[techtalk] WORD / EXCEL - Should I Use a Table or a Spreadsheet?

Darci Hanning darci.hanning at state.or.us
Tue Feb 25 15:10:03 PST 2020

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How to choose between the two


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 This Week's Topic: WORD / EXCEL / G-Suite

1. VIDEO & ARTICLE ... Which is Better, a Table or a Spreadsheet?
2. COMMUNICATING ... "Me" vs. "myself"
3. LEADERSHIP ... Broadening the "loop"


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WORD vs. EXCEL - Should I Use a Table or a Spreadsheet?

[Table or Spreadsheet]

I was helping a colleague get her email list organized so that we could import it into a marketing program.

The problem was, she instinctively chose to use a Table in a Word doc to neatly set up the information because it was all text -- no computing of data was necessary.

However, when she tried to import the list into the email web tool, the required file type format was a spreadsheet (or .csv file).

Do you ever wonder when you are setting up a list of data elements … if it would be best to use a spreadsheet (or Google Sheet) or a table in Word (or a Google Doc)?

Tables and spreadsheets are great for presenting data in a neat and orderly fashion and for manipulating and sorting data. But, when should you use which?

The two of them are similar in that they both display information in columns and rows. However, they have their individual strengths and weaknesses. There are times when using one over the other truly has advantages.

Table or Spreadsheet... How to Choose?

So what things should you consider when wondering which to use?

Choose a Table in Word (or Google Doc) if:

[Table or spreadsheet]

·     Your information is text... mostly words or sentences.

·     If there is data in the table that contains numbers, you are limited to simple calculations<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=0015QSzqkjx8cns31wsvTVhJB-pxefiT_QRpZyCS4QxJSE-45FOJa56PNebHTphckptKcCFbgwJS1ag3YFaxWkR0MvqlObU25w6UZfr70Ve0KZQFZlBXO46td8iVgCnnUZwhuWGeWaD9zsNlE-f5TTNC2RT8f295ZWWgqiEgm3mUx2eFb-UnyUA2w9gA6HOLIs8&c=hoyE1NXv_C0jxCy7Dyv6WK3BZo65g-rHIcioexG6UVDw1xI7y--WAA==&ch=ApYajc9Q2bfmopieMMfqsZiqJ2USOJ66JFbKKBrees_To2a2rjR-VQ==>.

·     When the information you have in a Table will fit on a Word page.

·     And when you want another way to display lists of information in an organized way, appealing way.

Choose a Spreadsheet in Excel (or Google Sheet) when:

[table or spreadsheet]

·     Your data is mostly numeric and you plan to do a lot of calculations or the mathematical functions you will perform are complex.

·     You want to present your information to others in the form of charts and graphs.

·     You are importing into another program -- like a web tool that requires an .xlsx (Excel) or .csv (comma separated values) format so that the data will map correctly.

·     You are setting up data for a mail merge -- for labels or envelopes.

·     You need the ability to sort and filter the contents by multiple levels.

·     When you want to do analysis of data... like with the use of pivot tables.


Communications: Grammar
Is it Me or Myself?

Well I was surprised the other day when I received an email from a well-known online entrepreneur. He is known in the industry as a heavy-duty money maker.
We're talking millions of dollars.

So when the very first sentence had a grammatical error, it stood out like a sore thumb.

"I want to bring you up to speed on a problem that's starting to
really concern myself and many of the other industry leaders."

Did you catch it?

It's the use of "myself" instead of "me."

"I want to bring you up to speed on a problem that's starting to
really concern myself and many of the other industry leaders."

That was followed with yet another instance of poor grammar.

"He asked myself, along with other entrepreneurs to..."

No, no, no. These should be:

"I want to bring you up to speed on a problem that's starting to
really concern me and many of the other industry leaders."

"He asked me, along with other entrepreneurs to..."

Here are the rules for using "me" vs. "myself."

·     "Me" is used as an object. (Example: The songs are written by me.)

·     "Myself" is a reflexive pronoun used when you are the object of your own action – i.e., when "you" are doing something to "you." (Example: I could write the songs myself, but they sound better when they are written by Barry Manilow and me.


Leadership Thoughts To Consider
#8 – Broadening the loop

I have said in previous articles that managers are deluding themselves.

What do I mean by that?

I believe that a certain delusion occurs when managers and supervisors think things are going better than the team does. There's a gap in understanding how engaged everyone is.

I think this delusion happens partly because leaders want to see the best in their people. They think highly of their employees. So they assume everyone is engaged.

But here's the problem. Managers are "in the loop." That means that they know (for the most part) what's going on. They are high enough in the organization where their bosses keep them informed.

There's a certain comfort in that. It's a position of safety, of power, to have the knowledge ... be in the loop.

And with comfort, comes the forgetting of the pain of being on the outside. When you're in the loop, the discomfort of not knowing goes away.

Why does this happen? Because it isn’t instinctive to tell others, to make sure they are in the inner circle.  The information, the sharing of what you know ... gets put aside.

As a result, you have two groups ... those in the know (managers) and those who feel left out, on the outside.

Being an egalitarian leader means trying your best to keep everyone "in the loop" as much as possible. Show them respect by communicating openly with them.

What can you do?

Make a list of all the ways you can make sure the people around you are kept better informed. Make them feel they are "in the loop." Generate a habit of sharing. You'll gain their respect and support.


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Darci Hanning, MLIS
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