Tag Archives: Lists

Stay Out of Excel Hell: 7 Tips for Working with Spreadsheets

Anyone who regularly works with spreadsheets knows the anguish of screwing up said spreadsheets.

It usually goes like this. You’re powering through – filtering, sorting, formulating – until you notice that one row of data looks off. After frantically checking a few more rows, it hits you. Something went wrong in your manipulations, and now you need to start from scratch.

Maybe.

Spreadsheets are great, but they have also destroyed many a nonprofit worker’s day. Fortunately, we can do things to reduce the chance of this happening…and keep calm when it inevitably does.

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You need to document your work. Here are 6 reasons why.

If you won the lottery & left your job today, could your org pick up where you left off?

If your answer was a big fat NOPE, then this one’s for you.

When we talk about mission-driven work, we hardly ever talk about documenting it. And it’s no mystery why. Documentation is time-consuming. Aren’t we all busy enough?

But we can’t keep ignoring this! Documentation is key to making a lasting impact at work. It allows our projects to outlive (you know what I mean) us when we move on from our orgs.

Plus I’m in documentation purgatory right now. So I can personally attest, this task is so worth your while to do early.

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We all need to do better in our team meetings.

Okay, let’s get into this. Confession time.

When I first started working, I LOVED meetings. They were my chance to hear from folks higher up the chain about what the heck was going on at my org! Plus, I wasn’t that busy…back then.

4 years later & everything’s changed. I’m a seasoned grump that has way too much on her plate, which means I’m dodging calendar invites like Leon from the Matrix. If that’s even his name. Is that his name?

Anyways.

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How to Leverage Your Impostor Syndrome

Let’s talk about impostor syndrome, gang. Because although this blog is constantly offering advice about how to do well….like most, your girl suffers with this one from time to time!

Impostor syndrome, for those who don’t know, is a phenomenon driven by feelings of failure, inadequacy or incompetence. Psychology Today describes it as “a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.”

What makes impostor syndrome different from your average unconfidence (inconfidence? disconfidence?) is that it even happens to folks with a track record of awesomeness. Imagine the smartest person you know confessing they feel like a fake, and you get the idea.

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11 Tech Tools to Better Manage Requests

How do you organize your work requests? Have you got your system down?

I’ll be honest: when it comes to task management, I’ve started, abandoned and restarted systems. It’s easy to let ourselves get disorganized when things get chaotic!

But for requests that involve staff (or other constituents), it’s never a good idea to let this slide. You need to proactively capture those needs, stakeholders, and project updates. Otherwise, details slip through the cracks and communication breaks down across teams.

A good process keeps us covered here. We know how to build a framework that guides us in executing requests. We’ve also figured out how our colleagues should reach out to us. Now it’s accountability time: how do we document and manage that process from start to finish?

Grab a coffee. Let’s talk systems.

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