Love them or hate them, spreadsheets are one of the most ubiquitous tools of business. Spreadsheets can help present a large amount of information in a visually comprehensible way. They can perform calculations for you. They can supply information to other kinds of documents. You might rely on them to make sense out of all kinds of data. Now the question has become which to use, Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel?
Google Sheets is part of Google Drive, a suite of programs comparable to Office. Here are some reasons to choose Google’s product for cost, speed, and ease of use.
Easy to Learn
If you have ever used Google Docs, and compared it with Microsoft Word, you may already guess how Sheets compares with Excel.
One of the great things about adopting Google’s applications is that they’re intuitive for Microsoft users. Since most business professionals already know Word, Excel, and perhaps a couple other programs from the Office suite, transitioning to Google is easy.
Rather than opening another application or program on your computer and waiting for it to load, simply open a new tab within the browser you already have open. Using Sheets is quicker and easier on you as well as your computer. Although Microsoft does offer browser-based apps, their functionality is limited compared with the company’s desktop application counterparts.
Being browser-based also means that multiple users can view the sheet at the same time. Mashable calls it, “a cool collaborative tool for any written project that involves more than one pair of eyes.” You can see who has made what changes and when. You can add comments and suggestions without implementing changes. And, your team can brainstorm from separate locations in real time.
Tap the power of online API’s! With Google Sheets, you can easily connect to other online cloud-based services. And by using a service like Zapier, it’s even easy for non-developers to connect.
Open Huge Files
Both Excel and Sheets limit the size of a spreadsheet you can open. Their current limits for a cloud-based spreadsheet are both 250 MB. However, since Sheets is browser-based, it opens large spreadsheets much faster.. using less computer power. Your Google Sheet can have up to two million cells! You can upload even larger files to your Google Drive.
Auto-Save and Version Back-up
Haven’t remembered to save for an hour, and your laptop battery just died? That’s okay. Google Sheets, like Google Docs, auto-saves every minute and whenever you make a change. That means all users are always looking at the latest version, and you don’t have to stress about file names. However, Google also backs up past versions, so you retain a record of all of your previous work.
Google’s Apps are free to anyone.They do offer a business-level subscription, for $5 per user per month. That’s about the same price as Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based office suite, and considerably less than their desktop version.
Google Sheets Add-Ons
Microsoft is like a walled-garden compared to Google. The latter offers third-party add-ons to extend the functionality of Sheets. Add dynamic content, look up words, even fax your sheet from your computer. Some of the most highly recommended add-ons include:
- Import Sheet: Import data from those old Excel spreadsheets into Google.
- Mapping Sheets: Create maps in your Sheets.
- Yet Another Mail Merge: Create personalized email lists from a Sheet.
- Supermetrics: Pull SEO and social media information into Sheets.
- Remove Duplicates: Does just what the name says.
- ProsperWorks: Integrate this CRM with your Docs and Sheets.
As of July 2016, Google Drive add-ons are available for Android in the Play store.
Now that you have some ideas for why Sheets is the way to go, you need only start using it. Just open a new browser tab, type in Google Sheets, and get started.