Recently I’ve had a few people ask my “favorite” this and my “favorite” that and it got me thinking. I have a few random favorites that would be fun to share!
Excel Function – VLOOKUP
I can’t tell you how many times I have been confronted with needing data in one spreadsheet to have a field or 6 from another. And they are never 10 records – always several thousand. That’s where VLOOKUP comes in. You tell it to match a field from one sheet to another, and when it finds a match, bring over additional data. AWESOME! So how do you use it? Here’s an example: A client exported a list of customers from their contact management system, added a bunch of information and then realized they forgot the company name. Email is a unique identifier so we were able to run a VLOOKUP to fill in the Company field. The formula looks like this: VLOOKUP(G2,Sheet2!A$2:B3500,2,0) and here’s the explanation: G2 is the field we want to use as the main so in this case it is the email address of the first record. Sheet2 has the data with the email address and company name. We want Excel to scan through fields A2-B3500 to see if there is a match to the email address in G2. The $ tell Excel to go both down the list and up. The “2” tells Excel to show the second column in the selection as the data we want to return and the 0 says if you don’t find a match, it is false. Awesome!
Outlook – Dragging emails to the Calendar
I’m always surprised at how many people don’t know this one because it has saved my bacon more times than I care to count. You email back and forth with someone and settle on a meeting date, time and location. Rather than going to the calendar and creating an appointment, I just drag that email to the calendar icon and drop it. Up pops an appointment with the entire conversation in it. I customize what shows on the calendar and done! Having that whole conversation trail means when I’m running into Panera for a meeting and can’t remember the woman’s name I’m meeting with, it is in there. If she’s bringing someone with her, it is in there. If in my head the meeting is at Barnes and Noble but my calendar says Panera, I can look back at the conversation and see why I’m remembering wrong. Fabulous!