Monday, November 20, 2017

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Microsoft Excel Users

The 2017 holiday season is officially upon us here in the United States which means it’s time for my annual gift giving guide. I used to panic every year whenever my spouse, parents, and siblings asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I needed to give them an idea otherwise I’d end up with an ugly sweater or some random gadget I would never use.

So to help alleviate some of my stress I started compiling my own holiday gift guide. It’s kind of like the big toy catalog you used to get as a kid, only this is for adults. I’ve made a list of items I think would be very useful or exciting for your fellow Excel users, sorted by different categories. Some of these items I already use on a daily basis and others are things that are on my own personal wish list. Enjoy!

MY GO TO EXCEL BOOKS


Excel 2016 Bible - The complete guide to Excel 2016, from Mr. Spreadsheet himself! Whether you are just starting out or an Excel novice, the Excel 2016 Bible is your comprehensive, go-to guide for all your Excel 2016 needs. Whether you use Excel at work or at home, you will be guided through the powerful new features and capabilities by expert author and Excel Guru John Walkenbach to take full advantage of what the updated version offers. Learn to incorporate templates, implement formulas, create pivot tables, analyze data, and much more.



Excel 2016 Power Programming with VBA is fully updated to cover all the latest tools and tricks of Excel 2016. Encompassing an analysis of Excel application development and a complete introduction to Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), this comprehensive book presents all of the techniques you need to develop both large and small Excel applications. Over 800 pages of tips, tricks, and best practices shed light on key topics, such as the Excel interface, file formats, enhanced interactivity with other Office applications, and improved collaboration features.



If you’ve ever thought to yourself “there has to be a better way to do this,” while using Microsoft Excel, then know you're probably right. There probably is a better way to complete your tasks you just don't know what it is and you don't have time to read a boring, expensive, thousand page manual on how to use Excel. 76 Excel Tips to Increase Your Productivity and Efficiency is for you. No fluff, just Excel tips and tricks you can put to use right away.


OTHER BOOKS WORTH READING

Nowhere in the world is there a more bizarre theme park than Happy Fun Land. Nike Farmington’s twelve years of thrill-seeking and roller coaster riding has brought him to exotic locales like Perth, Australia, Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands, and Santa Claus, Indiana. He's marathoned a roller coaster for ten consecutive hours and conquered the world’s tallest and fastest. Yet nothing has prepared him for the insanity of Happy Fun Land and it’s mind blowing attractions: a drop ride with no brakes and a death simulator, just to name a few. Will Nike survive his hilarious adventure through the world's craziest theme park? I thought this book was hilarious and I think you will too!


Will It Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money by Pat Flynn. I’ve been following Pat’s blog and podcast for a number of years, and you might have seen some of his tips at work on my site. If you’re new to the online business world, this book is fantastic. Lots of practical steps to take to prove whether your idea has validity or not. Over 700 reviews and a five star rating, that's impressive!



Another quick, shameless self-plug. Where are the most terrifying roller coasters found? Who designs them? Which park builds the craziest rides? Find out by reading my book 50 Groundbreaking Roller Coasters. Another reason for including this book on this list is to show you a real life usage of Excel. How's that? Because this is one of the books I wrote using an Excel spreadsheet!



Tools for the Job


Laptop Privacy Screen Protector. Whenever I visit a customer I always take my privacy screen protector for my laptop. It keeps your personal or confidential information safe from prying eyes as you’ll see the information on your display while people on either side only see a darkened screen. If you’re ever on an airplane or in a coffee shop and feel like your neighbor is constantly looking over your shoulder at your screen then you need to get one of these today!



A Good Quality Laser Pointer. This laser pointer always comes in handy when it’s time for a meeting or presentation. Plus, it doubles as a toy to keep your cats entertained.



TechSmith Snagit takes the hassle out of creating images and videos. Capture your screen, edit images, and deliver results. Snagit is also the only screen capture tool with built-in advanced image editing and screen recording. So you can easily create high-quality images and videos all in one program. Quickly explain a process, build visual-based documentation and be more engaging by adding images and videos to your communications. It's the tool I use to create all the images for Excel Spreadsheets Help and well worth the price.


Keyboard Case for Tablets. How do I get so much done, especially when I’m traveling on the road a lot? I use a combination of a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and my new Keyboard case. They’re small so I can take it almost anywhere and the keyboard allows me to do things like type out this blog post, reply to your email questions, and write Excel macro code.



Excel Quick Reference Sheets - Laminated quick reference showing step-by-step instructions and shortcuts for how to use Microsoft Office Excel 2016 (Windows Version). Written with Beezix's trademark focus on clarity, accuracy, and the user's perspective, this guide will be a valuable resource to improve your proficiency in using Microsoft Excel 2016. This guide is suitable as a training handout, or simply an easy to use reference guide, for any type of user.



Microsoft Surface Tablet. Need to use Excel on the go put don't want to lug around a larger laptop? A Surface tablet is great way to go.



Dimmable Eye-care LED Desk Lamp. A great lamp and exactly what I was looking for in a new clip on lamp for my drafting desk. It has six different light settings so I can find the right lighting for all of my needs. It is well built, works great besides being stylish.Besides using at work can use at home as a reading lamp too.


USB Heated Mouse / Hand Warmer. I'm not sure about you but the office at my day job can get really cold during the winter, especially after weekends or holidays. One solution I've found that helps is a heated mouse to keep you hand warm while not impacting my ability to get things done.



Toys, Tech, Gadgets, and Others


In my little free time from working and being a dad, I like to play around with my Samsung Gear VR headset. Virtual Reality is really taking off and the technology is getting much better. Though be warned it may cause motion sickness if the app you’re looking at doesn’t perfectly track your head movement.


Solar Powered Christmas Lights. I love putting up Christmas lights and trying to out-do my neighbors, but I have to admit I feel a little guilty about using the additional electricity. Luckily I found these solar powered Christmas lights and they actually work very well! They’re environmentally friendly and they automatically turn on and off each night. They also don’t have to be attached to a power source so I can put them in areas I normally couldn’t string lights.

Dash and Dot – programmable robots. If you’re into programming things like Excel  macros and you want to teach your kids the joys of programming then I’ve found the perfect gift for you. These cute robots are designed to help introduce children to the wonderful world of programming. Oh, and they’re fun for adults too! Can’t wait to use this with my son in a few years. For now he just likes watching me drive it around with my phone.


Fitbit Alta. Let’s face it – us engineers nowadays sit in front of a computer a lot. I didn’t realize how much I wasn’t moving until I started wearing a Fitbit. It now helps me to stay motivated by tracking all-day activity like steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes so I can stay healthy for my family. When I’m sick I can’t answer your Excel questions and help you out, so I use Alta to help stay in shape and on top of my game!


Amazon Prime Membership. If you haven’t joined Amazon Prime yet, why not? I do almost all my shopping online and I get free two-day shipping on nearly everything. You can also borrow books, watch movies, and stream music. Get your Prime Discounted Monthly Offering here.


YOUR SUGGESTIONS?


Are you putting any of these items on your holiday wish list? If so, let me know which ones in the comments below. Do have anything you’d like to recommend to me?