Here’s the story of how my hate for email spurred me on to create one of the best spreadsheets I’ve ever made (spreadsheet linked below). The other day I was visiting with a friend, Kyle Reinhiller, about my email problem as I had a backlog of over 1,000 emails in my inbox. I just dreaded even opening up Outlook. There would be days in which I completely avoided opening up Outlook for that very reason. But Kyle knows my love for spreadsheets so he suggested I use a spreadsheet to overcome my email issue. I knew the spreadsheet would have to track how many emails were in my inbox. A list of numbers wasn’t going to be motivating enough…even with a time stamp. What if it automatically created a graph whenever I updated it? That would be better. What if the spreadsheet also had a colorful way of tracking my level of anxiety as well? That’s the spreadsheet I created. I put a link to it below.
Why is conditional formatting so powerful? I’ve used conditional formatting for years. These are the benefits I get from it:
- Data is Easier to Explore: For numbers people, they might be able to scan a report and see the significant numbers. For others, this can be a challenge. Conditional formatting will visually set these numbers apart. This also help numbers people to not miss anything as well or at least review the report quicker.
- Consistent Reporting: In the past, I used to manually go through and highlight numbers I thought folks should pay attention to. This is fine for some reports, but, if it’s a list of worship trends for 200+ churches, it’s easy to miss some. If you setup your conditional formatting well, Excel will do the hard work for you without missing any.
- It’s kind of Fun: At least it is for me. It was something new to learn that made a big improvement in the look of some spreadsheets I was using. If you like Excel, you’ll probably find conditional formatting fun as well.
- Microsoft’s guidance on conditional formatting: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/use-conditional-formatting-to-highlight-information-fed60dfa-1d3f-4e13-9ecb-f1951ff89d7f
- My Email Tracker spreadsheet: https://www.dropbox.com/s/sy4z7z2wepqe6zj/Email%20Tracker.xlsx?dl=0
- My Weight Loss Tracker spreadsheet: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qte7xfvf7e4ckes/weight%20loss%20tracker.xlsx?dl=0