Excel University Sparkline

A newsletter designed to help you learn Excel and work faster

Excel University Newsletter Vol 2 Issue 1 © excel-university.com - all rights reserved


Message from Jeff

Jeff LenningPerhaps the entire global financial system isn't held up by Excel in reality, but this image reminds me that Excel is certainly an important application.

It seems that data makes it into Excel at some point. Excel is one of the key tools of our trade. As such, it is important that we are proficient with it.

Some people feel like Excel is a relic from the past. That it is antiquated and no longer relevant. That there are new and better alternatives. Some may even use these views as justification for not investing time to learn Excel.

In my personal experience however, Excel skills are important. Excel has hundreds of millions of active users. Excel proficiency is a critical skill that is highly desired by employers. Excel skills can get you hired and a lack of them can get you fired. Excel isn't going anywhere anytime soon. After all, it seems to support the entire global financial system 😉

Excel Topic of the Week

Microsoft has a huge number of Excel developers working full-time to add new capabilities and make it better.

As a busy professional, it is easy to ignore Excel updates because we are ... well ... busy. But, ignoring updates can hurt our productivity.

Let's say we encountered an Excel limitation a decade ago. As a result of the limitation, we developed a manual workaround. We've been doing this extra manual work for years. Then one day, Microsoft addresses and removes that legacy limitation. If we are unaware of it, we'll continue doing things the old (manual) way.

One example of this is the XLOOKUP function. It was designed to be a modern replacement for VLOOKUP. XLOOKUP has many benefits compared to VLOOKUP and reduces potential errors.

If you've not explored XLOOKUP, no worries. I wrote an intro about XLOOKUP for the California Society of CPAs called Welcome X Functions.

>>> Learn more by reading my XLOOKUP article.

Student Success

Leilani is a bookkeeper who owns her own business. She has been using Excel for 20+ years and thought she knew it. But she said that Excel University "taught me quicker ways to do what I'm already doing."

Running a small business is hard work. However, learning Excel and improving efficiency means less stress. She said "I would still be frustrated in my business, but because of the things you taught me, I'm not anymore. So thank you!"

Weekly Challenge

This breakout puzzle has an astronomy theme … you know, stars, constellations, the milky way, telescopes, and so on. I’ve always enjoyed looking up at the night sky. Being able to recognize stars and constellations helps me feel at home when I travel to new cities. And with all of the technology we have today, we are able to see into the depths of the universe like never before. It is so vast, and its beauty is the inspiration for this breakout puzzle.

This breakout puzzle has 3 steps. In step 1, you want to find the 5 digit numeric key that I’ve hidden. You’ll have to use your Excel knowledge to find the key. Once you do, enter the key into the Step 2 sheet to reveal the 5-letter code. To verify that the code is correct, head to Step 3 and enter the code. If it is correct, you’ll be able to use the resulting link to view a fun congratulations page. If you think you are up for it, download the file below:

The video below is a walkthrough of how to complete the breakout puzzle.

Excel Shortcut

Print file:

  • Windows: Ctrl P
  • Mac: ⌘ P

Closing Thought

Excel is one of the primary tools in business, and it is worth the time it takes to develop proficiency.

"It is essential to have good tools,

but it is also essential that the tools should be used in the right way."

-Wallace Wattles

Knowing how to use Excel effectively is a critical success factor in business these days. And it is my goal to help you learn Excel and use it the right way 🙂

Excel University Info

Excel University helps you learn Excel and work faster. We have tons of free resources as well as structured training programs.


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