Skip to content

VIEW BY TOPIC

Get Weekly Coaching Tip

FOLLOW US

Related Posts

Ready to Grow Your Business Fast?

Here’s How I Grew Five Businesses, and Eventually Sold One to a Fortune 500 Company.

excel

10 Useful Tips for Making Excel Checklists

Checklists are a great way to stay organized and ensure that all of your tasks are completed. But if you’re not using the right software, they can be a pain to create and manage. Excel is one of the best programs you can use.

Excel is a powerful tool that can help you create beautiful and functional checklists. With a little bit of know-how, you can use Excel to streamline your checklist-making process. Here are 10 tips to get you started:

  1. Use conditional formatting to highlight overdue items. 
  2. Create drop-down lists for easy data entry. 
  3. Use icons or color coding to visually organize your Excel checklist. 
  4. Take advantage of Excel’s filtering features to quickly find what you’re looking for. 
  5. Use data validation to prevent errors. 
  6. Protect your checklist with a password to prevent accidental deletion or modification. 
  7. Save time by creating a template. 
  8. Use keyboard shortcuts to quickly insert or delete rows. 
  9. Use formulas to automate your checklist. 
  10. Track progress with charts and graphs.

1. Use Conditional Formatting to Highlight Overdue Items

excel

If you’re using your checklist to track deadlines, then it’s important to be able to quickly see which items are overdue. You can do this by using Excel’s conditional formatting feature.

To use conditional formatting, select the cells that you want to format and then click on the “Conditional Formatting” button in the “Styles” group on the “Home” tab.

In the “Conditional Formatting Rules” dialog box, select “Format only cells that contain” from the first drop-down list and then choose “Cell Value” from the second drop-down list.

Next, enter the criteria that you want to use for highlighting overdue items. For example, you could use a formula like =TODAY()>A2 to format all cells in column A that contain a date that is greater than today’s date.

Click on the “Format” button to choose how you want the overdue items to be highlighted. For example, you could use a red font color or a cell fill color.

Click on the “OK” button to apply the conditional formatting rule.

2. Create Drop-Down Lists for Easy Data Entry

If your checklist contains items that fall into predefined categories, then you can make data entry easier by creating drop-down lists. This way, you can simply select an item from the list instead of having to type it out each time.

To create a drop-down list, select the cells that you want to contain the list and then click on the “Data Validation” button in the “Data Tools” group on the “Data” tab.

In the “Data Validation” dialog box, select “List” from the “Allow” drop-down list.

Next, enter the values that you want to be included in the list, separated by commas. For example, if you’re creating a list of tasks, you could enter something like: Call John, Send Email, Follow up with Jane.

If you want to allow multiple selections from the list, then select the “multi-select” option. Otherwise, leave it unselected.

Click on the “OK” button to apply the data validation rule.

3. Use Icons or Color Coding to Visually Organize Your Checklist

Excel’s built-in conditional formatting features can be used for more than just highlighting cells. You can also use them to visually organize your checklist by adding icons or color coding to items that meet certain criteria.

For example, you could use a green fill color for items that are completed and a red fill color for items that are overdue. Or you could use icons to indicate the urgency of an item or the level of importance.

To add icons, select the cells that you want to format and then click on the “Conditional Formatting” button in the “Styles” group on the “Home” tab.

4. Take Advantage of Excel’s Filtering Features to Quickly Find What You’re Looking For

If your checklist contains a lot of data, then you can use Excel’s filtering features to quickly find the information that you’re looking for.

To filter a list, select any cell in the list and then click on the “Filter” button in the “Sort & Filter” group on the “Data” tab.

This will insert drop-down arrows next to each column header. You can use these drop-down menus to filter the list by criteria that you specify. For example, you could use them to only view items that are overdue or items that are assigned to a specific person.

5. Use Data Validation to Prevent Errors

If your checklist is used for data entry, then it’s important to make sure that the data is entered correctly. One way to do this is to use Excel’s data validation feature.

Data validation allows you to specify the type of data that can be entered into a cell and also provides you with the option to create drop-down lists. This way, you can control the format of the data and also make sure that only valid entries are made.

To use data validation, select the cells that you want to validate and then click on the “Data Validation” button in the “Data Tools” group on the “Data” tab.

In the “Data Validation” dialog box, select the “Settings” tab and then choose the type of validation that you want to use from the “Validation criteria” drop-down list.

You can also specify a custom error message that will be displayed if an invalid entry is made.

Click on the “OK” button to apply the data validation rule.

6. Use Formulas to Automate Your Checklist

If your checklist contains items that need to be completed on a regular basis, then you can use Excel’s formulas to automate the process. For example, you could use a formula to calculate the due date for each item based on the frequency with which it needs to be done.

To do this, select the cell in which you want the formula to be entered and then type =TODAY()+7 (or whatever interval is appropriate). This formula will calculate the due date as seven days from the current date.

You can also use formulas to automatically flag items that are overdue. To do this, select the cell in which you want the formula to be entered and then type =IF(TODAY()>A2, “Overdue”, “”). This formula will check the date in column A and will return the word “Overdue” if the date is in the past. Otherwise, it will return an empty string.

7. Use Pivot Tables to Analyze Your Checklist Data

If your checklist contains a lot of data, then you can use Excel’s pivot table feature to summarize and analyze that data. Pivot tables allow you to quickly see how your data is distributed and also to identify any trends.

To create a pivot table, select any cell in your data and then click on the “PivotTable” button in the “Tables” group on the “Insert” tab.

In the “Create PivotTable” dialog box, make sure that the correct data range is selected and then choose where you want the pivot table to be placed.

Click on the “OK” button to insert the pivot table.

8. Use Conditional Formatting to Highlight Important Items

excel

Excel’s conditional formatting feature allows you to quickly identify items that meet certain criteria. For example, you could use it to highlight items that are overdue or items that have been completed.

To use conditional formatting, select the cells that you want to format and then click on the “Conditional Formatting” button in the “Styles” group on the “Home” tab.

In the “Conditional Formatting Rules” dialog box, click on the “New Rule” button.

In the “Select a Rule Type” dialog box, select the type of rule that you want to create and then click on the “OK” button.

9. Use Macros to Automate Repetitive Tasks

If you find yourself performing the same task over and over again, then you can use Excel’s macro recording feature to automate that task. Macro recording allows you to record your actions and then play them back later.

To record a macro, click on the “Developer” tab and then click on the “Record Macro” button in the “Code” group.

In the “Record Macro” dialog box, enter a name for your macro and then choose where you want to store it. 

Click on the “OK” button to start recording.

 Perform the actions that you want to automate. When you’re finished, click on the “Stop Recording” button.

Your macro will now be saved and can be run by clicking on the “Run Macro” button.

10. Use Templates to Save Time

Excel comes with a wide variety of built-in templates that you can use to save time and effort. Templates are pre-designed spreadsheet files that you can use for various purposes such as invoicing, tracking inventory, and managing projects.

To access the templates, click on the “File” tab and then click on the “New” button.

In the “Available Templates” section, select the template that you want to use and then click on the “Create” button.

Excel will now create a new workbook based on the template that you selected. You can then modify it to suit your needs.

Checklists are a great way to organize and track information in Excel. By following the tips above, you can make sure that your Excel checklists are efficient and effective. Stay safe!

small business coach