A question for you
Have you ever tried to learn Excel, only to give up?
Was it because you had other things to do and it was taking too long to see any progress?
We get it. It's a common complaint from people around the world working with Excel: it just takes too long to get good at it. You search the web over and over, looking for tutorials while feeling like you're not making progress at all.
And let's be real about it: Excel is complicated software. Especially for beginners. With hundreds of features and functions, where do you even start?
The thing is, you're not being held back by Excel itself. Excel has to be complicated. A simplified Excel would just not work for 90% of the complicated problems. Besides, you can easily ignore the parts you don't understand yet.
No, the problem really isn't Excel's complexity, it lies somewhere else:
The Excel education.
The 3 things wrong with most Excel lessons
What's wrong with the Excel education then? There are three main things most Excel lessons do wrong:
1. Lessons are too long
It's the 21st century. We have smartphones and broadband internet. We get information from a million different sources all wanting our attention. It is almost an information overload. So if you want to teach something, don't make it super long.
The tutorial or lesson should be short enough to complete while on the bus to school. Or during a coffee break at work. Or just when you have five minutes at home.
That way, it's less of a barrier to get started and there is a higher chance you will finish it all. Plus, the lessons are easy to repeat later, which increases your ability to memorize the material.
2. Lessons contain no interaction
Another thing wrong with most Excel content, imagine this: you would like to know something about an Excel feature. You Google it and watch a video tutorial on it. Can you be confident that you can reproduce it immediately?
The honest answer is no. Just watching a video will not give you the experience of doing something. You could run into all sorts of obstacles: maybe your Excel version doesn't have the button that's in the video, maybe your data is slightly different or maybe you don't exactly remember everything when you try to reproduce it.
You don't know what obstacles you may run into if you don't do it yourself. But you can be sure you're going to run into something.
So to learn something you have to not only see, read or hear it. You also have to do it. You have to practice it for yourself. And you have to make mistakes and learn from them. That is one of the best ways of learning that most Excel education just doesn't give you.
3. The teacher provides unnecessary information
The final problem: do you know the 80/20 rule? It's a principle that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In business uses of Excel, 80% of the work can be produced with 20% of Excel's functionality.
You don't need to learn it all. You just need to learn the 20% that will put you above 95% of the rest.
So if you are taught something that belongs to the other 80%, that's nice and all, but it's time better spent on the 20% that you're going to actually be using.
Now we're the first to tell you that learning it all can be super interesting and fulfilling. However, we understand that most people just need something to work. For those people, the other 80% of information is just needless mental strain.
Imagine learning without these problems
How fast and easy would learning Excel get if these problems would be solved? You could get ready for a job interview in a week. You could easily refresh your memory before doing an Excel project at work. And you would simply have more time for the other things in your life.
Because learning Excel can be interesting and rewarding, but it should not have to take months of work.
We realized this as well. And within a few months, Spreadsheet Center was born: a small company from The Netherlands trying to revolutionize the Excel world. We are frustrated with the way other people teach Excel and we are on a mission to show it can be done better.
When we looked at most of the current Excel material, we saw a big opportunity to really help people.
If we could solve these three problems, we could make Excel content that will help you improve your Excel skills. Without months of work.
What good Excel lessons look like
Here are the principles that we found will improve the speed and ease of learning dramatically:
Problem 1: Lessons are too long
Principle 1: Bite sized learning
Learning sessions of about 5 to 10 minutes per subject. No long lessons and no boring introductions. Instead, quickly learn something new and have time left for the other important things in your life.
Problem 2: Lessons contain no interaction
Principle 2: Learn by doing
We think you learn best by doing things yourself. That's why we use exercises in an interactive spreadsheet editor and tests after every module to help you practice. Because you need to actually do something to know how it feels.
Problem 3: Unnecessary information
Principle 3: Efficient lessons
With Excel's almost infinite number of features, correctly prioritizing what makes it in the course becomes essential. We teach the important subset of Excel, with none of the rarely used bits. Because we respect your time.
We have combined all of these principles into a single course, called Excel Foundation.
Excel Foundation - The Fastest way to learn Excel
The Excel Foundation Course is a beginner and intermediate course
that we created to solve the problems we see in mainstream Excel tutorials.
It is an online course that teaches you the Excel skills necessary to feel completely confident when working in Excel. So that when your boss asks you to do something in Excel, you will feel joy instead of dread. And you will know that you can create something that nobody else in the company can.
Excel Foundation: Get Good at Excel Without Months of Work
5 things learning Excel does for you
Now you might see the course above and feel like that's nice and all. But why even do all of that?
What if you do get good at Excel? Does it make such a big difference in your daily life?
Let's look at some examples of what can happen:
1. More income
You are worth more to your company. Because you have skills that are valuable to your boss, you become more valuable as an employee as well. And more valuable employees will get more raises and promotions.
People will look up to you and come to you for help. You will become the Excel guru of the office.
3. Less stress
You have less stress. Not only because you will have the ability to do more work in less time by automating tasks. Your stress for any Excel task will also be less because you're confident in your Excel abilities.
4. A better career
It improves your career options. Excel skills are transferable. And the nice thing is that every hiring manager understands this. Whether you're planning a job switch or not, you will have more options to choose from in the future.
5. Become a smarter person
Most importantly, you'll be a smarter person. Because you have made the best investment there is: an investment in yourself.
What's in the course
Excel Foundation is an online course. After you purchase, you will be able to log in to a dashboard where you can access the course material, consisting of textual lessons, exercises and quizzes.
The course is divided into modules, which you can see below.
1. The basics
Get the definitions right from the start. Learn about selecting cells, rows and ranges. We end with some beginner keyboard shortcuts that will immediately boost your productivity.
2. Excel fundamentals
Discover how to customize Excel and have everything you need at your fingertips. Finally learn how to print a worksheet and have it look good as well. Also shows how you can recover files if you ever have to.
In this module we make sure your worksheets will look as good as they work. You'll learn how to get a quick overview of your data in just a few clicks using conditional formatting. And you'll create a drop down list with custom restrictions.
4. Functions and formulas
Learn the difference between a formula and a function. We'll go over 15+ of the most useful functions Excel has to offer and talk about the many function related features like Autofill, named ranges and absolute references.
5. Charts and tables
Get to know why you should be using tables instead of cell ranges. Learn when to use what chart type to best visualize your data. And finally learn how to use a pivot table: What the difference is with a regular table and why you should use it, also includes a follow-along example.
6. Extra lessons
Extra lesson containing tips for removing grid lines, calculating the sum and average without using a formula and removing duplicates from your data. Another lesson on errors and how to solve them. And as a final bonus you'll get an introduction into the interesting world of VBA.
There are many words and technical terms that are specific to Excel that you may not know when you're not an Excel power user (yet). That's why we have created a definitions database, containing 60+ often-used Excel terms and their meaning. Access to the database is included in the Excel Foundation course.
About the teacher, Jannes Elings
The teacher of the Excel Foundation course is Jannes Elings. He has a Master of Computer Science degree and has been doing computer related things his entire life. From making games to creating websites to programming applications.
He has been using Excel for 5+ years now. For his studies, for personal finances and for his job as a software developer. He has learned what parts of Excel are important and what parts aren't, so you don't have to.
On a regular day, you can find him working on the course, programming something new, or taking an afternoon walk.
What people are saying about Excel Foundation
Clear and concise
The course contains clear and concise explanations of Excel functions like Vlookup and how to create pivottables. Because of the no-nonsense explanations in the course I can now make perfect prints of Excel tables without a lot of paper loss.
As an absolute beginner I was able to create many complex spreadsheets thanks to the course.
Loving the tests
The GIFs are mega nice. Quick and without sound. They clearly convey what is meant. I'd put even more of these in if possible. Also, the tests are very good. It really stimulates me to continue (you see your results). Well thought out with feedback afterwards! Finally, mega respect for all of the work that has been put into writing all of these lessons.
The three options for learning Excel
If you are serious about this and really want to learn Excel, you have three main options:
First of all, you could try Google and YouTube to learn Excel. Getting the information online is not a bad idea. It's free and convenient. It does have it's drawbacks, though. The Excel lessons are of varying quality, they are unstructured and, on top of that, there are no exercises.
Alright, so maybe just Googling isn't that great of an idea. How about classical in-person training? Those types of training are usually high quality and well structured. However, we've seen these onsite training days cost about $500 and up. So they're expensive. And moreover, they do not allow for revisiting the material. You miss out on the vital repetition you need to fully understand new things.
Okay, then how about an online course, like Excel Foundation? An online course offers high quality training combined with the convenience of online learning. It's a lot less expensive than classical in-person training and well structured, unlike most online materials. You can revisit the material at your own pace. So however busy your life is, you will make progress.
Of course we're biased, but we honestly think using an online course is the best way to learn Excel.
What you'll get when you purchase today
30-day no questions asked money back guarantee
Money Back Guarantee
We believe you can learn Excel quickly and easily with this course. That's why we're confident enough to give you a 30-day no questions asked money back guarantee.
If you are not satisfied with your purchase, for any reason at all, simply contact us within 30 days of purchase and we will promptly issue a refund.
Frequently Asked Questions
All of our content is for Excel 2010 or later (2013, 2016, 2019 or 365) for Windows or Excel 2016 or later for Mac.
If you want to be super sure that you have the right version, get an Office 365 subscription. That will come with the latest Excel version.
Everything in the course is designed to go through it as quickly as possible. However, that does not mean you have to rush! There is no time limit at which point you lose access to the course. So you're not pressured to rush.
Yes, directly after registering, you will receive an invoice as proof of purchase. You could use this to convince your company to cover the cost as part of developing your professional skills.
At Spreadsheet Center, we work with text-based courses. We believe text is the best way to quickly learn new things. It allows for skimming through lessons, looking up specific parts and going as fast as you like.
The course does contain some short videos that are more like animations to visualize how to do something.
On a personal note
I'm proud of the Excel Foundation course and I feel like it's the fastest Excel learning system I can teach.
As someone who used to be horrible at Excel, I know how nice it is to have these skills. I hope you'll give this system a try and I can't wait to hear about how it made a real difference for you.