In spreadsheets, I have now moved from Microsoft Excel to Google Sheets as my favourite app.

  • It is faster to fire up quickly for a small calculation doodle
  • It also snappier in use to do the basic things, entering data and moving around
  • It has some neat functions (like automatically cutting up a string and putting all words, numbers in subsequent columns)
  • While I don't believe in online collaboration of presentations, for models it is actually useful that all the people in the team have access to the laters numbers 24/7
  • Filing and naming of presentation documents is usually pretty organised. With spreadsheets however, I always lose that calculation I did, and the Google search function is really helpful here.

Part of this might be rooted in the way I use spreadsheets: basic functions only, even for the biggest models. I "grew up" with Lotus 123 and early on in my McKinsey career realised that errors in a valuation model can make a difference of billions of dollars. A simple model is far easier to debug because it allows you to see every step in the calculation.

If you liked this post, why not subscribe to daily updates about presentation design via email? Just blog posts, no spam, or you can follow Jan on Twitter to never miss a thing.