As good as I am with most of Microsoft Office’s different features, I’ve always been awful with Excel. Even way back when I took a beginner’s class in computers after using them for years (it was a requirement for the degree I was working on), I could do everything but get Excel to behave properly. Since then, I’ve used it for very limited things, like tracking with Christmas presents I bought or making rudimentary schedules for employees at my seasonal job. I’ve always wanted to use it for more: tracking my freelance gigs, creating a database of all the articles I’ve written, and so on, but as soon as I see the word “formula,” my brain thinks “math” and shuts down. With Lynda.com and all the tutorials on using Excel, I’m finally learning how to actually use it for something useful.
About two weeks ago, I wrote about Lynda.com and how much I was enjoying exploring the different tutorials on the site. Check out that first post to learn a bit more about what the online service has to offer. I’ll reiterate the key points though.
Key Points About Lynda.com
- Over 80,000 different lessons, with new courses added weekly.
- The layout of the lessons makes it easy to skip to the parts you really want to know about.
- Covers just about everything from 3D animation to Web and Interactive programs.
- Your membership fee gets you full access to every single lesson on the site.
- Courses have transcripts, so you can easily refer back to the lessons without having to watch the whole video again.
There are so many benefits to using Lynda.com, you really have to explore the site for yourself.
Learning Excel on Lynda.com
The first course that I viewed was the Excel 2010 Essential Training lesson. I figured that was the best place to start, since it covered pretty much all the basics and then some. It’s a 6+ hour course, but I was able to skip a few things, since I did at least know how to create a work sheet and what not. I did watch the segment on finding the functions that you need because MS Office 2010 is completely different to me than the other versions that I used. In fact, I really need to watch a Word lesson just so I can figure out where they put all my favorite options!
This tutorial had everything from figuring out the different functions and formula to using WordArt to make your document prettier. So where does Lynda.com succeed where my former instructor and all the other tutorials I’ve tried failed? Well, I think it’s the combination of the very professional videos that allow you to see the lesson in action, the transcripts that allow you to follow along in text, and the fact that everything is broken down into chunks so you can choose what to learn at what time. I’m an independent learner, I can’t sit in a classroom without getting fidgety and daydreaming when the instructor is going over something I already know. Of course, that means I’m not really paying attention when he gets to the points I actually want to hear.
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to use a specific program, there is a good chance Lynda.com can help. The site has two levels of membership. The premium membership costs $37.50 a month, or $375 for the whole year. The main difference between that and the regular membership for $25 a month ($250 for the year) is that you get access to the exercise files with the premium, and they really help enhance the experience.
Want to win an annual premium subscription? Come back tomorrow for the Back to School Spree giveaway for a chance to win this and other great prizes.