Why you should switch to Google Sheets.
As a Project Coordinator at Aequilibrium, one of my responsibilities includes consolidating timesheets and preparing financial summaries. When I first started at this company, most work of this nature was done using MS Excel and I noticed a couple of problems with it.
Here are the issues I immediately noticed:
- The sheer volume of data was slowing down opening and working on a file
- The version of the file reached a limit of cell formats and caused numerous problems with the file (seriously Microsoft?)
- Limited real-time collaboration on a file
- Working with MS Excel on a MacBook is not a pleasant experience
- Unable to view data linked to closed spreadsheets
Due to the above reasons, I decided to look into Google Sheets as a possible alternative. After we switched over all of the time-tracking and financial summaries, the problems mentioned above disappeared!
Here are five reasons why you should also consider making the switch from MS Excel to Google Sheets:
Google Sheets is just as powerful as MS Excel. Yes, there used to be days when you had to use Excel because Google Sheets just offered a light version with very few formulas, however, those days are long gone. Google Sheets now has several formulas that if not at par with MS Excel, come very close to it. The user has an option to reference data from other sheets and other spreadsheet documents (without the need to open them), making it an exceptionally powerful real-time tool.
Google Sheets is cloud-based and easily accessible across many different devices, operating systems and browsers. It works across major operating systems (i.e. Windows, Linux, iOS, Android) and also most web browsers (i.e. Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari). You can now make any last minute edits to your spreadsheet while headed to your important meeting. Google takes away the headache of managing your own server to keep track of your files. Each time your file is “saved,” you know it’s safely stored on Google’s server which is guarded better than Fort Knox.
We all know how it goes. You were working on your Excel spreadsheet and something went wrong with your computer. You then realize, “Shoot! I forgot to click save.” You open an AutoSave file and of course it doesn’t have all of your work in it. Well, that’s the beauty of Google Sheets—you’ll never have to worry about this being an issue! If something happened to your connection, you won’t even be able to log in data. If something went wrong with your computer (i.e. it froze, it crashed, you decided to throw it out of the window), all the data will still be stored. How? It’s because Google literally saves edits from each cell update.
Even if you put your MS Excel document on Dropbox, OneDrive, or some other cloud solution, collaborating on that document is a nightmare. It’ll require one person to make changes and the other to wait until s/he finishes. In other words, you’ll get a folder with two different versions of the document and consolidating it would make a grown man cry. With Google Sheets, collaboration is as real as it gets—multiple members of the team can work on the same document at the same time, write comments, provide suggestions, and even show a revision history.
As with many things that Google does, it’s quite difficult to beat them on price. However Microsoft comes to par with Google if you want to receive an online version of MS Excel, PowerPoint, and Word with their Office 365 Business Essentials package. If you’d like to get the actual MS Excel application, your company would have to pay $10/user per month (with an annual commitment). Nevertheless, Google Apps package for $5/user per month (with no annual commitment) is the best deal you can get, especially if you want to get a Gmail account for your business e-mail.
Let’s face it: Google Sheets is great, but the tool isn’t ideal for all cases. Let’s dive into some cases where you might want to change your mind regarding the switch:
Unfortunately Google Sheets can’t come into comparison with MS Excel and the amount of different types of data visualization options it has to offer. Excel allows a user greater freedom in terms of formatting charts, changing layouts, and styles. Therefore, if your spreadsheets heavily rely on data visualization or you need to have impressive charts for client meetings, you may want to think twice before making the transition to Google Sheets.
MS Excel gives users the ability to customize the toolbar at the top, thus, enhancing their ability to work faster, especially if s/he employs the same tools repeatedly. Also, users that are accustomed to using Excel shortcuts will have to adapt to Google Sheets’ as many shortcuts have different hotkeys.
At Aequilibrium, it made sense for us to make the switch from MS Excel to Google Sheets. Your organization may differ. However, after reading this post, I hope you’ve gained some insights into both programs. Now, the choice is yours to make!
Project Coordinator at Aequilibrium Software