While others find Excel very easy to do (as perhaps they have been exposed to the program due to the nature of their work), most people have trouble optimizing the use of excel as an efficiency tool—for example, in organizing and providing a reference for keeping your various contact in order through its address book function. Here’s how to get started:
- Bring out all your contact information. Before starting to open that new file, bring out your cell phone, old address books, calling cards and other sources of information that you currently have with you that is useful to you and that you want to include in your file.
- Begin by opening the program. Excel automatically opens up to a new file. You can create a new one, but it’s best to just click on “save as” early and use a file name that is easy to recognize. This can be as simple as just saying your name followed by “address book” (example, “Noelle address book”).
- Set up the columns. Organize your contacts into columns and groupings. For example, for Column A in sheet 1, write in the column head “NAME”, and in each row below in, write all your contacts names starting with the surname first. Use Column B to identify “TYPE OF CONTACT”, where you create a labeling for each contact that will help you to easily filter them later. The easiest groupings are either “Personal” or “Business” groupings.
- Define contact information columns. Still creating more groupings in columns as you go from left to right, start to place the requested information you can find in a typical address book such as “home address”, “business address”, “home phone number”, “business number”, “mobile”, “fax number”, “email address”, and so on. Today’s contact media requires that you be able to identify as many contact columns as possible. You can even add “state”, “country”. Etc. This all depends on how many contacts you have and how much you would like to filter or group your contacts by in the future.
- Begin to fill out the sheets. You can use the different sheets of excel for different letters, much in the same spirit of the traditional address book. Each sheet can correspond to the first letter of the surname. This way, no matter how many more contacts you end up adding over the years, your information will always be organized.
- Learn to use filter commands. This will help you to do quick searches or do groupings depending on what your needs are. For example, you may want to throw a reunion party for old schoolmates in the coming month. Since you have filters, it then only becomes a simple matter of clicking on the proper column so that only the “schoolmate” tab shows, with all the proper contacts corresponding to that grouping. The filtering system is an efficient way to immediately group together the individuals you need to contact for this list.
The wonders of Excel can be explored further by enlisting in short term courses for this. Definitely the potential of this program as a grouping tool will be more efficient as you go along studying it and working at it regularly.