Excel New Year’s Resolutions 2010

NewYears What will you do better in Excel next year? Do you have any Excel bad habits that you’ll break? Are there any Excel skill areas that you’ll improve?

Based on the questions that I see in the Excel newsgroups and forums, lots of people could resolve to do one or more of these things:

  • Save your Excel files every few minutes as you work on them. Jan Karel Pieterse has a terrific (and free) Excel add-in – AutoSafe – that will automate the saves for you, and it’s way better than Excel’s built in autosave feature.
  • Make backup copies of every important Excel file, and update those backups regularly. Yes, something will go wrong eventually, and those backups are lifesavers.
  • Add an instruction sheet to your key Excel files and complex worksheets. Then, if you’re away for a holiday, your co-workers won’t have to call you with frantic questions, or mess things up on their own. Maybe that’s what happened to the banking industry.

My Excel Resolutions

Here are my Excel goals for 2010:

  • Spend a couple of hours each week working with the Excel 2010 beta, and PowerPivot for Excel add-in, so I’m ready to roll when the final version is released.
  • Make better notes when I write and edit code. Sometimes it’s clear what the code is doing, but I can’t remember why I decided to do things a specific way. A few notes could save time and frustration later.
  • Update my Pivot Table add-in so all the features work in Excel 2007. Jon Peltier is planning a series on creating Excel add-ins, so that could give me some ideas for improving my add-in.

Your Excel Goals for 2010

What about you? Do you have an Excel goals for 2010 that you’d like to share?

Making your Excel resolutions public might help you stick to them!

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8 Responses

  1. Hi Debra,

    Thanks for the plug of Autosafe. Couldn’t live without it myself.

  2. David says:

    I can attest to the importance of backups, especially on a secure medium. I had backed up information but the backups went bad, so I was in trouble. I recommend making sure you have the best backup medium possible. Check out millenniata.com for a new product that has tremendous life for backups and won’t go bad.

  3. Barbara says:

    I always have my excel sessions on manual calculation, calculate on save. I find I save regularly, to get the calculations to work, and if my session crashes, which it does at least once a week, I do not lose much and never tick the restore option which takes so long.

  4. Happy New Year, Jan Karel! Thanks for making Autosafe available.

    Thanks Barbara, that’s an interesting approach to saving, and sounds like a good way to remember.

  5. JP says:

    I’m planning on (finally) porting my Random Data Generator add-in to .NET. Not really an Excel thing, though.

  6. Chandoo says:

    Thanks for some wonderful tips. I have been using Mozy to backup my data regularly (learnt the hardway when my laptop crashed in july last year).

    This year I am hoping to write more often, make 1-2 new products and see if I can make it on my own without my day job.

    Thanks for all the help and new ideas you share Debra, they are truly outstanding. Wish you a very happy new year 2010.

  7. JP, good luck, and I’ll watch your blog for the announcement about the Random Data Generator update.

    Chandoo, thanks, and I’ve started using Mozy too. And congratulations on receiving the Excel MVP award again this year.

  8. Contextures Blog » Resolve to Stay Safe in Excel says:

    […] mentioned AutoSafe in my Excel New Year’s Resolutions 2010 blog post, oh so long ago. Of course, I’ve kept all my resolutions — how about […]

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