How to optimize your work with Excel and increase productivity

If you manage projects, plan costs, sell products, or perform other tasks with Excel, you've certainly had to search for files you've received in email attachments, make time-consuming corrections for merged cells or incorrect formats, adjust or rebuild tables for reports, correct formulas, etc.

The problems are often caused by a lack of knowledge of how to use the functionality of Excel.

Since you have to produce different reports for your colleagues or management every week or month, or on an urgent basis, this can take up a lot of time and cause a lot of stress.

Some of the most common problems include:

  • sending spreadsheets as attachments to emails, which can cause documents to be lost or difficult to find,
  • making reports manually from different tables, with different structures, different attribute and value naming,
  • manual production of different reports from the same table,
  • manually correcting the table formats,
  • manual correction of formulas,
  • manual correction of attributes due to typing errors.

Figure 1: A flawed table that requires a lot of manual work

In large companies, sub-optimal Excel work alone results in tens or hundreds of hours per month spent on reporting requirements. With a little more Excel knowledge and the right approach, you can drastically optimize these tasks and increase productivity.

The benefits of working correctly with Excel include:

  • one, automated input table with a code list,
  • different reports that are automatically refreshed upon opening a file or clicking,
  • automatic correction of formulas.
  • sending links to interactive reports to colleagues or management,
  • colleagues enter data in the same (all-in-one) file or the same input table. Each department has its file on the network, with the files linked in a common sub-departmental table/database.

Figure 2: Modern table – an application with code lists and filtering by content

Figure 3: Automatically generated report based on the data in the tasks table (Task Input)

You can get all the knowledge you need with the interactive Excel in Practice courses › (Projects 1-3) Download the learning files to your computer and follow the step-by-step instructions that guide you from the beginning to the end of the solution. You also receive a template – an Excel file for immediate use that you can adapt to your needs.

Download a free test case template ›