Do you want to be more creative in Excel?

As the universal desire to have good luck, everybody wants to be more creative and smarter.

Come with me, I will show you how in Excel…

As a prerequisite…be prepared now for refreshing two old concepts because you will use them: deduction and induction.

No Logic classes now…so don’t worry; these capabilities are hard-wired in your brain. Let’s go into some detail and see how these two notions can help you in Excel…

What is Inductive reasoning?

You use the inductive reasoning when you get hurt with hot water and you conclude that all hot liquids hurt.

Inductive reasoning uses premises from objects that have been examined to establish a conclusion about an object that has not been examined (source Wikipedia).

For example: if you delete a cell that is referenced in a formula and get the error REF, you can conclude that the error REF appears each time you delete the referenced cells of a formula.

The second capability is Deductive reasoning…

You use deductive reasoning when you start with a premise (truth) for example: hot liquids hurt, so you know if the water is hot, and you get in contact with it, you will be hurt. So it is deriving a conclusion by reasoning. You infer a conclusion about particulars that follow necessarily from general or universal premises constructs.

For example: if you read the Excel help about the REF error (the truth)…

“Occurs when a cell reference is not valid….possible causes: Deleting cells referred to by other formulas, or pasting moved cells over cells referred to by other formulas”

You can conclude…because I delete this referenced cell I will get a REF error.

To summarize the two forces…

Induction = prediction after the fact occurs

Deduction = prediction before the fact occurs

You can become a monster in Excel if you start using these concepts consciously.

I will show you now 2 amazing inductive/deductive tips that work…

1) Master all the Excel tools AFTER mastering just ONE – Inductive reasoning

Users want to master all the commands, formulas and tips, however, if you focus on just one tool and really become a master of it, you can derive amazing truths that apply to other commands and functions as well.

Going deep brings a lot of benefits. For example, when you understand how Excel dates work, you can predict how Excel will sort dates, how to enter dates in any function or formula, what happens when you format them differently and so on.

You can then predict the behavior of any Excel feature in different scenarios! Now you are more resourceful and creative.

If you truly understand how English work first, you can imagine new phrases or ideas for an essay or writing. The same with Excel. For example, after understanding how Excel VBA language works, your mind will be blown by the macros you can create to save massive time at work.

2) Use all the Excel tools BEFORE mastering them – Deductive reasoning

I don’t know if you are part of this group, but a lot of Excel users say “how can I create a solution if I don’t know the tools that exist for that solution”.

To find creative solutions, you should know beforehand the tools exist. For example: you cannot wait to figure out how to use your cell phone camera at the moment of a casual event because you will fail to capture the moment. Skills must be developed before they are needed.

Improve your creativity by imagining the possible applications of tools and functions. The best news is that you can play with tools before you need them. It’s free and no-risk, just back-up your file and if something goes wrong, just restore it.

The same applies to Excel.

Keep learning new Excel tools and their likely applications, when the opportunity appears, you will open the toolbox that you already have and know what tools you have available to perform that task.

When you find a new formula or command, read more about it, see examples and depict in your mind the uses you can give to it. The opportunity to use it will come and you will know which functions to apply.

Where can you find information and the truth about Excel tools and commands?

  • Forums
  • Excel help
  • Other spreadsheets
  • Articles
  • Books
  • Blogs
  • Courses

That’s all for today!

All the best

John Franco

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