Delete What You Don’t Need

Compare transferring a spreadsheet to renting your house via Airbnb. It remains more neat when you clean it first, right? Messy stimulates messy, neat stimulates neat. Remember an average spreadsheet will have 12 users after you! What would happen when the chain starts with a messy file?

Excel Guideline 05: Delete What You Don't Need :: PerfectXL

So, create a draft calculation first, and throw it away when the definitive calculation is ready. When you created a pivot table or graph for data analysis, throw them away after use.

Worksheets That Aren’t Used

The most common and infamous mess is a worksheet no longer in use. We visit customers weekly, experienced spreadsheet users, who tell us “ow, just ignore that sheet, we don’t use that anymore”. I think you can guess our answer: throw it away! Not only because it is hard to judge for the next user whether it can indeed be thrown away, but also because often, there are numbers in there that are in use. However, they have not been updatet in months. You will only discover this when you clean out your spreadsheet.

But Maybe I’ll need it Later?

What to do when you are in doubt? Sometimes you do not know whether a worksheet is still in use. In that case it is best to save the file with a clear name, like “report juli 2017 incl. alternative cashflow calculation”. Then delete the extra worksheet and save the file under its original name.

Of course we advice the use of PerfectXL for this situation too. Our visualizations show which worksheets are used in one view. 

Excel Guideline 05: Delete What You Don't Need - Spreadsheet Visualization :: PerfectXL

A final tip: have a look at named ranges (via formulas -> name manager). Are there any unused ranges in there? Sure? Delete what you don’t need!

A tidy house equals less work after rental, positive reviews on Airbnb and a guarantee of renting it out again.

Never miss a Guideline!