25 years of underutilization – Happy Anniversary Excel

Author : Dr. Nitin Paranjape


In spite of 25 years of Excellence, it is sad to see the world not using Excel effectively and efficiently.

Please realize that if you are not careful, the formula results you see in Excel could be out-dated. This can lead to misinterpretation or wrong decisions. Enormous operational risk!

View this 4 minute, it will change your life!

If every Excel user uses this feature properly, it can save millions of man-hours every day and can improve accuracy of decision making worldwide…

Very happy yet very sad

I am very happy and very sad…

Excel is tirelessly serving the humanity for 25 years… a great feat. Everyone uses it every day.

The sad part is… most of us don’t know how to use it efficiently even today! It is a defeat of a great product. All of us think what we know about Excel is enough. We get the work done – somehow. But we often fail to realize that there could be a better way – a more efficient, faster, smarter way.

I have conducted seminars on Excel (and all other Office products) in over 15 countries in APAC and USA. It is very depressing to see people wasting their time dragging formulas for thousands of rows, choosing wrong options, ignoring options which they desperately need. Millions waste their precious life working in an inefficient way.

Microsoft has nurtured Excel for 25 years with loving care and unbelievable user focus. It is well known that you satisfy customers by exceeding their expectations. I disagree. Even if you exceed customer expectations – it may not impress your customers at all… why? Because they simply don’t have expectations! That is the sad story of Office.

Here is the startling reality…

Search text Source Results
Excel Copy Paste Bing 5,200,000
Excel Copy Paste Google 4,830,000
Microsoft Excel Amazon (Books) 12,200
Microsoft Excel YouTube 11,600

Unfortunately, all these resources simply don’t seem to have any impact on the world. After having coached 66,000+ users worldwide, I can confidently (and sadly) say this… NOBODY knows how to Copy Paste properly! I am not saying that I am great. Excel is great… Office is great. Microsoft has provided the paste options dialog (and other SmartTags) and enhanced it continuously. But it is of no use. People still use it the wrong way.

Here is a 3 minute video I created to educate the world about how to copy paste more efficiently.
It just has 44 hits in 1 month! Why?

The key question

In spite of having so many resources, why do people use it inefficiently?

The answer is surprising simple. We simply don’t think we need to improve the way we use Excel. As long as work is getting done, nobody cares HOW it is done. I call this “Office Indifference”. This level of indifference is not observed in any other aspect of business.

Everything about business has well laid out policies, procedures, guidelines, best practices and so on… But what about Office? The answer is – NOTHING. Nobody checks how people work.
Everyone has learnt it by trial and error. So who will know the best method?

All the enhancements done by Microsoft are simply not noticed. People have learnt the art of ignoring SmartTags, the green error marker, changing mouse cursor shape, tooltips.

In fact, people convince themselves that they don’t need all the features… What they know is enough and what they don’t know – they don’t need. This thought is the key to rampant underutilization of Office.

The solution

Yes. There is a solution. It is simple, yet revolutionary. All that you have to do is start exploring. Stop ignoring and start noticing. Start observing how you work and ask yourself… does this look inefficient? If the answer is YES, then rest assured that Microsoft has already noticed it and provided you with some solution to it. It is all there. Waiting to be noticed and used.

So here are two simple things you can do to start with…

  1. Read All options
  2. Observe the mouse cursor shape while working. Whenever it changes right click and read all options

Sounds simple? Yes it is simple. But very powerful. Try this for a week and let me know if you benefit from it.

Hats off to Microsoft for creating, nurturing and enhancing a great product tirelessly!

Happy Anniversary.

Author : Dr. Nitin Paranjape

Dr. Nitin is a “Productivity Guru” and Founder and CEO at Maxoffice Services Pvt Ltd with a focus to increase the business productivity of Organizations.

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