008 - Battle of the Spreadsheet Software - ProductivityCast

008 Battle of the Spreadsheet Software – ProductivityCast

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Let’s get ready to ruuuummmmmblllllle! We’re going to battle until the last spreadsheet software is standing! Okay, not really. But, isn’t that an exciting way to start anything!?

In this episode, we introduce our latest, regular podcast contributor, Art Gelwicks of The Idea Pump, to ProductivityCast. We’re excited to now have Francis and Art join us going forward and really increase the value of diverse productivity perspectives and knowledge. We each come at the world of personal productivity from different angles and backgrounds, and we believe that strengthens our ability on ProductivityCast to get to universal axioms as well as the deeper discussions of differences in personalities and workflows, from which you, our listeners, will benefit.

So, let’s get on with the discussion about the pro’s and con’s of the most popular spreadsheet software–and their productive uses!

Enjoy! Give us feedback! We love to hear from you and send your questions and suggestions. And, thanks for listening!

If you’d like to discuss this episode, please click here to leave a comment down below (this jumps you to the bottom of the post).

In this Cast

Ray Sidney-Smith

Augusto Pinaud

Art Gelwicks

Show Notes

Resources we mention, including links to them will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.

Early history of Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel

Google Sheets

Apple Numbers

LibreOffice Calc

SharePoint

Microsoft Access

G Suite ← this is a free 30-day trial of G Suite for new accounts (Thank Ray, Google Small Business Advisor – Productivity! 😉

Getting Things Done in Google Sheets / Excel (template and video tutorial)

Evernote ← Sign up for a free Evernote account here!

CRM (This is a Webinar Ray presented on How to Choose a CRM for Small Business)

OneNote

Google Apps Script

Google Slides

Apple Pages

iCloud

Apple Keynote

OpenDocument format

Google Drive

Microsoft Excel Training

Google Sheets Training

Apple Numbers Training

Ray: We didn’t discuss this, but I’d remisce if we didn’t mention Airtable. Per their website, “Airtable makes it easy to organize stuff, people, ideas and anything else you can imagine with your team.” Worth checking out!

Raw Text Transcript

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are you ready to manage your work and

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personal world better to live a more

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fulfilling productive life then you’ve

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come to the right place

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welcome to productivity cast the weekly

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show about all things productivity here

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are your hosts Ray Sidney-Smith and

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Augusto Pinaud and welcome back to

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productivity cast everybody the weekly

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show about all things personal

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productivity as do you know I’m Ray

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Sidney-Smith and I’m here with Augusto

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Pinaud how’s it gonna Augusto going pretty

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well pretty well fantastic

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well it’s our pleasure to introduce our

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newest podcast contributor to the

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productivity cast team Art Gelwicks

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he’s a business process project

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management and collaboration consultant

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for professionals small to medium-sized

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businesses and nonprofits our is also

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the founder of The Idea Pump

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consultancy definitely check out the

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blog over there at the idea pump dot com

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and is an experienced public speaker

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welcome to ProductivityCast oh thank you

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I appreciate it it’s good to be with you

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guys and talk about the topic du jour

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we’re looking forward to having you on

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as a regular contributor so that’s

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always a good thing

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and so today we are going to be talking

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about software that I think everybody

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pretty much knows I mean you know we all

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use it in some way shape or form which

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is spreadsheet software and there are so

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many today that we sort of I thought

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would be really fun for us to actually

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discuss the variety of them and their

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pros and cons based on how all of us

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sort of used them just as a sort of

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primer you know we started off with

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really Microsoft Excel I mean it was a

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it was another product that was bought

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by Microsoft way back you know in I

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believe it’s the 80s and forgive me if

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I’m someone can correct me if I’m wrong

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but the you know the software has

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developed into what is now Microsoft

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Excel and here we are you know 30 odd

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years later and now we have you know

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products from Apple to open-source

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software like libre office having calc

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to so many other spreadsheet software

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and I want to just sort of talk about

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what we use why we use it

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and the pros and cons of those pieces so

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let’s start off with the big elephant in

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the room which is Microsoft Excel what

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we all have experienced with Microsoft

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Excel how Microsoft Excel is one of

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those things that I consider the Swiss

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Army knife of the office suite I’ve used

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I have used personally and watched Excel

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be used for just about everything

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positive and lots of things that

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probably shouldn’t be used for when you

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look at the function set that’s included

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in it and its capability of not only

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handling and basic mathematical

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functionalities and financial

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calculations things that are extremely

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common that it’s used for Excel is also

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very commonly used as a data modeling

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tool in a database in many cases where

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you would actually think that you would

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probably push into a larger database

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system a lot of those pieces come back

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into Excel I work a lot in the

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collaborative space with systems like

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SharePoint so you start to see Excel

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tying to those data systems to pull

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information down for analysis the

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challenge you get with something like

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Excel is you’re right it’s the elephant

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in the room and unfortunately often the

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elephant can take out 90% of the room it

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has such a intersect and so many

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capabilities that like most things in

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office only about 20% of them are

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actually used by anyone but you start to

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miss out on some of the capabilities but

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just over a couple of days like today

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I’m going to be spending most of the day

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using Excel building out data models and

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wireframes

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or an application design is it the

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optimal tool for that no but it can do

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it and it can do it notably well and it

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happens to be one that’s right there and

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readily available I remember my first

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use of Excel was actually developing

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applications for you know the company

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that I worked for and you know because

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it could do all of these sophisticated

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formulas that we just decided to turn

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the various sheets into the workflow

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that helped us move data from one set of

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cells within

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one tab to the next each department put

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in their information you know in each of

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the various tabs and then we got sort of

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the output on the other side and it was

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it did its job you know what I mean it

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was great and there was a time in which

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I felt that was sort of the ultimate

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until I got more geeky and excited about

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using access Microsoft Access and then

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we used you know the Microsoft Excel

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database as our as our database to pull

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into access and really use the front-end

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access you know graphic user interface

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the GUI for purposes of having forms and

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things of that nature for people to be

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able to interact with but yeah I mean

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Microsoft Excel ended up handling so

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much of what I did on a daily basis it

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was great for that and and you know

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today I used I use Google sheets it’s a

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phenomenal product not if you need some

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of the functions that Microsoft Excel

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has right now but function parity is

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coming and if you’re already within the

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G suite or the Google world in terms of

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Gmail and Google Drive and so and so

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forth it ends up being something that’s

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really powerful to have it integrated

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but I did start off with Microsoft Excel

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and actually from a Productivity

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perspective when I implemented getting

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things done back in 2001 my entire

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system almost except for my calendar was

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within in a Microsoft Excel database and

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so I went ahead and created this system

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within it and each tab you know covered

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tasks and projects and it had my weekly

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review you know designed within it so

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that I could follow along with my weekly

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review and was really fantastic and

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worked really well for me for many years

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and actually there’s a there’s a sample

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template of that on my website and I’ll

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put a link to it in the show notes but

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I’ve I’ve since migrated that template

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to Google sheets and you can download

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the Microsoft Excel workbook for that as

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well it’s interesting because when you

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look at where spreadsheets just in

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general not just Excel but so being the

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leader of them have come from we’ve hit

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help I don’t want to say a watershed

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moment but it

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transition arey in their evolution

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because of the move to functionality in

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the cloud and the press for greater and

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greater collaboration you start to see

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this segmentation between the desktop

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version of applications and the focus on

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the cloud-based version so the Google

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sheets is a great example Excel online

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is a great example of it

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it’s a focusing on that 20% of

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functionality with the opposite aspect

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of it being the growth of the

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collaborative pieces being able to do

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for example multiple person real-time

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editing of workbooks and be able to

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actually watch people make those edits

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be able to lock sheets in ways so that

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they can be used as collaborative tools

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really changes a lot of the dynamic it’s

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not just I’ve got the spreadsheet now

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it’s a really powerful spreadsheet but

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I’m the only one who can work with it

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right now until I save it and then

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allows you to open it but different

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dynamic entirely so we’re going to I

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think we’ll continue to see that

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evolution and that’s split between the

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two platforms grow but I think we’ll

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also have to see the integration it’s

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interesting because Microsoft has a bit

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of a weird position to approach this

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room because they have a heavy desktop

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presence and they have the cloud you

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look at many of the other systems for

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example Google sheets they’re only cloud

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will they go to a desktop presence more

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and more possibly I don’t know or they

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may just continue to evolve their cloud

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person it’ll be interesting to see how

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this continues to grow and I think you

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mention a point that that I think is key

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and on the way I see Excel spreadsheets

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and Excel spreadsheets do were created

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or begin as a product of one okay you

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are the one who has X responsibilities

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that lies on Excel whatever it was and I

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agree a lot of them were that was the

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first simpler database to create because

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you could do filter and you can do a

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bunch of incredible things but as the

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world has gone

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more mobile and and more light in a

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certain way is there people to continue

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having ridiculous ridiculously large

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excel sheets that only they open yes but

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Excel now is a more collaboration tool

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and I think it’s not necessarily that

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it’s a 20% use it’s that it’s a

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different product inside of a product so

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there is this use for this still the

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people who had you know all the rows and

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all the columns on Excel on a

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spreadsheet that goes page to page

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documents to documents that’s one years

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and that’s one use that to this day will

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continue being a text abuse mostly

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because of the power you need and the

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kind of interaction you have but Excel

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now more and more is a place where you

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go to do little things and when when I

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look at my spreadsheet it’s rare that I

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have now one that is so complex that

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need to run on on the computer it can

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run the iPad it can run on Google sheets

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but it’s rare when I have I think I have

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only one spreadsheet that in order for

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me to run it I need to go and remotely

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log in in the Mac everything else and

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it’s mostly because of the way you do

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some SQL SQL queries and it goes outside

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on the network other than that all all

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the spreadsheets I have are more simple

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calculations that look simple now but it

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used to be really complex things that

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you share and now they are on a promote

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deaths as you said and everybody can go

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on and look it in and before it’s not

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that you don’t have them it’s just you

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just to print it if I remember having on

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my desk piles of spreadsheets because

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there was usually somebody in the office

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who was in charge of doing those now all

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those printouts tend to be a digital

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version of a really simple spreadsheet

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that goes back and forward

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you know from things like even

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expense reports expense reports when I

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begin working

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I remember you have this special sheet

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okay that you fill up in paper okay that

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only have four lines so if for any

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reason you have seven items you need two

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sheets of those ok so what’s not worth

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it would any other way now that’s a

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spreadsheet

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okay that is share cut everybody can go

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get their information transfer to PDF

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email it and call it a day so I don’t

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know if it steadies half is two

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different products I’m for sure think is

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two different needs I don’t know if keep

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I would argue the fact that it’s going

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simpler I think it lends itself to

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simpler implementations because we’re

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comfortable with it and the reason why I

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say that is if you look at corporate

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environments there’s corporate workbook

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implementations that are multiple

0:12:03.540,0:12:08.460
workbooks interface together with

0:12:05.520,0:12:10.230
external data connection one up in front

0:12:08.460,0:12:12.780
of me right now and it’s just absolutely

0:12:10.230,0:12:15.360
massive and I guarantee there’s no way

0:12:12.780,0:12:17.310
that at least current state it’s going

0:12:15.360,0:12:20.190
to exist within the cloud environment

0:12:17.310,0:12:23.490
however exact same tool that is running

0:12:20.190,0:12:26.160
that e is also running very basic

0:12:23.490,0:12:30.630
checklist so I think you’re right in the

0:12:26.160,0:12:33.540
standpoint that it covers that range but

0:12:30.630,0:12:36.390
I think until we start to see the

0:12:33.540,0:12:39.270
cloud-based solutions increase their

0:12:36.390,0:12:41.340
functionality almost by an order of

0:12:39.270,0:12:43.170
magnitude I think we’re always going to

0:12:41.340,0:12:45.290
have this desktop presence because

0:12:43.170,0:12:47.640
there’s another piece to this equation

0:12:45.290,0:12:51.150
if you look at all the applications

0:12:47.640,0:12:53.760
within a standard office suite the

0:12:51.150,0:12:57.089
spreadsheet is the one application that

0:12:53.760,0:12:59.760
does not translate well to the smart

0:12:57.089,0:13:01.830
phone from a usability standpoint final

0:12:59.760,0:13:04.110
tablets on Chromebooks but on desktops

0:13:01.830,0:13:06.870
but if you try and use spreadsheet on a

0:13:04.110,0:13:10.589
smart phone it’s really an awkward user

0:13:06.870,0:13:12.300
experience so until until we find some

0:13:10.589,0:13:14.100
way around then honestly I don’t know

0:13:12.300,0:13:16.560
that we can because spreadsheets are

0:13:14.100,0:13:20.910
designed it’s in the name it’s a spread

0:13:16.560,0:13:21.880
sheet it needs visual landscape to be

0:13:20.910,0:13:23.530
able to work

0:13:21.880,0:13:25.780
I don’t know that it’s ever going to

0:13:23.530,0:13:28.300
cleanly translate to the smaller screen

0:13:25.780,0:13:30.550
that is the smartphone I own that I I

0:13:28.300,0:13:33.340
agree with you if your needs are complex

0:13:30.550,0:13:36.310
actually I have been iPad only and

0:13:33.340,0:13:39.010
coaching people on how to turn to iPad

0:13:36.310,0:13:41.410
only my first question even before we

0:13:39.010,0:13:45.940
got into the discussion is how much

0:13:41.410,0:13:49.890
excels you use because I can do on the

0:13:45.940,0:13:52.650
iPad 99% of anything you ask me for

0:13:49.890,0:13:56.080
unless you throw Excel in equation and

0:13:52.650,0:13:58.060
yes if you want that mobile simple

0:13:56.080,0:14:00.790
checklist you know a couple of

0:13:58.060,0:14:03.550
calculations here there you can use it

0:14:00.790,0:14:06.790
but as soon as you need the complexity

0:14:03.550,0:14:09.880
that goes behind the spreadsheet forget

0:14:06.790,0:14:12.490
about it genera you need a different set

0:14:09.880,0:14:16.120
of tools than the iPad even if you have

0:14:12.490,0:14:20.620
the for the 13-inch iPad it’s something

0:14:16.120,0:14:23.440
about how you interact with the Excel

0:14:20.620,0:14:25.960
that for some reason require much much

0:14:23.440,0:14:27.550
precision than your finger you know the

0:14:25.960,0:14:30.970
interesting thing about this is that we

0:14:27.550,0:14:34.450
will see Microsoft and Google and to an

0:14:30.970,0:14:36.910
extent Apple as well look at the

0:14:34.450,0:14:38.860
movement in terms of we’re talking about

0:14:36.910,0:14:41.440
sort of feature parity and and their

0:14:38.860,0:14:43.630
their functionalities whether desktop or

0:14:41.440,0:14:47.260
web we’re gonna see Microsoft Google and

0:14:43.630,0:14:49.330
Apple watch users and see whether or not

0:14:47.260,0:14:52.470
they adopt more and more web

0:14:49.330,0:14:55.660
technologies and web software over

0:14:52.470,0:14:58.050
desktop software and I think the trend

0:14:55.660,0:15:01.060
is moving that way which is why Google

0:14:58.050,0:15:04.810
developed Chrome OS which is why they’re

0:15:01.060,0:15:07.780
really banking on people wanting to stay

0:15:04.810,0:15:09.820
within their web browser all the time as

0:15:07.780,0:15:12.070
opposed to using desktop software and

0:15:09.820,0:15:15.970
there are some of us of a certain age

0:15:12.070,0:15:17.650
that typically lends toward desktop

0:15:15.970,0:15:20.860
software because we grew up with it

0:15:17.650,0:15:23.050
we’re used to it but I think for you

0:15:20.860,0:15:26.200
know Millennials and younger who are

0:15:23.050,0:15:28.810
just used to being in the browser and

0:15:26.200,0:15:31.570
that being their only access to the

0:15:28.810,0:15:33.190
entire world therefore why shouldn’t

0:15:31.570,0:15:35.040
their software work I think that’s going

0:15:33.190,0:15:37.170
to become a bigger

0:15:35.040,0:15:39.149
you’re chunk of software development it

0:15:37.170,0:15:41.759
already has over the last you know 20

0:15:39.149,0:15:45.089
years but I think it’s going to become a

0:15:41.759,0:15:46.800
faster faster clip at it G suite they

0:15:45.089,0:15:49.800
are developing something called app

0:15:46.800,0:15:52.949
maker and that make an app maker is

0:15:49.800,0:15:56.639
going to revolutionize how we interact

0:15:52.949,0:15:58.199
with underlying data in in even in a

0:15:56.639,0:16:00.269
spreadsheet sense and really across the

0:15:58.199,0:16:03.290
across the board what I think has

0:16:00.269,0:16:05.430
happened is we reduce the the usage of

0:16:03.290,0:16:09.329
spreadsheet software because we have

0:16:05.430,0:16:11.430
more software that has once done what

0:16:09.329,0:16:13.259
spreadsheets did for us and not

0:16:11.430,0:16:17.279
necessarily in being able to see large

0:16:13.259,0:16:20.370
data sets in a spreaded sheet right as

0:16:17.279,0:16:23.730
you said are but but now those kinds of

0:16:20.370,0:16:26.399
small data you know chunks have now been

0:16:23.730,0:16:29.639
put in places like Evernote or in

0:16:26.399,0:16:31.440
bespoke software that manages like CRM

0:16:29.639,0:16:34.290
you know we used to use our aren’t our

0:16:31.440,0:16:36.660
entire CRM was just basically Excel you

0:16:34.290,0:16:40.410
know and now you have dozens and dozens

0:16:36.660,0:16:43.620
of CRM that are that are designed

0:16:40.410,0:16:44.880
specifically for industries and you know

0:16:43.620,0:16:47.940
that’s just the nature of the

0:16:44.880,0:16:50.339
fragmentation of you know the market

0:16:47.940,0:16:52.050
because there’s so much customized

0:16:50.339,0:16:54.420
software you know there’s like a

0:16:52.050,0:16:57.480
supposed solution for every kind of

0:16:54.420,0:16:58.800
thing to get things done and I think

0:16:57.480,0:17:01.410
this is sort of going to be the nature

0:16:58.800,0:17:03.839
of it as we as we move forward if you

0:17:01.410,0:17:06.030
look at if you look at the way that two

0:17:03.839,0:17:08.100
main players in this and I’ll use

0:17:06.030,0:17:09.870
Microsoft and Google is example in this

0:17:08.100,0:17:11.939
and the direction that they’re heading

0:17:09.870,0:17:14.760
you’ve got and I mentioned before you’ve

0:17:11.939,0:17:16.589
got Microsoft from the desktop world

0:17:14.760,0:17:18.390
moving into the cloud and you’ve got

0:17:16.589,0:17:20.669
Google from the cloud

0:17:18.390,0:17:23.339
emulating and moving closer towards

0:17:20.669,0:17:25.199
desktop level functionality both of them

0:17:23.339,0:17:27.179
are trying to get to that common ground

0:17:25.199,0:17:29.429
that the end users have clearly

0:17:27.179,0:17:32.250
indicated they one which is we want as

0:17:29.429,0:17:34.230
much power as possible and from IT

0:17:32.250,0:17:36.270
standpoint we don’t have to want to

0:17:34.230,0:17:39.090
worry about desktop deployments and

0:17:36.270,0:17:41.400
large installations on my machine we

0:17:39.090,0:17:43.500
want the flexibility of the cloud we

0:17:41.400,0:17:45.600
want instant update everyone its

0:17:43.500,0:17:48.510
cloud-based data storage and it’s how

0:17:45.600,0:17:48.900
the companies are going to integrate the

0:17:48.510,0:17:50.370
spray

0:17:48.900,0:17:53.280
cheats on the other parts of their

0:17:50.370,0:17:55.590
office suite into their full offerings

0:17:53.280,0:17:57.270
that really I think is going to make the

0:17:55.590,0:18:00.150
difference not give you the example off

0:17:57.270,0:18:02.490
of Excel if you’re using let’s say

0:18:00.150,0:18:04.860
SharePoint and you’ve got an excel sheet

0:18:02.490,0:18:07.050
inside of SharePoint that’s now

0:18:04.860,0:18:08.850
collaborative because it’s available to

0:18:07.050,0:18:11.280
anybody who’s using that SharePoint site

0:18:08.850,0:18:15.420
who has access but if you open one down

0:18:11.280,0:18:18.420
you can embed the Excel worksheet into a

0:18:15.420,0:18:22.110
OneNote note as a usable worksheet at

0:18:18.420,0:18:23.850
that time the pieces together now I have

0:18:22.110,0:18:26.520
a bit of a concern of that though while

0:18:23.850,0:18:28.530
it’s great to have that it almost starts

0:18:26.520,0:18:30.120
to create confusion for end users which

0:18:28.530,0:18:31.590
way to I don’t wish me and what’s the

0:18:30.120,0:18:33.570
best way to come in and what’s the best

0:18:31.590,0:18:36.330
way to do this and I think in the

0:18:33.570,0:18:39.510
productivity space that three of us live

0:18:36.330,0:18:43.080
in if we are focusing on getting people

0:18:39.510,0:18:44.010
to understand the core tenets of good

0:18:43.080,0:18:47.580
spiration

0:18:44.010,0:18:49.170
use regardless of a platform think we’re

0:18:47.580,0:18:51.330
doing them the service that they need

0:18:49.170,0:18:53.010
then they can say ok this is the one

0:18:51.330,0:18:54.300
that’s going to work this for me or this

0:18:53.010,0:18:56.520
other one’s going to work this for me

0:18:54.300,0:18:59.400
because I know basically the right ways

0:18:56.520,0:19:02.370
to do that one of the fundamental things

0:18:59.400,0:19:04.470
that I think about when it comes to the

0:19:02.370,0:19:06.930
the variety of software that that I

0:19:04.470,0:19:09.150
think of is is obviously it’s what core

0:19:06.930,0:19:11.010
functionality do you need and most often

0:19:09.150,0:19:12.720
than not and I think we’ve sort of been

0:19:11.010,0:19:14.880
saying this as we make our way along is

0:19:12.720,0:19:16.890
that a lot of people have chosen Excel

0:19:14.880,0:19:19.470
when Excel isn’t the appropriate tool

0:19:16.890,0:19:21.180
the great part is that we do now have a

0:19:19.470,0:19:23.760
lot of different software out there and

0:19:21.180,0:19:25.110
just within the spreadsheet space but I

0:19:23.760,0:19:26.610
think I said this at the top but I’m

0:19:25.110,0:19:29.430
gonna repeat it again you know you have

0:19:26.610,0:19:32.100
four major software today Microsoft

0:19:29.430,0:19:34.680
Excel Google sheets Apple numbers and

0:19:32.100,0:19:37.410
LibreOffice calc yet are there any other

0:19:34.680,0:19:39.720
spreadsheet workbook software out there

0:19:37.410,0:19:42.840
that I didn’t that I’m I’m not knowing

0:19:39.720,0:19:45.090
that I’m missing guys not major was no

0:19:42.840,0:19:47.250
there’s variants on labor count there’s

0:19:45.090,0:19:49.680
some other cloud-based ones that I’ve

0:19:47.250,0:19:51.660
looked at various players but having

0:19:49.680,0:19:53.580
made a major impact of the environment I

0:19:51.660,0:19:55.710
think you hit the course for I would

0:19:53.580,0:19:58.380
caution one thing though I think a lot

0:19:55.710,0:19:59.790
of people are using itself because in a

0:19:58.380,0:20:02.260
corporate environment that’s what

0:19:59.790,0:20:03.850
they’re given they don’t get access

0:20:02.260,0:20:06.220
to the other ones because through

0:20:03.850,0:20:09.400
various IT security protocol there

0:20:06.220,0:20:11.620
prevented for using things outside the

0:20:09.400,0:20:13.780
corporate IT structure so when you sit

0:20:11.620,0:20:16.840
down at your machine and you log into it

0:20:13.780,0:20:19.420
I have Excel there for Excel is what I

0:20:16.840,0:20:21.490
shall use they’re kind of technical I

0:20:19.420,0:20:23.590
completely agree and I think I think

0:20:21.490,0:20:27.130
that’s you know one of the one of the

0:20:23.590,0:20:29.170
things I do caution people about is look

0:20:27.130,0:20:30.940
at the look at the functions and

0:20:29.170,0:20:33.660
features that you need out of the

0:20:30.940,0:20:36.610
software especially when it comes to

0:20:33.660,0:20:39.700
displaying and or calculating a lot of

0:20:36.610,0:20:41.410
different you know numbers at once then

0:20:39.700,0:20:43.300
look at the various products for their

0:20:41.410,0:20:45.970
strengths you know Microsoft Excel I

0:20:43.300,0:20:48.550
typically think of it strength in its

0:20:45.970,0:20:50.830
ability to communicate with the other

0:20:48.550,0:20:52.720
office products so if you’re already in

0:20:50.830,0:20:54.790
the Microsoft Office productivity suite

0:20:52.720,0:20:57.940
then it makes a lot of sense that you

0:20:54.790,0:21:00.130
stay with Excel Excel I’m talking in the

0:20:57.940,0:21:02.080
desktop version not in the office 365

0:21:00.130,0:21:04.780
cloud version because it’s a it’s a more

0:21:02.080,0:21:06.970
limited product set it’s developing you

0:21:04.780,0:21:08.860
know just like Google sheets for me you

0:21:06.970,0:21:11.950
know I use G suite for both business and

0:21:08.860,0:21:14.260
most of my personal world so Google

0:21:11.950,0:21:16.960
sheets is going to make a lot of sense

0:21:14.260,0:21:19.750
because I’m already there and I’m not

0:21:16.960,0:21:23.110
doing as complex I mean you know Google

0:21:19.750,0:21:25.410
sheets has a huge formula database it

0:21:23.110,0:21:28.060
can communicate all the data between

0:21:25.410,0:21:30.970
applications with Google Apps Script you

0:21:28.060,0:21:33.220
can you can connect Google sheets to all

0:21:30.970,0:21:36.520
the other Google Drive products Google

0:21:33.220,0:21:38.700
Documents Google Forms Google slides you

0:21:36.520,0:21:40.900
know you can you can communicate cross

0:21:38.700,0:21:43.690
application as well so you’re not

0:21:40.900,0:21:45.430
limited in the same way you once were

0:21:43.690,0:21:47.980
when you had to do something very

0:21:45.430,0:21:50.020
complex and Microsoft Excel could all of

0:21:47.980,0:21:53.080
a sudden do that you know it can handle

0:21:50.020,0:21:54.940
charting and graphing really well today

0:21:53.080,0:21:57.520
and now is using machine learning in

0:21:54.940,0:21:59.980
order to be able to on the fly ask

0:21:57.520,0:22:02.020
questions of Google sheets and it just

0:21:59.980,0:22:03.790
gives you the appropriate answer back

0:22:02.020,0:22:05.650
from the data that you put in of course

0:22:03.790,0:22:07.720
garbage in garbage out so you’ve got to

0:22:05.650,0:22:10.060
put the data in correctly and then get

0:22:07.720,0:22:12.100
the data out correctly and and that’s

0:22:10.060,0:22:14.560
really fantastic Apple numbers is this a

0:22:12.100,0:22:15.700
really fun I think of it as you know if

0:22:14.560,0:22:17.169
you’re gonna if you’re gonna

0:22:15.700,0:22:20.250
have to have the misery of dealing with

0:22:17.169,0:22:22.570
you know lots and lots of data entry

0:22:20.250,0:22:24.460
numbers can actually be a lot of fun it

0:22:22.570,0:22:27.159
has a really interesting interface and

0:22:24.460,0:22:29.799
again if you’re in the Apple pages you

0:22:27.159,0:22:32.320
know world you’re in iCloud all of its

0:22:29.799,0:22:34.149
Apple Apple numbers will work for you I

0:22:32.320,0:22:36.010
mean it’s it’s not going to not work for

0:22:34.149,0:22:38.649
you the problem is is getting that

0:22:36.010,0:22:41.590
document to others to view it’s gonna be

0:22:38.649,0:22:43.720
a little it’s gonna be very difficult it

0:22:41.590,0:22:47.320
gets it used to be that true and that

0:22:43.720,0:22:50.860
continuing now I live what I do a lot on

0:22:47.320,0:22:53.740
numbers and I work on numbers until I

0:22:50.860,0:22:55.960
get into the requirement of a b-bow

0:22:53.740,0:22:59.529
table mostly because you can’t do a

0:22:55.960,0:23:01.929
pivot table in numbers why I don’t know

0:22:59.529,0:23:03.970
I I have my own theory about it and he

0:23:01.929,0:23:06.010
said if Steve Jobs never did one so that

0:23:03.970,0:23:11.500
for it would never make it to the list

0:23:06.010,0:23:14.559
of features but I if you do if you don’t

0:23:11.500,0:23:16.570
need a pivot table you can go numbers no

0:23:14.559,0:23:18.429
problem you can even at the moment of

0:23:16.570,0:23:21.039
share it with somebody you can send it

0:23:18.429,0:23:24.399
as an Excel and nobody will know that

0:23:21.039,0:23:27.850
you did that on on a different platform

0:23:24.399,0:23:31.809
that Excel so I been for a really long

0:23:27.850,0:23:34.000
time now again if I don’t need a pivot

0:23:31.809,0:23:36.159
table leaving in numbers

0:23:34.000,0:23:38.590
mostly for what you described I can

0:23:36.159,0:23:41.409
create it on one device and it will show

0:23:38.590,0:23:44.440
up on on another device without me doing

0:23:41.409,0:23:47.380
any effort and I can even edit you know

0:23:44.440,0:23:49.630
in multiple devices and at the time of

0:23:47.380,0:23:52.149
sharing you can send it via Excel and

0:23:49.630,0:23:54.669
instead converted in Excel and nobody

0:23:52.149,0:23:58.330
will know that you don’t you didn’t even

0:23:54.669,0:24:02.220
had Excel open in order to create that

0:23:58.330,0:24:04.419
so on thatjob Apple has done a

0:24:02.220,0:24:07.120
magnificent job from the first version

0:24:04.419,0:24:12.970
of numbers that that wasn’t true when

0:24:07.120,0:24:14.679
before numbers came to the iPad that was

0:24:12.970,0:24:17.649
actually true and sometimes was

0:24:14.679,0:24:20.889
challenged after they ported to the iPad

0:24:17.649,0:24:24.460
mostly thanks to Microsoft who decide

0:24:20.889,0:24:27.269
not to make a portable version of Excel

0:24:24.460,0:24:29.830
for the iPad and Apple trying to get

0:24:27.269,0:24:32.230
into the corporate world

0:24:29.830,0:24:36.039
Appl understood the only way to get

0:24:32.230,0:24:39.240
numbers strong on their devices was to

0:24:36.039,0:24:42.669
make it fully compatible with Excel and

0:24:39.240,0:24:44.500
it wasn’t on the first version 2010 it

0:24:42.669,0:24:47.890
was on the second version I think was

0:24:44.500,0:24:50.250
2011 where you could really not tell the

0:24:47.890,0:24:52.750
difference between an excel made

0:24:50.250,0:24:55.299
spreadsheet versus a numbers made a

0:24:52.750,0:24:56.919
spreadsheet think you’re hitting on

0:24:55.299,0:24:58.419
probably the most important aspect of

0:24:56.919,0:25:00.960
this is and not to get done in the

0:24:58.419,0:25:04.450
technical weeds but file format

0:25:00.960,0:25:06.700
transparence portability is the key of

0:25:04.450,0:25:08.169
all of this because every time we talk

0:25:06.700,0:25:09.970
about one of these solutions whether

0:25:08.169,0:25:12.970
it’s Apple numbers whether it’s Excel

0:25:09.970,0:25:16.149
online whether Google sheets there’s a

0:25:12.970,0:25:17.710
ceiling you hit in capability and once

0:25:16.149,0:25:19.240
you hit that ceiling you’re going to

0:25:17.710,0:25:20.679
have to take a step through something

0:25:19.240,0:25:22.990
else probably to a desktop client

0:25:20.679,0:25:25.960
probably do something like Excel so the

0:25:22.990,0:25:28.059
portability of that file format without

0:25:25.960,0:25:30.429
having to do a lot of rework when you

0:25:28.059,0:25:32.409
get to the other side make those changes

0:25:30.429,0:25:34.600
and then be able to bring it back it’s

0:25:32.409,0:25:36.070
huge I mean I hear it all the time when

0:25:34.600,0:25:38.289
people will go through and do someone’s

0:25:36.070,0:25:39.669
like I tried to do it in Excel and it

0:25:38.289,0:25:42.429
changed all the formatting and the

0:25:39.669,0:25:44.440
layouts are run well it’s because the it

0:25:42.429,0:25:46.779
doesn’t quite interpret the formats

0:25:44.440,0:25:49.059
right and that’s just incredibly

0:25:46.779,0:25:51.279
frustrating to end-users when we think

0:25:49.059,0:25:53.590
about it when we guide somebody on what

0:25:51.279,0:25:55.690
choices they’re going to make I think we

0:25:53.590,0:25:58.929
have to be able to help them understand

0:25:55.690,0:26:00.460
where is that feeling about the things

0:25:58.929,0:26:01.720
that they’re going to need if they if

0:26:00.460,0:26:04.149
somebody were to ask me you know what’s

0:26:01.720,0:26:06.429
what cloud-based spreadsheet should I

0:26:04.149,0:26:08.260
choose on them whatever them but think

0:26:06.429,0:26:12.010
about exactly where what you need to

0:26:08.260,0:26:13.929
accomplish in the free industry and at

0:26:12.010,0:26:15.580
that point say well do the things you

0:26:13.929,0:26:16.960
want to do just not gonna be able to do

0:26:15.580,0:26:19.630
in the cloud you may not even want to

0:26:16.960,0:26:21.789
start there or everything that you want

0:26:19.630,0:26:23.620
to accomplish absolutely and it’ll work

0:26:21.789,0:26:25.539
exactly a mission as weak you’re using

0:26:23.620,0:26:27.690
your head and Google’s still good

0:26:25.539,0:26:30.190
business it’s a matter of understanding

0:26:27.690,0:26:34.090
capabilities and platforms I think I

0:26:30.190,0:26:36.940
agree and as ice you know throw flowers

0:26:34.090,0:26:40.809
at Apple for how well that change

0:26:36.940,0:26:43.330
between Excel and numbers work okay

0:26:40.809,0:26:48.250
sadly we cannot say the same thing

0:26:43.330,0:26:50.290
when you now go to pages and Keynote if

0:26:48.250,0:26:52.810
you just start on pages you are stuck

0:26:50.290,0:26:55.210
with pages forever you know what you

0:26:52.810,0:26:56.650
know I’m I’m not going to throw flowers

0:26:55.210,0:26:58.060
at Microsoft either because they got

0:26:56.650,0:26:59.870
problems getting stuff between items

0:26:58.060,0:27:02.820
within their own suite of applications

0:26:59.870,0:27:05.530
[Music]

0:27:02.820,0:27:07.870
really well I will I will stand on the

0:27:05.530,0:27:10.030
on the side of free open-source software

0:27:07.870,0:27:12.100
here which is having open document

0:27:10.030,0:27:15.100
formats you know and this is where this

0:27:12.100,0:27:17.650
is why I wanted to have Libre Office on

0:27:15.100,0:27:19.750
on you know sort of discussed a little

0:27:17.650,0:27:22.570
bit here only to the effect that you

0:27:19.750,0:27:26.350
know it’s actually I to Microsoft’s

0:27:22.570,0:27:27.850
credit you know they have and Google as

0:27:26.350,0:27:31.390
well which is that they have both

0:27:27.850,0:27:33.480
supported open document format for word

0:27:31.390,0:27:36.130
processing documents as well as for

0:27:33.480,0:27:37.990
spreadsheet software so now you have

0:27:36.130,0:27:40.180
that ability to be able to go from

0:27:37.990,0:27:42.550
LibreOffice calc which is the desktop

0:27:40.180,0:27:45.520
software equivalent to Microsoft Excel

0:27:42.550,0:27:47.980
or Google sheets and you’re able to take

0:27:45.520,0:27:49.930
those documents and and and those file

0:27:47.980,0:27:53.110
files and you know transfer them between

0:27:49.930,0:27:54.460
each of them and also I will say that

0:27:53.110,0:27:56.860
you know a lot of them actually have

0:27:54.460,0:27:59.200
depended upon one another for being able

0:27:56.860,0:28:01.450
to move forward with these things Google

0:27:59.200,0:28:03.640
looked at Microsoft Excel and just

0:28:01.450,0:28:04.930
reverse engineered its features to get

0:28:03.640,0:28:05.650
it into the cloud you know there’s no

0:28:04.930,0:28:07.450
question about that

0:28:05.650,0:28:09.180
Apple try to I’ll try to be a little bit

0:28:07.450,0:28:11.710
different within the way in which they

0:28:09.180,0:28:14.080
implemented numbers but really they just

0:28:11.710,0:28:17.230
saw Excel and said okay what can we do

0:28:14.080,0:28:18.910
that’ll be new and interesting on top of

0:28:17.230,0:28:21.280
what Excel has already done and

0:28:18.910,0:28:24.100
LibreOffice calc is really it’s supposed

0:28:21.280,0:28:26.410
to literally have software parity to

0:28:24.100,0:28:27.790
Excel so they all left off of one

0:28:26.410,0:28:29.230
another but they’ve been watching each

0:28:27.790,0:28:31.570
other’s development over these years

0:28:29.230,0:28:33.430
playing off of one another it’s it’s

0:28:31.570,0:28:35.620
very similar to retail marketing you

0:28:33.430,0:28:39.490
know the the goal of having a Starbucks

0:28:35.620,0:28:40.900
next to Dunkin Donuts and next to you

0:28:39.490,0:28:43.060
know whatever other coffee shop du jour

0:28:40.900,0:28:44.710
the the reality is is that by having

0:28:43.060,0:28:46.540
that competition you actually drive up

0:28:44.710,0:28:49.210
sales there’s a there’s a saturation

0:28:46.540,0:28:51.670
point that actually increases people’s

0:28:49.210,0:28:54.340
usage and I think that’s kind of a

0:28:51.670,0:28:56.500
corollary to what’s happening today with

0:28:54.340,0:28:57.280
with spreadsheet software I think all of

0:28:56.500,0:28:59.680
us here

0:28:57.280,0:29:02.230
are actually using one or multiple of

0:28:59.680,0:29:04.000
the software because of the fact that we

0:29:02.230,0:29:06.850
were working with people who are using

0:29:04.000,0:29:07.960
that in one environment we need it for

0:29:06.850,0:29:09.280
different reasons in different

0:29:07.960,0:29:11.050
environments and that’s just the nature

0:29:09.280,0:29:13.420
of it today we we’re not going to only

0:29:11.050,0:29:15.460
use one you’re gonna use Google sheets

0:29:13.420,0:29:16.870
in your personal life because you use

0:29:15.460,0:29:19.180
you have a gmail account and a Google

0:29:16.870,0:29:21.160
Drive and use that with your family for

0:29:19.180,0:29:22.420
making a holiday list or whatever it

0:29:21.160,0:29:23.710
might be and that’s what you’re gonna

0:29:22.420,0:29:25.600
use and then when you’re at the office

0:29:23.710,0:29:27.400
and your lock down by potentially

0:29:25.600,0:29:30.430
security as art said you’re gonna use

0:29:27.400,0:29:32.530
Excel so I think we all have to be very

0:29:30.430,0:29:34.300
very conscious of that but I will get

0:29:32.530,0:29:36.640
off on my soapbox just for a moment to

0:29:34.300,0:29:39.130
say that everyone should support open

0:29:36.640,0:29:41.980
document formats you should not have

0:29:39.130,0:29:43.690
proprietary formats for software locking

0:29:41.980,0:29:46.000
you into a particular software I think

0:29:43.690,0:29:49.270
that’s really really dangerous for all

0:29:46.000,0:29:51.400
of us in society not feel trapped by one

0:29:49.270,0:29:52.960
particular software package or

0:29:51.400,0:29:54.790
corporation or another and I think

0:29:52.960,0:29:57.580
that’s really really important for us

0:29:54.790,0:29:59.920
all to to sort of keep in mind I I would

0:29:57.580,0:30:02.640
have to say that spreadsheets are

0:29:59.920,0:30:06.360
probably the most ubiquitous

0:30:02.640,0:30:08.920
unattractive boring aspects of product

0:30:06.360,0:30:12.460
and they’re also probably the most

0:30:08.920,0:30:14.850
frequently used so the best thing anyone

0:30:12.460,0:30:16.560
can do it doesn’t matter what platform

0:30:14.850,0:30:19.540
what

0:30:16.560,0:30:21.610
ecosystem you want to be in take time to

0:30:19.540,0:30:23.020
learn the basic feature sets that are in

0:30:21.610,0:30:25.780
there get comfortable with it

0:30:23.020,0:30:27.900
pick one stick with it for a while so

0:30:25.780,0:30:30.520
that it becomes second nature and just

0:30:27.900,0:30:33.400
use it and if you find that it hits a

0:30:30.520,0:30:35.350
wall use something else there’s nothing

0:30:33.400,0:30:38.470
that’s marrying into a particular item

0:30:35.350,0:30:39.850
unless being forced on it I think that

0:30:38.470,0:30:41.800
was a great description

0:30:39.850,0:30:44.020
you know this spreadsheets are the most

0:30:41.800,0:30:45.850
boring part of productivity but the

0:30:44.020,0:30:48.010
reality is you are going to use them

0:30:45.850,0:30:50.980
regardless you may like or not like

0:30:48.010,0:30:53.680
Excel may like or not like numbers or or

0:30:50.980,0:30:56.920
sheets for that matter but the reality

0:30:53.680,0:30:59.890
is most likely you are going to use them

0:30:56.920,0:31:03.760
and use them often so the only way to

0:30:59.890,0:31:06.940
make that pain less painful is to be

0:31:03.760,0:31:09.100
able to learn to use the product well

0:31:06.940,0:31:11.350
and to be good at it you know the

0:31:09.100,0:31:13.929
reality is for most people there

0:31:11.350,0:31:16.000
struggle with Excel on any spreadsheet

0:31:13.929,0:31:18.250
for that matter it’s a matter of they

0:31:16.000,0:31:20.919
don’t know the tricks and the formulas

0:31:18.250,0:31:24.250
and the stuff to make the job much much

0:31:20.919,0:31:27.400
easier because is boring and they have

0:31:24.250,0:31:29.799
not then spend the time or invest the

0:31:27.400,0:31:32.830
time learning how to make it in an

0:31:29.799,0:31:36.460
easier way spreadsheets are incredibly

0:31:32.830,0:31:38.650
magic and powerful not only from a

0:31:36.460,0:31:42.130
Productivity but even our production is

0:31:38.650,0:31:45.120
point of view so regardless if you go

0:31:42.130,0:31:48.130
desktop or laptop or what it’s needed

0:31:45.120,0:31:49.840
well thank you guys so much this has

0:31:48.130,0:31:51.429
been ProductivityCast the weekly show

0:31:49.840,0:31:53.320
about all things personal productivity

0:31:51.429,0:31:55.750
I’m your host Ray Sidney-Smith with

0:31:53.320,0:31:57.820
my co-host Augusto Pinaud thank you very

0:31:55.750,0:32:00.130
much Art Gelwicks for joining us today oh my

0:31:57.820,0:32:01.929
pleasure looking forward to the next one

0:32:00.130,0:32:04.870
if you use a particular spreadsheet

0:32:01.929,0:32:07.929
software let us know come on over to

0:32:04.870,0:32:10.120
productivitycast.net comment on the

0:32:07.929,0:32:12.130
show notes and just let us know on that

0:32:10.120,0:32:13.990
episode what spreadsheet software you

0:32:12.130,0:32:15.669
use and why you use it we’d love to hear

0:32:13.990,0:32:17.740
from you and potentially any questions

0:32:15.669,0:32:19.419
you have about you know which one you

0:32:17.740,0:32:21.370
might use and why we’ll be happy to

0:32:19.419,0:32:23.140
answer those questions so with that

0:32:21.370,0:32:25.960
we’re signing out here’s your productive

0:32:23.140,0:32:28.539
life thank you very much that’s it for

0:32:25.960,0:32:30.130
this episode of ProductivityCast the

0:32:28.539,0:32:32.950
weekly show about all things

0:32:30.130,0:32:36.809
productivity with your hosts Ray Sidney-

0:32:32.950,0:32:36.809
Smith and Augusto Pinaud

 

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