Do you ever hear someone talk about cells, or read a blog mentioning workbook and worksheets, and feel a bit lost? Then this post is for you, we’re going to explain some terms to help you understand spreadsheets a bit better.

The entire spreadsheet is often called a workbook (mainly in Excel), a spreadsheet or referred to as a Google Sheet or an Excel (I’m not 100% sure this is correct, but it happens). This is the file which you open either in Excel or in your browser for Google Sheets or Excel Online. …

Many spreadsheets exist — Mac users will be familiar with numbers, Google Sheets is becoming popular, there is the trusted (or hated) Microsoft Excel which now comes in many versions and formats. With all these choices, it’s hard to know which spreadsheet should you use.

Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets and Apple Numbers — How to choose which one?

As always, some preferences — I only use Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets (I lean towards using Google Sheets more due to ease, but more on that later). I have a Mac, so Numbers pops up from time to time. I curse it every time, unless I just want to take a quick look at…

In this series so far, we’ve discussed how frustrating spreadsheets can be when used incorrectly (Part 1) and when you should use spreadsheets (Part 2). This week we’re going to discuss when you should not be using spreadsheets.

6 columns of a Google Sheets, each columns shows a different error message
Errors, errors everywhere.

Firstly, let’s discuss some of the disadvantages of using spreadsheets.

  • Errors
    It is estimated that over 90% of spreadsheets have an error (I’m unsure of the source of this tidbit but I read it often). Due to the skill of users, human error, difficulty checking every cell in a massive spreadsheet and many other reasons, errors are common. …

Spreadsheets are amazing and can be really useful. They can speed up boring, repetitive tasks and reduce a big chunk of human error. They can also be stressful and frustrating (as discussed in Part 1 of Spreadsheets Shouldn’t be Scary). Spreadsheets are mainly stressful when used wrong. So when should you use spreadsheets?

Spreadsheet showing six columns of data and a scatter graph about the size of fruit.
Spreadsheets are great for quick data tasks and making charts
  1. Managing accounts
    For small businesses, or small departments within a business, spreadsheets are a nice way to keep track of accounts without paying for, or learning how to use, accounting software. Accounts in spreadsheets can be made much more simple with the ability to download bank account transactions…

We should all Excel at spreadsheets. Pardon the pun, but I really do believe this. Let’s do a quiz, complete the following sentence:

Spreadsheets are…
a) a necessary evil of modern office life.
b) a source of stress and frustration.
c) extremely useful for speeding up mundane tasks.
d) often used incorrectly.

An empty spreadsheet — it shouldn’t be scary, but for many they are.

If you answered e) all of the above, you win a point. You may be wondering how spreadsheets can be all of these things (and more!). Let me start by admitting something, I love spreadsheets. I work with data all the time, and I can code comfortably, but…

A bit of background on how Laura got to like AI so much.

Someone once expressed to me they saw AI as the “intersection of everything you do”. Having giving this some thought since, I do believe this to be true (sort-of). The “things I do” vaguely come under four categories— emerging technology, coding, data, people. These are wide buckets of things but if you were to Venn-diagram it up, AI would definitely touches all of these and therefore would be the intersection (more likely it would be one of the intersections).

A Venn diagram with four circles — Emerging Tech, Data, Coding and People. The intersection of these four circles is AI?
Venn Diagram of What I Do — Intersecting at AI?

It all started with data. If you know…

taught by humans has had a delightfully (or stressfully…) busy year so far, I simultaneously can’t believe it’s already March and can’t believe that it’s only March as we’ve done so much. [I have another blog post in the works about all our activities, but am waiting on sign off regarding content, pictures and whatnot] Through this busyness, I am in the wonderfully blessed position of meeting people who inspire me extremely regularly. …

I meant to write this in the New Year, maybe that sums up how my year is going so far. I keep exclaiming “How the hell is it February?” — well it’s basically March now, so I’m doing great…

I decided early on that my word for 2019 is BALANCE. I like that it has many connotations and meanings. Balance conjures images of old-school scales and of me on one leg doing yoga. Weirdly, both are what I mean.

The balance I am striving for this year -Photo by Jacob Postuma on Unsplash

If you don’t know me, it is probably worth mentioning that I tend to have a lot of plates spinning at…


Casually trying to save the world. Passionate about education for the future. Robots, AI, IoT, AR, innovation. Founder @taughtbyhumans

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