1-Hour Website Course: Oct. 12

The next session of my 1-Hour Website mini-course will start on Thursday, Oct. 12.
WordPress Transp logo_500x500WordPress.com is the fastest and least expensive way to get a professional looking website up and running. No programming language is involved. Join thousands of photographers, bloggers and  small businesses creating new WordPress sites each day. In this hands-on course, you will learn how to get a site up quickly, how to refine it with the right design, how to add new content quickly, and how to format pictures for the best impact. Continue reading “1-Hour Website Course: Oct. 12”

Create Your First Website

WordPress logoThat’s right. You can create your own website. And the amazing thing is that it won’t even cost you anything! What makes such a thing possible? Why, WordPress, of course.

In an earlier post we talked about how you can set up an account at WordPress. Now I’ll show in step-by-step detail how you can create a real website. The site is a simple training site, but the skills you will learn will enable you to create your own site that can help promote your business or make your mark on the world.

Click here for the complete instructions in PDF form.

Excel Charts: Tip Sheet & Exercise File

 

Chart_collage_2The Charts & Graphs feature of Microsoft Excel is one of the app’s most popular features. With a few mouse clicks, you can create an decent chart. With a few more, you can create a really impressive one.

To help you create charts, we have put together a handy one-page Tips Sheet and an exercise file showing the three most popular types of charts.

How to Set up a WordPress Account

WordPress logoThe easiest way to create a website is to use WordPress, but before you can use WordPress, you must first set up an account. Don’t worry – it’s free, and you only have to do it once. Plus, once you set up your account, you’ll have the foundation of your first website already finished.

Click here to get a PDF file with complete and easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up an account and start work on your first website. In the next post we’ll show how you can turn this site into one you could be proud of.

How to Create a Budget Report with Excel’s Amazing SUMIFS Function

The Advanced Budget Project — Part D: The Budget Report

A budget is probably the most important spreadsheet you can create. A good budget will keep you focused on your ultimate financial goal and help you avoid pitfalls like that adorable timeshare on Aruba.

Gold coin icon to indicate savingsNow we are at the last part of our four-part Advanced Budget Project for Microsoft Excel 2016 on Windows. This is the crucial part where we find out how we are doing relative to our budget. In the first three parts, we created the Budget itself, a Ledger to keep track of our expenditures, and a Pivot Table to summarize our actual expenditures.

In this part, we will set up the all-important Budget Report, that is, a comparison of budgeted versus actual expenses. After going through the trouble of recording all of our expenses, this Budget Report will tell us if we are on budget or not. The pivot table we created in the last part already gives us a good summary of our expenditures. Ideally, we would like to insert some columns into the pivot table where we could display the budget estimates right next the actual expenses. Unfortunately, pivot tables are too inflexible for this. We could copy the pivot table values into a second table that would be more flexible, but this starts getting complicated real fast. Fortunately, there is much more direct way.

If we want to compare our actual expenditures with our budget, we need to summarize our actual amounts, and the best way to do that is with an Excel function called SUMIFS. You may already be familiar with the SUMIF function, which is handy for adding up numbers that meet a certain condition. And yes, if all we wanted was to find the total expenses in each category and did not care about the month, the simple SUMIF function would be fine.

But for our summary, we want to add up the expenses based on two conditions, Category and Month. For example, we want to see the total Groceries expenses for each individual month: Jan, Feb, and Mar. The SUMIFS function is perfect for this. Unlike the simple SUMIF function, it can add up items according to any number of different conditions. And unlike the pivot table, the SUMIFS function updates itself automatically. Think of that last “S” in SUMIFS as standing for “Super”.

Because of space considerations, we will do a Budget Report only for the first quarter of the year. The procedures for the other quarters are exactly the same.

As mentioned above, this project was done using Excel 2016 (updated by Office 365) running on Windows 10. Most if not all aspects of this project can be performed on other versions of Excel, but the exact instructions may differ.

Click here for step-by-step instructions in a PDF file

Click here for the Excel file

How to Summarize Data with a PivotTable

In the first two parts of our Advanced Budget Project for Excel 2016 in Windows, we set up the Budget itself and then created a Ledger table to keep track of our expenditures. In the Ledger table, we set up filters using Excel’s Slicers so that we could see the total expenditures for each expense category and each month. The Slicer buttons are slick, but it will be tedious to use them to examine every single category and every month. There must be a better way.

And there is, of course. The fastest and easiest way to summarize a table is to use Excel’s PivotTables. This amazing feature has somehow obtained the reputation of being difficult, but I will let you in on a secret: Even though Pivot Tables are incredibly powerful, they are also surprisingly easy.

In this third part of our Advanced Budget project, we will set up a Pivot Table to see how the expenditures in our Expense Ledger are doing. In just a handful of mouse clicks, we’ll be able to peruse a summary of total expenses for all categories and months at the same time. We’ll also use two Excel features to give us a visual summary of our expenditures. Sparklines will show us a basic look at how our expenditures vary month to month, while a Pivot Chart will give us a much more detailed look.

Once you create a Pivot Table, you will be amazed at how easy it was. But don’t tell anyone. Let everyone continue to believe that this feature is too difficult for most people. And, of course, they will all be very impressed when you create them so quickly.

For instructions on Creating a PivotTable, click here.

For complete instructions on the Advanced Budget Project along with other projects in our Advanced Excel Course, click here.

— Rich Malloy

New WordPress Course

  • The One-Hour Website: How to Create a Website with WordPress

    WordPress Transp logo_500x500WordPress.com is the fastest and least expensive way to get a professional looking website up and running. No programming language is involved. Join thousands of photographers, bloggers and  small businesses creating new WordPress sites each day. In this hands-on course, you will learn how to get a site up quickly, how to refine it with the right design, how to add new content quickly, and how to format pictures for the best impact. We will also discuss how to get your new site noticed by Google. Students need to have an email address/account that they can access from the classroom. The course is taught at Norwalk Community College by Rich Malloy, MBA.

  • Click here for details at NCC.
    2 Sessions, Thursday 6:00PM-9:00PM Begins 6/15/2017
    Tuition: $99

Advanced Excel Budget Project: Part B – The Ledger

Having a budget is a great first step. Now that we created a budget in the first part of this project, we must follow that budget, or at least try to. This means categorizing and adding up perhaps hundreds of expenses throughout the year. As we shall see, Excel has special functions that will make categorizing and adding a breeze. But first we have to record all the expense data into a table we call the Ledger.

A Ledger is simply a record of all income and expenses. In this part of the project, we will create a ledger for expenses. Later the fun will begin when we conjure up some special magic in Excel to see if we are on — or off — budget.

For instructions on Creating a Ledger, click here.

For complete instructions on the Advanced Budget Project along with other projects in our Advanced Excel Course, click here.

Advanced Excel Budget Project: Part A – The Budget

A budget is probably the most important spreadsheet you can create. A good budget will keep you focused on your ultimate financial goal and help you avoid pitfalls like that adorable timeshare on Aruba. Budgets are surprisingly popular among rich people. You would think that wealthy people have so much money that they do not need a budget. But according to the book The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko, most wealthy people in fact do have budgets, which may be part of the reason why they are rich in the first place.

In this project, we are going to set up not only a budget, but also a ledger to keep track of expenses and a budget report to show how our actual expenditures compared with our budget. This project presents an ideal case for taking advantage of some of the more advanced features of Excel.

In this first part of our Advanced Budget Project, we are going to set up the actual budget. A budget is simply a plan, in this case a plan for getting and spending money. Like all plans, budgets do not fare extremely well when they come up against reality. But that may not entirely be the point. President and five-star general Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

Click here for more information.

Advanced Excel – Summer Class

As part of its summer session, Norwalk Community College is again offering an Advanced Excel class taught by Rich Malloy. Most people who use Microsoft Excel are familiar with only a few features of this amazingly powerful application. In this hands-on course, students will learn how to use the more robust features of this vitally important business tool.

The logo for Excel 2016 from Microsoft

The course includes a review of Excel’s database features such as Pivot Tables along with the powerful Lookup functions. Students will then learn how to automate data input with Data Validation, how to check formulas with auditing tools, how to use Excel’s new tables and slicers, and how to take advantage of the power of macros and the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) programming language.

The four-session course is being made available by the college’s Extended Studies & Workforce Education Division. The first session starts at 6 pm on Tuesday, June 6. Tuition is just $229. Go to www.norwalk.edu to sign up, or visit the campus (directions). The CRN number for the course is: 6871.——————–—————————