Month: March 2024

Annual clarity inspection

I am clearly a new car owner, because until a few days ago I had no idea that I have to perform an annual New York State safety inspection. If I don’t, I could face fines, and will also not be able to renew my car registration.

Interestingly enough, learning this actually made me happy, despite the hassle of spending time out of my day to get the car inspected, because it meant that everyone else is subject to the same rigorous procedures.

Not only do all individual car owners benefit from this, but everyone else benefits as well because it reduces the number of accidents and injuries.

So why is there nothing like this in Excel?!?

To be fair, I believe it would be quite an overreach for some regulatory agency to swoop in and require quality control over your private spreadsheets.

Having said that, instead of an annual safety inspection, perhaps a self-directed annual CLARITY inspection could be a positive thing.

How many times have you received a spreadsheet from a colleague or a client, and had no idea what you were looking at?

Sadly, it happens to me all the time.

The number one step we can take to address this issue?


Use comprehensive and succinct labels for everything in your spreadsheet. For example:

  1. Sheet names
  2. Headers for all your columns in your data tables
  3. Labels next to complex formulas

And the list goes on and on.

Even if you don’t plan on sharing your spreadsheet with anyone, using labels will help your future self understand what you were doing.

Plus, once you develop the habit it takes almost no time or effort, and has a huge payoff down the road.

Looking for another pair of eyes to check the clarity of your spreadsheets? Comment with “clarity inspection” and we can get the clarity ball rolling.

#carownerlife #safetyfirst #clarity #labels #sharingspreadsheets #excelwell #sharetheexcellove

Excel germs

Eight full days after a visit to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and we are all still suffering from the stubborn virus we picked up during our trip.

In an ideal world, only healthy children would visit these museums, and even then everything would be thoroughly and regularly disinfected to prevent any diseases from spreading.

In reality, our experience at any children museum has been a 100% chance of an enjoyable trip, along with a 100% chance of infection.

As we continue to nurse ourselves back to health, I encourage everyone to think about their Excel spreadsheets, and all the “Excel germs” that might be lurking in the shadows. Specifically:

  1. Do you have inconsistencies in your data?
  2. Is your data structured in an organized and scalable manner?
  3. Do you have various errors or broken formulas that you haven’t fixed yet?

If you answered “YES” to any of these, I highly encourage you to scrub and sanitize your spreadsheet.

That way, your future self, and anyone else you planned on sharing your workbook with will not get “infected” with the extra work and hassle of cleaning up those mistakes later.

Not sure where to start? Leave a comment briefly describing your Excel germs, and I’ll see how I can help you make a full and speedy recovery.

#goodtimes #natureofthebeast #excelgerms #savetime #excelwell #sharetheexcellove

Teaching & learning with the cat in the hat

Sadly, my Hebrew skills are quite subpar, despite the fact that it was my first language as a baby. And yet, for years I did not take the time to re-learn. Only now with the desire to teach my own kids Hebrew am I actually putting in the effort and learning the language once again.

The beauty is that teaching forces me to fully understand a topic, inside & out, backwards & forwards. Plus, there’s a pretty good chance that my student will appreciate the new knowledge, even if it isn’t for many years :).

Another benefit of teaching Amina Hebrew with the Cat in the Hat book is that we are both already familiar with the story. It doesn’t have to be an exact translation for us to get a sense of what the Hebrew words mean.

One example of how I make things familiar for my Excel clients is by offering curriculum customization in my training programs. I receive sample spreadsheets from the client, create my own mock data (without any sensitive information), and use it in the hands-on exercises during the training program.

If you’d like to learn more about how I can customize curriculum for an Excel training program at your organization, I’m only a comment or a message away.

#learnbyteaching #bilingual #makeiteasyforthem #catinthehat #parentwisdom #excelwell #sharetheexcellove

Hallway learning opportunities

Never could I have predicted that my kids would actually REQUEST that we go into the hallway of our building and look at apartment numbers. What started out as a rainy day activity, has somehow turned into one of my kids’ favorite things to do.

I believe the main reason they aren’t bored is that each time I approach the activity from a slightly different angle. For example, after mastering apartment numbers, I started teaching new words like light, heater, windows, vents, and most recently door knobs, locks, peep holes, and doorbells.

I am always trying to push the envelope and keep Amina engaged and challenged. Barak is only 15 months at this point so everything is new and exciting regardless :).

Part of why I love teaching Excel is because no two students learn exactly the same way. To be effective, I cannot simply teach the same material in the same way over and over again.

Instead, I need to find a perfect teaching harmony of speed and difficulty level. In other words, teaching at the right pace/timing, and at a level of difficulty that is not too advanced or too basic.

It’s no accident that all of my live training programs consist of hands-on exercises that students can complete at their own pace. In addition, the level of difficulty increases as they progress through the exercises, with a challenging & optional bonus exercise at the end.

At the end of the day, students will get out of the training whatever they put in, but at least there are learning opportunities everywhere, and mechanisms in place for them to find their perfect learning harmony of speed and difficulty level.

When was the last time you had an “ah-ha” moment, perhaps in an unexpected place? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

#alwayslearning #applyyourself #keepitinteresting #parentwisdom #excelwell #sharetheexcellove

Plan on adjusting your plan

I had all kinds of plans for my kids this morning – we were going to visit the library, have some outdoor time at a nearby playground, and then meet up with my wife a little bit later.

Then reality kicked in – my son Barak fell asleep in the car before we got to the library, and 20 min later, my daughter Amina also fell asleep.

Instead of rigidly sticking to my original plan, and waking them up prematurely, which would have cast a storm cloud of crankiness on the rest of the day, I adjusted course. I let them both sleep in the car, picked up my wife, and we got lunch earlier than originally predicted.

The best part is that from my kids’ perspectives, everything was seamless and highly enjoyable. They will never know the adjustments what took place behind the scenes.

As far as I’m concerned, that is how it should be in parenting, just as in any Excel project. No amount of planning in Excel will take into account every possible scenario, so I have learned over the years to roll with the punches and adapt as needed.

Fortunately Excel is one of the most agile and powerful programs ever made, and with the right foundation of skills, it is fairly easy to make adjustments as you go to any project you are working on.

Looking some guidance on how to better roll with the punches? I can help with that! Leave a comment with “roll with the punches” and I’ll have my people call your people.

#dynamicworld #flexibility #frazzlefreezone #parentwisdom #excelagility #excelwell #sharetheexcellove