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Sonal Amin
March 22, 2016

Tools to Improve Your Excel & Google Sheet Skills


Excel and Google Sheets have become saviors for so many of us. These tools make tasks easier and help us solve some very complex problems. Initially, they can be intimidating, but once you dig in, there's so much they can accomplish. Knowing where to start and what's available is often half the battle. We've compiled a list of 10 resources to get you started. Get ready to gain some new skills and learn about ways you can spruce up your spreadsheets. 

1) Lynda.com

Lynda.com features great video-based training, where users can brush up on various skills, from photography to technology. They source industry experts to create their videos and udpate their library on an ongoing basis. This means you can start training with the latest information whenever Excel releases a version, table format, etc. The training also ranges from beginner to advanced, allowing individuals at any mastery level to acquire the skills they need. Check out their robust Excel and Google Docs libraries. 

2) Coursera

Coursera provides access to courses taught by some of the most prestigious universities. They cover a wide range of academic topics, as well as skill-based training. Courses in their library include: Mastering Data Analysis, Introduction to SpreadSheets and Models, and Excel to MySQL (a 5-course specialization featuring a Capstone Project in partnership with Airbnb). Their courses provide a different perspective on these tools and real-life scenarios in which they these skills can be applied.  

3) Skillshare

Skillshare is another valuable online training resource. Their courses are digestible and typically run around an hour or under. For those strapped on time, this is a great resource. The courses also feature a lot of face time and a more personal approach, which can be helpful depending on your learning style. Interesting courses in their library include: Learn Excel Pivot Tables in 1 hour,  Learn Excel and Master 5 Essential Features, Excel for the Real World (a three-part series), Entreprenuer's Online Tools Guide - How to Use Google Drives and Apps, among several others.

4) Reddit

I know what you're thinking. Reddit? It may not seem like a natural fit for this list, but Reddit is a great resource for those looking for specific Excel and Google Sheets help. Reddit's active community allows spreadsheet users to get their answers at any given moment, serving as a live help forum. Check out this long list of queries and tips found on their Excel subreddit. They also have a subreddit dedicated to Google Sheets and even one called Spreadsheet Warriors for all enthusiasts. 

5) YouTube

Everyone knows what YouTube is. It's a great free resource for those seeking visual tutorials without the concern of costs. You can find a wide range of topics, including training for beginners and also for extremely specific use cases. If you're ever stumped about something, chances are someone has made a video about it. Quality of the videos is often variable, so clicking through the options could take some time, but you'll likely find some great sources and even channels that could help you long-term if you subscribe. 

6) Microsoft Office Training

Given that Excel is a Microsoft product, the company has tons of resources on their website, such as templates, in order to help you improve your skills and become an Excel pro. They feature training for both newer and older versions of the product, in case an upgrade has been on the books for a while. They also provide assessment exams after you've trained with their resources in order to test your skills and determine what needs more work. Also check out their Office 2016 training resources

7) PowerPivot

PowerPivot is an add-in for Microsoft Excel that turns your spreadsheet into a powerful data analysis tool. PowerPivot allows you to analyze large amounts of data with speed and efficiency. The add-in enables fast calculations, unlimited support of data sources, ability to create charts and PivotTables, security of data and much, much more. PowerPivotPro, a company founded by former Microsoft employee, Rob Collie, provides several resources to help you understand the tool and empower your organization with business intelligence solutions. 

8) Meetup.com

If you prefer face-to-face help, tips, and advice, Meetup.com might be the place for you. Spreadsheet enthusiasts around the world convene on an regular basis to learn about new features, train on skills, and even work with each other on projects. Often these meetups occur monthly, but some take place even more often. Here's a list of spreadsheet metups and Excel meetups. In addition to these topics, there are several others you can find events around, depending on your area of expertise. 

9) Google Sheets Add-On Store

Google Sheets Add-ons are crucial for those looking to power up their spreadsheets with the click of a button. The add-ons are developed by third parties and are accessible across all of your Docs. The add-ons are also collaborative in nature and mutiple users can access them at any given time. Simply visit the Add-on Store and install solutions for everything from time-consuming tasks such as removing duplicates from your spreadsheet to building code-free mobile apps in an instant. 

10) Zapier

Integrations with Zapier are becoming very common. Zapier enables users to integrate tools together in order to create and execute workflows that would normally take several steps. This automates and makes processes much simpler as a result. Google Docs integrates with several tools such as Trello, Slack, Evernote, MailChimp, and more. Check out and try all of their Google Sheets zaps here


As you're digging into new tools, be sure to check out AppSheet's Google Add-on, which helps build mobile apps from your spreadsheet in an instant. 


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