Love it or hate it, Excel is still the gold-standard for spreadsheet software — and it won’t be going anywhere soon.

That said, for those of us who don’t use Excel every day, the Microsoft juggernaut can be a little confusing at best and downright daunting at worst.

Fortunately, the software comes with a few easy tricks that can make creating the ultimate spreadsheet a breeze. But, that’s assuming you already know what those shortcuts are.

Ready to start getting the most out of the world’s favorite spreadsheet software?

Here are five must-have Excel tips that will help you master the program.

5 Simple Excel Tips

When it comes to recording and sharing a lot of valuable data, Excel is your best bet.

And while the layers and layers of cells can seem massive and chaotic, Excel is manageable and easy to navigate with just a little practice and know how.

Here’s everything you need to become the master of your spreadsheet.

1. Find Data with Go To

When you have thousands of data points all crammed together in a series of columns and rows, finding one piece of data must be a nightmare, right?

Don’t be so sure. With the “Go To” tool, tracking down a specific cell is a piece of cake.

First, select a section of your data, or the whole thing with Ctrl+A. Then, hit “Edit” and click on “Go To.”

From there, you can search for a particular word, number, or another piece of information.

2. Never Lose Your Place with the Freeze Tool

Have an essential piece of information you need to keep referencing while you scroll?

You can keep in within view at all times by freezing it.

Select the letter or number of the row or column you want to hold in place and hit “View.” From there you can select “Freeze Panes” to hold that set of data in place.

3. Speed Things up with Auto Fill

Entering a lot of similar information, like dates, can be a tedious job. Fortunately, Excel comes with a built-in feature to make tasks like this a breeze. And, the best part is, all you need to do is click and drag.

Highlight the data you would like auto-completed, scroll over the corner until a small black cross appears, and drag down.

4. Maximize Efficiency with Quick Select Formulas

Don’t touch that calculator!

With Excel, there’s no need to waste your time on calculations. With “Quick Select Formulas,” Excel will do all of the math for you, and even keep tabs on changes in your data.

All you need to do is click on an empty cell and enter “=” and the first letter of the formula you would like to use. From there you can scroll available equations to find the one you want to use.

5. Use Your Data

Because Excel is so popular, you can easily share your data pretty much anywhere.

Special tools, like C# Excel, allow you to export and embed information directly into a website. So, you can share valuable information with the entire world with just a few clicks.

Making the Most of Excel

Excel can seem confusing for those who don’t often use it. But, with a little practice and by following these Excel tips, you’ll be able to become an Excel-whiz in no time.

Looking for more tech tips and tricks, we’ve got you covered. Check out our “Technology” section for more information.

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7 Subtle Ways to Give Your Business The Desired Popularity

A successful business is about convincing consumers that your product or service has value and that it needs to be purchased to obtain that value. That success in turn provides the means to keep operating, pay expenses and make a profit.

Attention and awareness are gold for a business trying to grow and penetrate a new market. However, many chalk up awareness as something that happens after one does enough marketing or advertising.

And that’s where the importance of building popularity gets lost. Instead, awareness has to be cultivated. And there are seven clear ways a business can do this in merchandise management and focused marketing:

1. Awareness should be automatic

When people hear a loud noise, an unexpected yell, a bright light or similar they react and turn towards it. What’s going on? Where did that come from? What is it? People don’t think under this condition; they automatically react. Ideally, a business wants consumers to react automatically or close to it. The awareness and following reaction should just be mechanical versus a long, thought-out process.

2. The product or service is part of the consumer’s paradigm

The trick to entering a paradigm is to get the consumer to become familiar and then accepting the regular presence of a product or service. For example, everyone is familiar with Intel and computers. Why? Because the brand has become part of the desktop paradigm.

3. Disrupt the normal conditions with a positive change

People pay attention to changes that don’t fit the norm. Where the change is negative, they steer away. However, where the change is positive, it creates an opportunity for people to become very interested. For example, a new product or service that makes a regular chore or function considerably easier is a disruption. People notice it and want to tell others.

4. Create a reward for being interested

Dopamine is the chemical in the brain that gets released when we receive a reward. And our brain wants more of it all the time. So we quickly align rewards with those things that trigger and repeatedly create more dopamine. This biological driver should not be ignored; it’s often a primal driver that gets people to want or buy something even if logically they should do something else.

5. Reputation matters

Popularity can be generated quickly by a new, immediate change or huge sensation, but it doesn’t sustain when the “newness” dies down. Instead, it’s a business reputation that sustains popularity and keeps it going. Referrals, good opinions, recommendation all build and continue to spread awareness of a reputation. That continued cycle solidifies a market and customer retention over time.

6. Curiosity killed the cat

People frequently stop to look at something interesting and new. Curiosity is one of the key aspects of humanity that makes us different animals which typically run away from the unknown, not towards it. Ignoring people’s natural habit of being curious about the new is literally leaving money on the table.

7. Keeping up with the Joneses

We seek validation from our peers. And that feeling comes in the form of acknowledgment from others when we appear to achieve a level of success or accomplishment. Products and services are one way that quick acknowledgment is achieved from peers. A business using this theme frequently sees its popularity steadily go up.

Businesses can use other methods for successful merchandise management, but the seven areas above have proven to be the ones that have consistent returns. Understanding the science behind these areas gives a business far more ammunition in sales, and it’s a lot better than just building mousetraps.

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