This tutorial will help take you from an absolute beginner, or basic user, of Google Sheets through to a confident, competent, intermediate-level user.
Google Sheets is a hugely powerful tool, for everything from digital marketing to finance modeling, from project management to statistical analysis, in fact, just about any activity involving the recording and analysis of data.
And if you’re (relatively) new, it really pays dividends to learn how to use Google Sheets correctly. This tutorial will help you transition from newbie to ninja in short order!
If you’re new to Google Sheets, then I recommend you start from the beginning of this article.
However, if you’ve used Sheets before, feel free to skip sections 1 and 2, and begin with the Data and basic formulas section.
A template is available for copying to your Drive, to accompany this tutorial:
In this post we’ll look at how to calculate a running total, using a standard method and an array formula method. We’ll cover the topic of matrix multiplication (take a deep breath, it’s going to be ok!) using the MMULT formula, one of the more exotic, and challenging formulas in Google Sheets.
If you like video tutorials, here’s the one on MMULT:
It probably won’t surprise you to hear that I use Google Sheets to build financial/budget templates and track my incomings and outgoing, both at home and for my business.
The dashboards available through online banking sites are pretty rudimentary and don’t give me much insight into what’s happening with my finances, particularly over longer time frames.
I like using Google Sheets, as opposed to another third party service like Mint, because it’s fully customizable, it’s easy to use and I can share any spending or budget templates easily with my wife.
I’m not a financial expert, so I won’t be dispensing any financial advice here. I won’t opine on what you should or shouldn’t show in your spending and budget templates in this post, nor will I talk about what your financial goals should be or how to get there.
What I will do in this post however, is show you some useful techniques in Google Sheets that you can use for building your own budget templates. Techniques to make them more insightful and more helpful for reaching your goals. They are:
In a nutshell, the problem occurs because dates in Google Sheets are actually stored as serial numbers, but the Query function requires a date as a string literal in the format yyyy-mm-dd, otherwise it can’t perform the comparison filter.