Do We Overuse Excel? Know Your Alternatives

It’s the age of endless possibilities when it comes to virtual tools and platforms which cater to the needs of any project. So why are we still using spreadsheets? Here are some of our favorite Excel alternatives.

Is Excel overrated?

We’ve all worked with Excel, we’ve all struggled to learn complex formulas, shortcuts, and pivot tables. In the end, it all ends up looking like the very same periodic table that makes our eyes water and our heads pound. And although, working with and having a good command of Excel is a must for many professions and roles, not everyone needs to create a spreadsheet every day.

Why do we use Excel?

If you ask any colleague or friend if they use Excel or some type of spreadsheet daily, there is a 99% chance that they will say yes, and there is also a good chance that they don't use it for the same things you use it for.

Using Excel and spreadsheets has become an unquestioned requisite skill in corporate jobs. Some organizations are reluctant to introduce new tools in the fear that it will be too hard to learn and could cause more complications than it’s worth–but a lot of the time, these tools could do the job a thousand times better. Especially when it comes to New Work methods, it’s important for modern companies to stay agile and be open to change. Yes, there is a world in which you don't have to google "excel formula for...".

The Wall Street Journal quoted Kevin McNeill, Chief Financial Officer of Pure Cycle, saying that "Excel is an extremely valuable tool, but I think most companies, including us, rely on it too much," and we at Collato strongly agree.

We’re aware that spreadsheets are super helpful–we’re not suggesting that you need to drag the Excel application into the trash (how tempting does that sound though…) It's not for nothing that it has been so much in demand to visualize data, organize information, and analyze statistics, among other reasons. However, it lacks some functions that are indispensable for specific tasks.

Top 5 Excel alternatives

Finding Excel alternatives and its spreadsheet can be simple and complex at the same time. As in any search for tools to improve your work, you must know your needs and objectives to determine if the "X" tool will meet your expectations. Here are 5 Excel alternatives that you can use to excel in your tasks.

Collato - OKR management

Who, us? Indeed! You can perform many tasks on Collato–which is why we have a template for each use (editorial calendar, social media planning, and product roadmap just to name a few). But today, we want to highlight OKR planning and alignment. Do you know how complicated it can be for a company to keep up with proposed objectives using Excel spreadsheets? Collato makes achieving progress together as a team easy, transparent, and enjoyable for everyone. Instead of having to remember to enter data into an excel sheet every other week, with Collato, you can visualize progress with images, screen shares, graphs, and text. Colleagues are able to comment and react to updates, making OKR check-ins actually engaging and enjoyable. We strongly believe in aligned goals as an answer to the current challenges of distributed teams, and we want to encourage each team member to contribute with enthusiasm and pride.

Give purpose to your team's daily work

Set your organization up for success with OKRs.

Hubspot - Contact database

Many teams use spreadsheets as a database of their business contacts. But with Hubspot, you will never have to add information or make updates yourself manually. Hubspot is known for its many marketing features. Still, we believe that when it comes to database management and CRM, this tool is one of the best because it allows you to create reports, schedule meetings, receive notifications, and more.

Centage Budget Maestro - Business budget

Yes, we know Excel is an excellent tool for numbers and accounting topics. But if there are specific tools to meet your budgeting needs, why not take a look at them?

Centage Budget Maestro is a complete product with several dedicated pre-programmed business units, and most importantly, you don't have to enter a single formula, which for many people can be a big plus when thinking about this Excel alternative.

Sprout Social - Social media analytics

If you're one of those who looks up metrics on each social media platform and then copies/pastes them into a spreadsheet to keep track, let us tell you that there's a simpler way to do this process. With Sprout Social, you can drill down into the performance of a single platform or quickly compare results across multiple networks at once.

Plus, you can quickly organize and share all the data with easy-to-understand reports ready for your presentation. Are you ready to step up your reports?

Splitwise - Shared expenses

Are you going on a trip with family and friends and want to keep track of the expenses, write down who has paid what, and then do the calculations to help you see how much each person owes?

You no longer have to resort to a spreadsheet and inserting formulas and registering everything by hand. Splitwise is a simple way to share expenses and stop stressing about "who owes who." It is very simple to use, and all you have to do is write down the money that each member of the group has spent on each activity. Then, the application will automatically distribute the amount to be paid by each member.

Explore your options

While we’ll all still be using Excel for a long time to come, keep in mind that alternatives are developed for specific cases to make your life easier. And there you have it, five alternatives to Excel have made our day-to-day work easier! Did we forget any of them? Let us know on LinkedIn.

Marketing Manager
From Venezuela, Maria is a marketer by day, and a Netflix addict by night. She is curious about different topics, so be ready to read insightful blogs about the Future of Work, leadership, female empowerment, and more.