Have any longtime Excel users switched to Sheets to use more Tiller features?

Hi all,

I just started my trial today. I’ve been using Excel for 20 years to track my spending (manually) and manage my budget, track net worth, etc. and therefore have built a workbook I’m relatively happy with and comfortable using. I’m looking at Tiller because it’s getting more and more difficult to keep up with the manually adding transactions and last year I found myself months behind and more often looking at Status Money and Mint to see what was going on day to day. From what I’ve seen of Tiller in just a day makes me pretty excited and so I set up an Excel template and went ahead and got my first batch of transactions downloaded and categorized. That let me to start looking at other Tiller features and I’m gathering that despite Tiller working with Excel to get the transactions in, most of the more advanced features (Community Solutions tools) are only available for Sheets.

So my question is - have any longtime Excel users jumped ship to Sheets because they started using Tiller? I have very little experience with Sheets compared to Excel, but I guess I could be persuaded since Tiller already would require a big change to how I’m using my Excel workbook. What about hybrid users? Is anyone using Sheets for all their transactional stuff and then still using Excel for their big picture stuff (net worth, 401k tracking, etc.) ?

Thanks for the insight. Just trying to figure out the right path forward.

I would say that I am a very strong user of excel. I have used it forever wit work and can push the limits of it. That being said, I use Tiller with Google Sheets. I find Google Sheets to meet my needs as it relates to the budget. In many ways, Google Sheets is easier to use than excel and.has smoothed out many of the odd things about Excel. As far as Tiller is concerned, the bulk of the templates and ongoing development is using Google sheets. Moreover, most users on the community are Sheets users. I would recommend starting Tiller with GS.

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In the past this has been true, but we are actively investing (somewhat heavily) in our Excel platform this year so we hope to offer more features/capabilities in Excel that many Google Sheets users enjoy about Tiller (e.g. AutoCat)

We also hope to foster community engagement and Show & Tell submissions for Excel.

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My first year, I used excel exclusively. I found myself wanting more of the google sheets features, so I jumped over to google sheets for 2022. So far, I am pleased with Google sheets.

Maybe when they further refine excel I might consider moving back.

Regards,

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Is there a comparable tool for Excel yet (or in the plans if not) for the CSV importer? Looking up
and categorizing Amazon purchases is one of the most time consuming elements I face when tracking.

:raising_hand_woman:t2: I used Google Sheets exclusively last year for my personal finance spreadsheets for the first time and it wasn’t difficult to learn at all. I’ve also tested out the features of Tiller extensively with Google Sheets versus Excel, and can highly recommend the Google Sheets version for the features there. There are a lot of commonalities between them, and it’s not hard to switch to Google Sheets.

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So I decided to do a side-by-side trial of both the Excel and Google Sheets versions. While I love my Excel and it would be easier to link the data from both the Tiller and my own workbooks I think there’s just too much more functionality in the Sheets version to stick with Excel. Autocat and the CSV importer are too good to pass up. I also like the ability to easily categorize asset & liabilities so they group on the Sheets “Balances” sheet vs. the Excel version, and the Excel performance is… not great. Categorizing transactions in much quicker in Sheets than Excel (36 categories).

So far my biggest complaint about Sheets is that it doesn’t seem to be as easy to filter on a column when I want to just look at one category worth of transactions. I found the Category Tracker solution and that’s good for reporting, but if I want to look at all my uncategorized transactions, or recategorize individual transactions within a category that would have to be done on the Transactions sheet itself. Maybe someone more experienced has a tip for that??

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I’d say i’m closer to a hybrid user. i use google sheets as the base and categorize all of the equations in there/use autocat (which is amazing and puts mint to shame) and then download the final transaction/net worth data into excel/spotfire for all of my detailed analysis. i’m sure someone would fight me on this one, but pivot tables, graphs, and even just some of the equation work in google sheets just isn’t as easy/seamless as excel.

So far my biggest complaint about Sheets is that it doesn’t seem to be as easy to filter on a column when I want to just look at one category worth of transactions. I found the Category Tracker solution and that’s good for reporting, but if I want to look at all my uncategorized transactions, or recategorize individual transactions within a category that would have to be done on the Transactions sheet itself. Maybe someone more experienced has a tip for that??

Transactions are your raw data that feed everywhere else, so to recategorize, you’d update your Categories tab, if applicable, and then for any historical data, you’ll have to manually overwrite those categories in Transactions. To do this, in the Transactions sheet, select the category column and then select the Filter icon – and it works like excel where you can pick the values you want to filter. Once you get your categories nestled in over the coming months, it’ll ‘just work’ thereafter.

As far reporting per category at line level, I’ve created a pivot table off of transactions table for a high level income statement – this also enables me to drill into any category to see individual transactions for a given period that roll up into the summary for the category. Maybe something like that would do the trick for you?

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Thanks! I was expecting the filter option to be under the dropdown in the column heading like in Excel. Once I selected the column and found the Create a Filter button I was able to do it. Interesting that it creates a whole view for while you’re working in that, but I guess it’s similar to when you have multiple people editing the same Excel workbook on Teams/OneDrive.

I’ve also added the Tags column and Tags Report now to my spreadsheet which gives some additional flexibility to track things within a category. That seems like it’s going to help with tracking who in the household is responsible for which purchases in certain categories, as well as whether I’ve reimbursed myself for medical expenses. Lots of great capabilities here!

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I’m a 20 year Excel veteran and prefer that but Sheets is the core application platform tool for Tiller, so that’s what I use. The tool doesn’t matter, I don’t add any customization, so just want the product features to be the best I pay for.

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I’d recommend turning the filter on for the entire sheet. If you only filter a single column in Google Sheets and then decide to sort, it doesn’t prompt you to expand the selection like Excel so you might end up with mismatched data.

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I’ve tried Tiller with both Excel and Sheets. The Sheets version is significantly more powerful. (Excel version = weak) They’ve announced that this year they’re putting focus on improving functionality in Excel, so I look forward to that. I’ve also tried Money in Excel (which is included in what I already pay to Microsoft for a premium subscription) and it is also not comparable to Tiller in Sheets in terms of capability and robustness (things just work in Sheets). So, I’m going to use Sheets until functionality equals Sheets, then switch to Excel at that time. I’m paying for Excel and other Microsoft services so I’ll get back into that ecosystem as soon as I can. For now though, you can’t beat Tiller in Sheets.

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Derek,
Like you I was a long time Excel user and tried to use Tiller first with excel for ipad, :-1: Then with online excel which was glitchy , rather than figure it out, I switched to sheets , which works well because that was what the product was designed for and the majority of contributors use. I’m not one to try and paint a Zebra all white, learn to live with what is.
Gene

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I started in Excel and I am staying there. I feel comfortable writing any of my own “code” so I have not moved over to sheets. My Excel-based Tiller spreadsheet links to other Excel spreadsheets for all my financial work so I really can’t and don’t want to use sheets.

Is there something in particular you can’t find or write in Excel that is in Sheets?

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It’s not so much that I’m finding functionality in Sheets itself vs. Excel, it’s more what’s already available for Tiller for Sheets than Tiller for Excel. I’m loads more fluent in Excel, but what I’ve learned so far from Tiller is despite having grown my own Excel workbook up to 20+ tabs over the years, my workflow for tracking my spending and budgeting just isn’t as good or efficient as the prebuilt stuff that Tiller has. So rather than rebuild my Excel transaction tracking and budgeting pieces I can just use what’s already available.

I do have some bits of my Excel workbook that I’ll probably keep in Excel… 20 years of net worth and retirement account data, for example. And I have a few lesser used bits that I haven’t decided what to do with yet. But for day-to-day tracking and annual budgeting there isn’t much I need to build.

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Just as many others, I am long time Excel user and tried both Goggle Sheets and Excel when I started using Tiller. The Autocat feature within Goggle Sheets won be over. I do think that the Pivot table feature in Google sheets is easier if you are someone who doesn’t understand pivot tables well however the charting capabilities in Excel are much better than Goggle sheets although again, perhaps not quite as easy. So it really just depends on what you needs are.

Lots of good comments and reasoning here. I use Tiller with Sheets because it’s better as of this writing, and like others said, the basics of Excel translate very well to Sheets.
Two points:

  1. Remember that you can import information from sheets into Excel with queries (you might do an online search that topic if you’re not familiar).
  2. I got back to Excel for nearly anything that requires programming because I’m very familiar with Visual Basic and much less so with Google Script (though I’m slowly learning – very glad Sheets has the ability to record, edit, and schedule macros :slight_smile: