When was the last time you used Excel?

I only ask because everyone knows technology is moving fast. New software and applications seem to emerge every month and aim to be the ‘next best thing’ for productivity or performance.

Microsoft Excel has been around for more than 30 years so you might think it would be outdated or have been crushed by a fresh-faced rival.

But it’s still going strong – and remains popular with so many people.Maintaining an Excel-lent Reputation

Why is that?

One obvious reason is that Microsoft never sits still. It continually looks to update and improve its applications. It has got much better at listening to its customers and introducing the features and functionality they are looking for.

The Excel you use today still offers the core of the original, but it looks and works better.

For the new user, it is easy to learn. My online courses show you how to grasp the essentials and handle more advanced features.

Excel is easy to use. It’s widely used. This means people are familiar with it, they feel comfortable with it. They are used to seeing and working with files with the classic look of rows and columns.

Knowing how to use Excel – including its advanced and more collaborative features – is a highly marketable skill for a VA. Most organisations use the application for something.

The list of areas and tasks it can be used for includes:

  • Accounts
  • Finance
  • Contacts List
  • Content Planning
  • Data Entry
  • Data Storage
  • Data Analysis
  • Research
  • Reports
  • Dashboards
  • Charts
  • Marketing Trends
  • Revenue Patterns and Growth Models
  • Sales Forecasts
  • Budgets
  • Expenses
  • Discount Calculations
  • Inventory
  • PNL sheets
  • Task and ‘To Do’ lists
  • Project Planning
  • Project Timelines

Excel is probably best known for its ability to work with accounts and numbers. There is no need for extra, complex software or having to wait for an IT person to show you how to work things.

Maintaining an Excel-lent ReputationIt makes it easy to work with figures, do simple calculations and present the information in an easy-to-view form.

Excel is not only available on your desktop or laptop, you can now view an app version on your mobile or tablet. This makes it easier to work, wherever you are.

The application is not perfect but it for many users it is a reliable, flexible and efficient tool for getting the job done.

Microsoft has made it more collaboration-friendly and more able to link and integrate with other data management or research software.

As a VA, the expectation from clients these days is you would have Essential Excel Skills at the very minimum. As I’ve said before, Excel has been out for a long time now and ‘Office’ applications are something people presume you’ll be confident in using.

If you’re doing a lot of work with data and numbers, you may find it worth picking up my How to Create Excellent Spreadsheets online training.

It’s a demo I have delivered at events like The PA Show in Olympia, The PA Show Manchester and the Practically Perfect PA Online Summit.

It covers how to create a list automatically, use Flash Fill and get your head around formulas with Autosum. I also show you how to do conditional formatting, pivot tables, charts and graphs.

If you read a post or article which says “Excel is Dead”, there’s probably an ulterior motive behind it. The stats are clear.

Microsoft Excel is very much alive. As long as organisations keep faith in it you will find there is a demand for VA’s who know how to use it well.

Shelley Fishel


The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes