Six Secret Ways How Microsoft Excel Can Make Data Entry Simpler

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How Microsoft Excel Can Make Data Entry Simpler?

It is said that an excel sheet will help you enter and track your data easily. Yes, it’s supposed to make things simple for you. No hassle! However, the torturous data entry tasks will continue to bother you for endless hours, if you are not aware of the six simple secrets.

Well, you might find plenty of free internet tutorials to guide you, but as they say, ‘no free lunch exists’. All the data processing experts out there are aware of this and that’s why they keep know how to use the time-saving tricks and make work simple and fun.

1. Custom-lists

If you are frequently using the same set of data, then create custom lists in your worksheet. This can include data like client’s name, age and department names. Enter the list directly on the dialogue box of the Custom List and then import the data on a worksheet. Once the custom list is added to a specified workbook, it’s available in all existing and newly created workbooks.

It might sound complex to a novice, but a data entry expert should be aware of how to use custom lists and create dropdown lists. It just makes work simple!

2. Drop-down lists

You must have used a dropdown list before – maybe when you were filling out a website form or altering the set-up of software program. Why not add dropdown lists to Microsoft Excel sheets to make data entry quicker and easier.

Dropdown lists reduce errors, prevents typos and spelling mistakes. How? Well, a dropdown list is a cell where specific options are available. For example, you can have a dropdown list with options like Male, Female, Others; or Yes, No, Maybe: or any other customized list of inputs.

You can use conditional formatting for dropdown lists and make priority changes. It helps in highlighting the data and simplifies the data processing work.

3. Checklists

We all use a to-do list to keep ourselves organized and with excel things can get simpler. For data entry work a to-do list is essential. Create checklists in excel sheet and keep track of everything. 

It helps to get a bird’s eye view of how many entries are checked off and the record or note that’s left. You can also use a dropdown list to create checklists and make matters simpler.

4. Use a template

Recreating spreadsheets from ground level can take up a lot of time. Instead select a professional template and you will save on time. There are plenty of templates built-in Microsoft Excel. You just need to explore and navigate to find the tools and templates available. 

While you may not be able to find any ‘perfect template’ for data analytics process, but the formatting of the workbook will have a more professional look and a functional appeal.

5. Data validation Function

Exclude all invalid inputs by putting restrictions upon input valuations in a column. This process can help you weed off any kind of invalid data before it messes up the spreadsheet. 

Shift to the input message and then setup prompts, like ‘Input age with whole numbers, age range from 20-60’. So, the next time when there will be an entry in the data sheet, the user will get a prompt response and also an error message if the entry doesn’t qualify to the specified instruction of the message. 


If you are a pro in data entry work with excel sheets, then VLOOKUP is an open secret. This feature helps you to collect data from different workbooks and excel sheets for generating a comprehensive report.

The list can go on and you might already be aware of one and two, but these are a few things that tutorials won’t tell you. These are small little secrets that data entry experts follow and finish their tasks before time without exerting themselves.

Main tip – VLOOKUP, Templates, Data Validation Function, Drop-down Lists are just a few secrets that make data entry tasks easier. Many data entry specialists do not use them and complain of overburdening of tasks. Use them wisely and work gets done simply!