Follow these tips for Excel lists and open the doors to a ton of great tools!
1. Column Headings are essential to use other tools like Pivot Tables, filters and database functions. Column headings become field names to describe the type of data in each column.
2. No completely blank rows or columns – Leaving rows and columns completely blank to aid formatting might make it look good in print form but don’t serve you when it comes to filtering, sorting and charting.
3. Consistent data types will assure you predictable outcomes in your formulas and Pivot Tables.
Now that your list is in great shape, here are 3 tools to try.
1. Are you still selecting ALL your data to sort and filter? Well, now you just need to click on one cell in the column you wish to sort by and click the Sort Ascending or Sort Descending button. To filter, just select one cell and click the filter button or Ctrl+Shift+L. Make sure the first row of your list is taken up by those column titles. If there are any rows above your column titles, separate them from the column titles by a blank row.
2. Try Table Style Formatting. Select one cell in the middle of your data and click Home>Styles>Format as a Table. Confirm your selection and select a style. It instantly provides filters, total row capability, formatting and the ability to type a formula only once and have it AutoFill automatically down the column.
3. Pivot Tables. Don’t be afraid! Select a single cell in your table. Then on the Insert tab, click on the first button on the left, confirm that you want to create your Pivot Table in a new sheet. Voila! Now, put fields on your report by clicking the checkboxes on the right.