuals and businesses over the years to help them see what’s possible with Excel. And I’d love to help you as well.

If you head over to shawnwashburn.com/excel, you’ll find 30 free Excel tutorial videos that will give you a great foundation. I designed them to do one a day for a month, but you can use them however you’d like. They cover beginner, intermediate and advanced tools and tips.

While you’re there, if you’d like more info or want to chat just head to the contact area and shoot me a message.

I’d love to help you get your Sheet in order.