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Excel Links – What are your plans for 2010 Edition

excel links - 9 comments

So we are in 2010, dawn of a new decade. In fact everyday is a start of new decade, as my friend Jon reflects on twitter. So what are your plans for this year and decade?

As for me, I haven’t really jotted down any new year resolutions. So I am using this post as a public-new-year-resolutions-of-pointy-haired-dilbert.

  • Run 20k: I have a dangerous record for stamina. Even though I have been running for 2 years now, I never crossed the 15 k mark. In fact last year I ran 10k several times, but I just don’t have the stamina to push past 15k and reach the 20. So this year, I am hoping to push my self to do that.
  • Release online excel training program: I have been planning and jotting down ideas for last 6 months, but never really got around to doing it. I think its time I did this. I want to release an online excel training program this year. It will be a 6 week program and focus on key excel skills to make you a star at your day job. If you have some ideas on topics to cover, delivery mechanism or general suggestions, please tell me using comments or writing to me on my email – chandoo.d @ gmail.com
  • Travel less: Since I got married in 2007, I have been traveling a lot. Last year alone I have worked in 3 countries and spent 6 months away from my family. This is just futile. I am hoping to not go anywhere in this year. I just want to stay in one place be with Jo and the kids.
  • Do what I enjoy, more: that is writing this blog, connecting with awesome readers like you, staying in touch with my close friends, being there when one of the people in my life need me.

What about you? what plans do you have for this year? I am *really* interested to know what keeps you going. Please share.

Ok, on to this week’s excel links.

How to build Excel Addins

?My friend Jon takes up the task of teaching us how to write an excel add-in. These posts may not make sense to those of you just starting with excel. But for those of you with some VBA knowledge, this series is a gold mine of information and insight. In the above post, Jon tells us how to write module functions in VBA by showing an example function that can clean up excel charts. I am following these posts so that one day I can build the GET ME A DONUT excel add-in 😉

Making your own “Hello World” button in Ribbon

DDoE shows us how to make a simple “hello world” button on Excel Ribbons using XML. This post is in the same league as above Jon’s post. But very useful if you are ever planning to make your own add-ins or custom spreadsheet solutions.

Edit Multiple Sheets using Group Feature

Excel king, which is a new blog on excel and charting shares in interesting tip on editing multiple sheets. If you have several worksheets with same formatting (like Monthly sales sheets etc.) you can select all the sheets and make changes in one and excel automatically applies the changes to others. Very useful.

An Excel Tree Map Addin

Ajay at Databison releases an excel tree map add-in. Using this you can make an instant tree map with your excel data. Treemaps “display hierarchical (tree-structured) data as a set of nested rectangles. Each branch of the tree is given a rectangle, which is then tiled with smaller rectangles representing sub-branches [more on wikipedia]”. Ajay is selling the add-in for $15, which I feel is a bargain. If you have plans to make treemaps with your data, save yourself few hours of time and get a copy of the tree map add in.
[disclosure: Ajay sent me a copy of the add-in so that I can review it. I also make some commission when you get a copy of this]

Rental Popularity of Movies – NY Times Visualization of Netflix Data

In this beautiful visualization, NY Times shows us what is popular on NetFlix Rentals. I am a big fan of NYT visualizations. They teach so many good lessons on making better charts and this one is no exception. It is interactive, provides ability to switch dimensions, lets you analyze the data and best of all of all it is an ego chart. (Ego chart is a chart with some component that everyone can connect to. For eg. a chart showing ideal BMI by Age is an ego chart because almost everyone gets curious to know what their ideal BMI is when they look at this chart)

That is all for this week’s links. You have a fun week ahead. I will see you tomorrow with an excel tip that will make you a star at work.

Related: browse more excel links | send me a link


Hello Awesome...

My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Visit Excel for Beginner or Advanced Excel pages to learn more or join my online video class to master Excel.

Thank you and see you around.

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9 Responses to “Excel Links – What are your plans for 2010 Edition”

  1. Clarity says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    Good luck with your resolutions. For my part I plan to push our company forward in 2010 (hoping for economic recovery in UK this year) and push myself physically with some triathlons and trail runs. I also intend to visit your site whenever possible, put into practice the excellent tips that you give us all and where possible contribute via your blogs and forum. Work life balance is also extremely important to me as I have two young boys who I want to spend as much time as possible with.

    Excel Training:
    We offer bespoke Excel training (ideally one to one). As part of this we use a modular system split into beginner, Intermediate and advanced. In this way the client selects the elements (functions, formulae etc) that they want to learn about from any of the sections rather than being tied to a complete intermediate course that main contain items that are of no use to them. This seems to work well for our clients. Perhaps you could build this into your online delivery?

    For us a key element of the course is applying the learning to the client's own daily job and where possible carrying out some analysis/write a report at the end of a course with them. I guess this would fit into a tutorial style element for you, although this could get pretty heavy to manage for you given the volumes I'm sure you will attract.

    Excel Addins:
    I recently created an addin to contains some of my User Defined Functions (UDFs). The Addin has allowed me to share these functions with associates and clients.

    Another Addin I have used previously creates a custom toolbar with macro buttons on. Please let us know when you've cracked the donut addin!

    Tree map looks interesting. Going to sit down with a coffee to digest it.

  2. Phil says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    thank you so much for mentioning my blog. I also want to mention that your page provides a lot of daily inspiration for my Excel projects. Wonderful stuff you have around here, especially the challenges and workshops are always worth doing them.

    Again thank you and all the best for 2010.


  3. Alex Kerin says:

    Best wishes for this year. On a personal side I want to grow my business and make it self-sustaining - 2010 will be make or break..

    For your Excel video series I would concentrate on concepts with limited how-to. I find it difficult to use video on a step-by-step task - always having to pause the video, rewind, etc. For example - how about a video on pivot tables - why are they so useful, how easy are they to use, what business/data problems do they solve, why use them over other methods? Also, using the 'new' table functionality in Excel 2007 - why using them makes so much sense. Even things like autofiltering, recording macros - what can you do that saves time. I think most people get to what they need in Excel eventually, it just takes them a massive amount of time.

    But I would urge you to deliver the concepts, the ideas -certainly show the feature, but provide step instruction in a different format - maybe even a paid-for instructional 😉

    Again, best wishes and regards. Alex.

  4. ergoman says:

    With regard to the Excel Tree Map Addin. There are several free ones currently available. I did not try the demo for the one that have posted but have using this one (http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/3f3ed95e-26d8-4616-a06c-b609df29756f/default.aspx) from Microsoft Research for more than a year. I really like it and it is free.

    By the way, I just started following your blog about a month ago. It is absolutley the best Excel and charting blog that I have seen. Great content and detail. Thank-you for your hard work. I hope you find a way to stay at home this year!

  5. Russ says:

    Resolutions: Play more with my 4 children (15, 12, 10, 7), run more with my children, complete three 1/2 marathons (did 2 last year), decide between the classroom or administration . . .

    By the way, for your running resolution, just change one run per week to be the longest you have ever run, even if it is only by .5 mile, then after two weeks increase it again until you get to the distance you want to race. Before long you will run a 1/2 marathon! I like to call these my "Threshold Run" and make it a challenge mentally, even if the time isn't as fast.

    I work in education with lots of testing data and love all the tips and tricks!

  6. Rob van Gelder says:


    I prepared for my first half marathon by doing a few 12km runs a week. This was obviously a very poor training programme, and I really suffered for it for days after.

    My second go was when I trained for my the Kerikeri half marathon by following the guide (PDF) downloaded from their website (http://www.kerikerihalfmarathon.co.nz) - from the Event menu, choose Training Programme. It worked well!

  7. [...] for us to make goals and set our sights high. Last year, I did not have a startup. So I just had a few personal goals. But this year, I want to set some clear goals for my business and work towards achieving [...]

  8. [...] As for the new year plans, I think it is fair to review how the plans I made last year worked out. Last year, my goals were, [...]

  9. Michael says:

    Hi, Chandoo
    I like you resolutions and especially the choice to be near your twins as they grow up.
    Mine is to learn as much from your site and if possible lear VBA. I have always loved the magic in macros and VBA. and also the wonderful things Excel does. My collegues have also learnt from me a lot and recently one referred me to your site which i have religiously read every day. i just admire the many thing in it. Please continue with the plan to introduce Excel lessons. I have always fered spending online but i hope to trust and spend on this one. because i like to learn alot of excel and if possible Access too. I have an accountancy background thus the reason for loving excel.

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