I Got My Space Back (the Power of Routine)

I got my parking space back today. A snow bank had been occupying it.  But with spring here, the space returns to its rightful owner. With my space back, my day has improved dramatically.  I have been more productive – I’m even writing my first post in weeks.  Why? There is only so much energy […]

Build your own Heatmap in Excel

Conditional formatting is a great tool in Excel.  It sounds fancy, but if you’ve ever color-coded anything before, you know how conditional formatting works.  Given the rules you provide Excel, it will format things accordingly. Many conditional formatting features have been added to recent editions of Excel.  My favorite is the Color Scale.  This feature allows you to look […]

Ctrl + ~ : An X-ray of your spreadsheet

This is one of my favorite Excel keyboard functions, used in frequency only after Ctrl + S, but not many know about it. Excel is great for easy data analysis, but it is hard to check for errors. Remember the scandals concerning spreadsheet errors in Thomas Piketty’s book? If Nobel Prize-winning economists have trouble making sure their formulas […]

Review: “The Milennial Game Plan”

I came to this short e-book from Forbes, where author Laura Shin writes regularly.  While it took less than half a day to read (and is priced appropriately), the book has permanent take-aways. Shin does not sugar-coat the Millennial job market.  She starts off with the usual “unemployed with a Master’s in Puppetry” tragedies.  I particularly […]

Avoid Excel Lookup Errors Forever

We’ve all had that nasty feeling — our vlookup formula returns an error, leaving a screaming #N/A where you had expected to see numbers.  This is usually because of some loophole in your dataset — for some reason, one of the entries for which you are looking up a value does not have a match. This post assumes […]