A Freak In The (Google) Sheets: Our Favorite Tips & Tricks

June 12, 2023 3:35 PM

We don’t know about y’all, but we spend a lot of our day in sheets— Google Sheets, that is! While there are a ton of spreadsheet tools out there, Google Sheets stands out as a versatile and collaborative tool with a wide range of features and functionalities. Whether you are a novice or an experienced user, we hope this blog will give you a few tips to unlock the true potential of Google Sheets (and you!)

Google Sheets Tips and Tricks

Keyboard Shortcuts

Efficiency is key when working with any software, not just Google Sheets. Google Sheets offers a variety of keyboard shortcuts to streamline your workflow. Learning and utilizing these shortcuts will save you time and effort. 

Conditional Formatting

Conditional formatting is a powerful tool for highlighting specific data based on certain conditions. It helps you visualize trends, patterns, and outliers instantly. To apply conditional formatting, select the data range, click "Format" in the toolbar, and choose "Conditional formatting." Explore the different formatting rules, such as color scales, data bars, and custom formulas, to create visually impactful spreadsheets.

Data Validation

Maintaining data integrity is crucial (or so we’re told), and Google Sheets offers data validation to ensure the accuracy and consistency of your data. By setting up validation rules, you can control what type of data can be entered in specific cells. For example, you can restrict input to a specific range, allow only dates, or create a drop-down list of predefined values. Data validation reduces errors and ensures data consistency across your spreadsheet.

Collaboration and Sharing

One of Google Sheets' greatest advantages is its collaborative nature. Multiple users can work on a sheet simultaneously, which is ideal for team projects or brainstorming sessions. To collaborate effectively, share your sheet with others by clicking the "Share" button in the top-right corner. But that’s not the real trick. The real trick is controlling access levels and keeping track of contribution history. You can control access levels, allowing collaborators to edit, comment, or view only. Additionally, the "Version history" feature lets you review changes made by different collaborators and revert to previous versions if needed.

Formulas and Functions

Google Sheets provides an extensive library of formulas and functions to perform calculations, analyze data, and automate tasks. Here are a few essential ones to get you started:

  • SUM: Adds up a range of values.
  • AVERAGE: Calculates the average of a range of values.
  • VLOOKUP: Searches for a value in the first column of a table and returns a corresponding value from another column.
  • IF: Allows you to perform conditional calculations based on a specified condition.

Exploring the various functions available will enable you to perform complex calculations and analyze data efficiently.

Data Organization and Filtering

Large datasets can be challenging to navigate. You gotta be organizing it! Google Sheets offers powerful data organization features to help you manage and analyze data effectively. Utilize filters to narrow down data based on specific criteria. Simply select your data range and click on "Data" > "Filter" to enable the filtering option. You can sort data alphabetically or numerically and apply multiple criteria to refine your results.

Add-ons and Extensions

Extend the functionality of Google Sheets with add-ons and extensions. These additional tools enhance your productivity by providing advanced features. Explore the Google Workspace Marketplace to find add-ons that suit your needs. For example, "Supermetrics" allows you to pull data from various sources directly into your spreadsheet, while "Advanced Find and Replace" simplifies searching and replacing data in bulk.

Google Sheets is a versatile and powerful tool that significantly enhances productivity and data management. By leveraging the tips and tricks discussed in this blog, you can streamline your workflow, collaborate seamlessly, and analyze data efficiently. Explore additional resources, such as Google Sheets Help Center and community forums, to continue expanding your knowledge and discovering new ways to optimize your spreadsheet skills. Embrace the potential of Google Sheets, and unlock a world of possibilities for organizing, analyzing, and sharing data.

Google knows its suite of tools has a lot to offer (and isn’t the most obvious to use), so they made their own Google Sheets cheat sheet! Review it, internalize it, live it. Become the Google Sheets Master you always knew you could be. 

Take all these tips and tricks together, and you too will be a freak in the Google Sheets in no time! Wow the next screen-share meeting with your abilities, and we’ll see you next time here on the Helix House blog!