Project management apps, customer relationship management platforms, dynamic databases … it seems like there’s no shortage of tools for every kind of task. And yet spreadsheets are still everywhere. Should you be trying to replace them at every turn? Or should you just learn to embrace them after all?
Neither, really. Instead, you should be bringing spreadsheets and your other tools together. That way, you avoid endless copying and pasting of data and other manual work. Here are four ways you can consolidate your work and make the most out of using spreadsheets with your other tools.
Recognize when they’re the best tool for the job
Despite how truly massive the SaaS market has become in recent years, some still prefer spreadsheets for some jobs. Here are just a few examples of tasks where a spreadsheet is the favored option:
- Budgeting: Between its robust formulas and its databasing features, the spreadsheet is still a great way to track your budget for specific projects, teams, or even the whole business.
- Working with data from multiple sources: Because most of the tools you use can export data as a CSV file, spreadsheets are perfect for working with all this data without constantly paying for new software integrations.
- SEO management: Search engine optimization (SEO) tools are best-in-class when it comes to tracking how well your content is ranking in search results, but the data in these tools isn’t always very shareable. A spreadsheet is perfect for sharing that data — and analyzing it, too.
These are just a few tasks that spreadsheets are useful for. But just because they’re useful doesn’t mean they have to replace any of your other tools. You can easily find ways to integrate spreadsheets into your workflow, even if the majority of your work happens in a project management tool like Wrike. Just make sure to plan where they’ll fit in your process, and take steps to make that inclusion as seamless as possible — whether that’s by outlining best practices in your workflow process or using an integration.
Learn to rely on the spreadsheet experts
Every team has that one spreadsheet master that can do just about anything with a few minutes, a couple of rows, and some data. Whether it’s building a detailed report, creating a dashboard, or finding ways to solve specific problems for your team — like taking attendance in big meetings — a spreadsheet expert can really make these tools sing.
Even if you have the best-in-class tools for project management, scheduling, managing databases, or any other function, spreadsheets are still a great tool to have. Without acquiring any new software, you can get your local spreadsheet master to quickly spin up a solution for a particular use case and use that until you get the budget for whatever new platform you need. Spreadsheets can help patch the holes in an otherwise stellar tool stack.
But just because your local spreadsheet expert can turn a spreadsheet into just about anything doesn’t mean they should. Project managers and team leads can set clear boundaries defining when certain tools should be used over others — and turn your spreadsheet experts loose when needed.
Embrace the teams that love them
For some teams, it really doesn’t matter what else is out there; spreadsheets are the way they’ve worked for years and nothing can come close. It might be because they’re some of the most accessible tools — every business with a Microsoft Office or Google Workspace plan has a spreadsheet tool — or just because they’re part of the training people get for specific roles. Think of accountants, data analysts, and human resources specialists. When you spend a lot of time in spreadsheets, it’s easy to see them as the solution for every problem.
You could try convincing these teams to get their work out of their spreadsheets. But is that really the best use of anyone’s time? It might be best to just accept that some teams will use spreadsheets for everything.
Because guess what? There’s a way you can work with them seamlessly, even if you use Wrike for the majority of your work.
Pair their strengths with your favorite tools
With the right platform, you don’t even have to worry about teams who work exclusively out of spreadsheets. You can collaborate with them seamlessly without ever leaving your tool of choice — or even noticing that they’re working out of a spreadsheet.
With Wrike Sync by Unito. Work from Wrike all while benefiting from the spreadsheets other teams are building.
Wrike Sync is a no-code integration add-on that pushes data from spreadsheets to Wrike — and back — all while keeping everything in sync in both tools. So what can you do with it?
- Pull data from a spreadsheet for your Wrike reports: Wrike has some powerful reporting features, but if you need to use data from other platforms, manually exporting everything can take a ton of time. With Wrike Sync, you can make sure all that data is in Wrike and automatically kept up to date.
- Get Wrike data into your databases: When a team is using a spreadsheet for an important database, you’re almost expected to make sure your data gets into their tool. With Wrike Sync, you can skip the manual work and make sure your data is where it needs to be.
- Connect Wrike with any tool your teams use: Wrike Sync isn’t just for spreadsheets. No matter which team you need to work with, you can connect Wrike with their tools and make sure everyone stays in the loop. Sync Wrike tasks with Zendesk tickets, HubSpot tasks, Jira issues, Miro cards, and a lot more.
Spreadsheets don’t always have to be replaced. Whether you’re dealing with a team that won’t give them up or a task where they’re actually the best option, you can keep spreadsheets in your workflows. And as long as you’re using a platform like Wrike Sync, you can do all your work from your best-in-class project management app without having to plug the gaps between tools with hours of manual work.