3 Simple Ways to Leverage Microsoft Excel for Increased Productivity & Reduced Risk

With so much work, and a limited amount of time to do it in, Excel users are constantly on the lookout for ideas, tips or hacks to save time, stress and frustration.

Today I want to share 3 simple ways to Leverage Excel’s inbuilt tools and features to reduce stress, frustration and risk.

1. Locking or Protecting Spreadsheets

So often I see complicated formulas in shared spreadsheets.

Whilst they might give you the desired result, all it takes is for someone to accidentally click the wrong cell or edit a cell and your formula are then wrong.

No one goes looking for errors, but here are a few things you can do to minimize risk.

Unlock cells and protect a worksheet to enable others to enter data only into the cells you want them to. This markedly reduces the risk of errors.

Click the image below to watch my “how to” video for more information.

Locking and protecting worksheets in Excel


2. Droplists

Restrict what users can enter into cells by including droplists in Microsoft Excel to force users to select from a list of items rather than free type and end up with multiple versions of exactly the same item.

This saves heaps of time having to fix data that has been entered incorrectly.

Click the image below to watch my “how to” video for more information.



3. Hiding Worksheets

Regardless of how careful you are, if you share spreadsheets it is easy for others to accidently make changes without you knowing.

Hiding worksheets is a great way of minimizing the risk of others accidently changing any lists or data in your spreadsheet.

Whilst you can easily unhide worksheets by right clicking on a tab, the average user won’t go “looking” for a hidden spreadsheet which overall makes it a simple “security” idea.

However, do be careful that the data on the worksheet you hide, is not costings etc sent to a client!  Embarrassing!

Click the image below to watch this “how to” video for more information.



In conclusion, whilst these items might seem simple and easy, reality is most things that you can do in and with Microsoft Excel are undeniably simple and easy, often so simple and easy we surprisingly overlook the obvious.

We need to keep exercising our Excel “muscle” to continually look for ways to work smarter and not harder….. it’s not lazy… it’s simply productive!


Want help getting productive with Microsoft Office programs? Check out my short online courses.

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Check out some of my previous posts.

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