• Lauren Ashcraft

How did you learn Excel??

Excelling at Something New
(That New Thing Being Excel!)

When I was a student researcher in graduate school, my boss asked me to make her an Excel table of a recent study's results. "Yikes," I thought to myself, as I had only learned Microsoft Word in school. I did what any university-aged millennial does in these situations; I called my dad.

"Excel, huh?" He walked me through the basics over the phone ☎️ while looking at his own screen, since we were not equipped with Zoom back then.

I made my first table. Two columns wide, 6 rows tall. Basic, thin, black borders and no colored-fill. Boring AF, but I did it.

Soon, the basic, black and white tables didn't cut it anymore. Neither did my father's phone advice. That is when I turned to the great and wise Google to teach me all it knew about this mysterious program called Excel. I followed tutorials step-by-step, over and over, until I got the hang of almost all of the basics.

I remember it being challenging, because these tutorials used descriptions and menu headers from previous versions of the software, and I was but a novice without a thorough understanding of what was happening under the hood.

And then I moved into the world of formulas. At first, I copy and pasted formulas from Google into my spreadsheets. When the formulas did not yield results or returned errors, I Googled another one and tried that one. I could not understand the mechanics of a broken down Excel formula; it looked like goobledygook to me 😬 because I am not a math or coding person.

Luckily, the saying "practice makes perfect" is annoyingly true. I started to be able to write the short, simple formulas myself, and graduated to formulas that measured about a foot long, all typed out! 🙌

Slowly, and with practice!

My former self would be so proud of how much I have learned. You know what? My present self is too.

For January, get the Excel bundle for FREE. 🤩 Just use code DONTCALLDAD and you'll be able to watch tutorials on topics from pivot tables to VLOOKUP.

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