Too Many Spreadsheets? Get Organized With These Tips

Spreadsheets are a implausible device that will help you arrange knowledge and monitor varied types of data within the office, particularly with the usage of formulation and reporting. Nonetheless, overuse of spreadsheets could be inefficient, and hurt your productiveness.

They’re good for some issues, however not essentially for others. Whether or not you’ve got had mountains of spreadsheets imposed on you out of your job, otherwise you simply love an excellent knowledge sheet, it is likely to be time to take a look at methods to handle them.

1. Acknowledge Spreadsheet Overuse


Illustration of Three Spreadsheets Beside Each Other

You are both right here since you’re bored with your office’s insistence on utilizing spreadsheets for every part, otherwise you get pleasure from working with knowledge, and also you’re questioning whether or not this is applicable to you. In actuality, it is good apply to mirror on the way you’re using software program like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, so you may get probably the most out of your work.

It is helpful to depend what number of spreadsheets you employ on a each day or weekly foundation. If this quantity exceeds six, you may take that as an indication that you simply is likely to be working at an obstacle, and may trigger points, corresponding to:

  • Problem with time administration.
  • Inefficiency with processes.
  • Poor group of knowledge.
  • Firm-wide communication obstacles.

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Figuring out the extent to which spreadsheets are used to tell your work can open up choices for brand new, extra productive methods to work. Let us take a look at some methods you may handle this overuse, and get higher ends in the long run.

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2. Streamline Information by Merging and Redesigning Spreadsheets

Typically, the rationale for having too many spreadsheets is that they are not getting used intuitively. You’ll know that is occurring when you’re having to make use of two separate sheets for a singular activity; for instance, you’ve got one for annual depart, and one for shift cowl.

On this explicit occasion, you can simply mix them into one, all-encompassing worksheet. You are able to do this by dividing them into completely different tabs.

Alternatively, you may embrace each as tables on one sheet, and comply with these steps to robotically replace the shift gaps desk with knowledge from the annual depart one:


Screenshot of Excel Formula Between Two Tables
  1. In your second desk, the place you’d report shift gaps, sort the components =IF(Choose Cell, “GAP”, “FULL”)
  2. The place the components above states Choose Cell, sort the cell quantity in that accommodates annual depart dates, for instance, B2.
  3. Once you enter a date into the chosen cell, it will autopopulate the phrase “GAP” the place you sort the components.
  4. If there isn’t any date, it’ll autopopulate the phrase “FULL” the place you sort the components.

This components can be utilized for something, whatever the cell worth, and could be a useful technique to handle comparable items of knowledge between tables.

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Combining sheets and items of information into one place reduces the variety of recordsdata required for particular duties, and allows you to arrange your work extra successfully. Examine your listing of spreadsheets to see if any of them may very well be mixed, to maintain work clear and simple to comply with.


Screenshot of Hyperlink Window in Microsoft Excel

Typically, it is not doable to merge spreadsheets collectively, as a result of the information does not immediately correlate. Nonetheless, you would possibly nonetheless have to have entry to a number of sheets for extra advanced processes, that contain multiple activity.

In these circumstances, it may very well be value including hyperlinks into your worksheet to present you fast entry to a different one. This additionally serves as a helpful reminder of the complete course of. For instance, when you’re inputting knowledge on shoppers, you would possibly embrace a hyperlink to a shopper suggestions sheet.

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This may be accomplished simply in Excel and Google Sheets by concurrently urgent CTRL + Ok in your keyboard. It will deliver up a Hyperlink window, the place you may Search for the file, and Title the textual content you wish to seem within the cell.

You possibly can even create a tab that features hyperlinks to all of your different spreadsheets, with data on when to make use of them. This can be a nice thought if you wish to make sure that you and your colleagues are all on the identical web page, and dealing from the identical recordsdata, moderately than outdated ones.

4. Contemplate Different Software program


Illustration of Person At Computer Desk With Thought Bubbles

Spreadsheets can solely accomplish that a lot, and when you’re affected by overuse, it would simply be since you want a devoted software program to deal with the workload. As an illustration, do you really want an annual depart spreadsheet if that is tracked for you in an HR system?

Typically, as a enterprise expands, it outgrows spreadsheets and begins to require software program to handle the lots of knowledge. Asana is a implausible utility for venture administration, and there are many venture administration software program options that may deal with the handbook workflows for you.

As an alternative of struggling to maintain up with the corporate’s ever-growing calls for, look into different methods to retailer and handle data. It can prevent and your colleagues time, and automate plenty of duties that will ordinarily require further oversight.

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5. Overview Your Processes and Take away Duplication


Illustration of Two Identical Files Being with X Next to It

Overuse of spreadsheets can occur on account of making an attempt to be organized, however this will typically go too far. In these eventualities, you may really find yourself micromanaging your self, or your colleagues, when in actuality, it takes time away from necessary duties.


Maintaining monitor of knowledge at work is important for clean working, however often, you would possibly find yourself attempting to trace too many pointless issues. Mirror in your present processes and contemplate whether or not you really want a spreadsheet for them.

Likewise, utilizing a spreadsheet to report knowledge that’s already saved elsewhere creates useless duplication of labor, and is extremely inefficient. Put these corresponding spreadsheets away and work from the supply.

Spreadsheets Can Work In opposition to You

With the above ideas, you may have loads of methods to filter out your spreadsheet folder and begin working extra effectively. Observe your instincts as to which items of labor deserve devoted knowledge, and which of them could be managed in another way.

Should you’re nonetheless unsure, pay shut consideration to how you’re employed over the subsequent few weeks. You would possibly begin to discover the place issues may very well be streamlined, and you’ll create a extra time-efficient and arranged digital area.


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