4 Ways to Master Google Sheets


Teddy Higgins

According to Business Insider, Google Suite, which includes Google Sheets — the incredibly popular alternative to Microsoft Excel — has over 2 billion users. And while Google has had to compete with the long-dominating Microsoft Excel over the years, Google Sheets has continued to gain traction, winning favor among a growing group of individuals, startups, growth-stage firms, and even corporations. 

While Google Sheets is simpler and more user-friendly than Excel, it can still be difficult to learn. Whether you’re just getting started by figuring out how to name your sheet — or you’re mastering pivot tables, graphs and VLOOKUP — you need a trusted, reliable and readily-available source from which to learn.  

But the truth is, everyone learns differently. Here are four approaches to learning and mastering Google Sheets based on different learner personas: The Student, The Autodidact, The YouTuber, and the Top Performer.

A student studying.

The Student

Who are they? 

The student is a pro at self-directed learning. They conduct research to find the best online courses, and commit their time to completing them. They see tremendous value in learning and mastering new skills, and — just like with college — the student is willing to financially invest in courses to get the experience they’re after.

Learning style?
They loved being in class, and frankly, they miss it. The student enjoys reading assignments, attending lectures, and project-style work.

What’s important to them?
There are so many courses out there that it can be difficult to choose one. For the student, it’s important to choose the right course, to maximize their learning ROI. That’s why we’ve curated a list of some of the best online courses.

Course Recommendations for The Student

LinkedIn Learning: Google Sheets Essential Training

This course requires a subscription to LinkedIn Learning, which costs $29.99 per month. Although the course length is 1 hour and 52 minutes, it will likely take closer to 3 hours, including quizzes and breaks.

This LinkedIn Learning course has 4.7 out of 5 stars from hundreds of reviews. Designed for beginners,  topics include naming a spreadsheet, deleting rows, using sum, average and minus functions, and sharing a spreadsheet with others.   

Udemy: The Complete Google Sheets Course: Beginner to Advanced

This course normally costs $129.99 but can be bought on sale for $24.99. Fun fact: If you sign up for Udemy’s newsletters, you’ll get alerted to their sales. We can’t speak to their exact sales calendar, but they happen frequently enough that it’s worth signing up to stay in the loop.

This course takes at least 8 hours to complete, spread across 66 lectures. It has been rated 4.6 out of 5 stars with more than 6,000 reviews. Like its title implies, this course takes you from beginner to advanced, so buckle up for a long ride. Topics covered include connecting multiple Google Sheets, data visualizations, formulas and data analysis. If you’re looking to go from zero to 100, this is your best bet.   

An autodidact reading.

The Autodidact

Who are they?
The autodidact is an online reading expert. They might as well have earned the nickname “internet explorer” before Microsoft coined the term. They look for expertise from a variety of sources, and learn primarily by reading.

How do they learn?
The autodidacts are masters at finding the best articles, e-books, and how to guides. Whether it takes hours, days or weeks, the autodidact eventually consumes half the web — mission accomplished. And the best part is: they typically don’t have to pay  to learn via articles and free e-books. 

Bookmarked by The Autodidact
If you’re an autodidact, you probably already have a list to start with, but — like the rest of us — you’re always short on time. Here’s a list to get you started. 

Zapier: Google Sheets 101: The Beginner's Guide to Online Spreadsheets

Zapier integrates with over 4,000 apps and automates workflows. Zapier’s product works with Google Sheets, so the people at Zapier wrote about how to best use Google Sheets. Their e-book covers how to create a spreadsheet, fill it with data, format your data, perform operations on your data, move your data, and more.

HubSpot: The Ultimate Guide to Google Sheets

HubSpot makes sales, marketing, customer service, and content software. They write authoritatively on a wide array of tech topics. Their guide covers common terms, conditional formatting, macros, formulas, and more.

Hiver: The Definitive Guide to Google Sheets

Hiver is a customer service application for GMail. Sticking with their Google product knowledge, they took on Google Sheets. Get ready to read with this one. It’s not a quick journey; it’s a cross country odyssey! It covers functions, graphs, heat maps, analyzing data, currency conversions, data security, and much more.

A You Tuber vlogging.

The YouTuber

Who are they?
The YouTuber subscribes to dozens of YouTube channels, binge watches daily, and asks friends why they even have Netflix. The YouTuber has collected a wide range of knowledge — some of it helpful, some, well, less so. It’s possible that some of their “research” has been spent watching all of the cute cat videos on the internet. But you know, to each their own! 

How do they learn?
This one is easy — they’re visual learners who love to discover the world of marketing by watching a variety of videos across a various expert and branded YouTube channels. They look for established brands, as well as up-and-coming startups and individual experts. 

Videos for The YouTuber
Learnit - Google Sheets Beginner Tutorial

This beginner tutorial is from Learnit Training, which is an upskilling service that companies partner with to train their workforce. It’s over an hour long. The video covers basic functions, simple calculations, inserting rows and columns, sending sheets as emails, and more.      

freeCodeCamp - Google Sheets - Full Course

This video from freeCodeCamp.org comes in at over 3 hours long. freeCodeCamp.org is, as the name implies, a free way to learn coding and earn certificates. The video covers formatting, importing data, filtering data, charts, and more. 

Learnit - Google Sheets Advanced Tutorial

Another one from Learnit Training. It’s over 1 hour and 30 minutes. This one covers more advanced topics such as single and multi-level sorting, filter by condition, sparklines, pivot tables, VLOOKUP, managing permissions, and more.  

The Top Performer

Who are they? 

The top performer gets the most accurate answer, and they get it quickly. They don’t have time or money to waste on the wrong option. 

They’re dead set on getting their work done efficiently, growing their business, mastering their domain, getting that promotion, and becoming experts themselves. And you know what? Their boss has been noticing!

How do they learn? 

Top Performers look for quick, accessible answers from trusted and vetted resources. They do their homework to ensure their go-to sources are reputable, and available on-demand. They have a bench of trusted mentors and experts.

A Go-To Source for The Top Performer
When the top performer looks for quick, accurate, and cheap answers, they go to Hopps.io. Whether it's for your whole team or just your productivity secret, get ready to get unstuck. Hopps.io matches you with an expert for a 1:1 video chat that targets your problem, answers your questions, and gives you the leg up you’ve been hoping for — whether you have a one-off question, or need a partner to help you design a strategy that delivers.     

As we all know, the internet is vast and there are many options for learning Google Sheets. It all depends on your preferred learning style, how much time and budget you can dedicate to mastering the tool, and who you turn to when you need help.

Have a favorite go-to resource? Let us know by adding a comment on LinkedIn