Google Sheets Beginners: Cutting, Copying and Pasting ( + bonus complete guide) (35)

Just when you thought that copy and paste was a no-brainer you start working in Google Sheets spreadsheets and find that there is a little more here than meets the eye.

The good news is that Google  Sheets has some great pasting types to help you copy or cut your data and put it in the cells or ranges exactly how you want it.

This tutorial takes you through a simple beginners tutorial on copying and pasting in Google Sheets to rapidly get you underway and then we dive into a Complete Guide to cut, copy, all the various paste types and possible gotchas you might face.

Cut, Copy & Paste Basics

The most important takeaway from this tutorial are the shortcuts that are going to be vital for you to boost your efficiency:

  • Cut : PC – ctrl + X, Mac – ⌘ + X
  • Copy : PC – ctrl + C, Mac – ⌘ + C
  • Paste : PC – ctrl + V, Mac – ⌘ + V
  • Paste just the values  : PC – ctrl + shift + V, Mac – ⌘  + shift + V

Cut, Copy & Paste Complete Guide

Here we dig into the weeds of all the capabilities that Google Sheets has with Cut, Copy and Paste.

In this tutorial, I’ll cover,

  1. 00:00 Intro
  2. 00:30 The basic copy and paste function and it’s shortcuts.
  3. 01:59 Copy and pasting basic formatting.
  4. 02:38 Differences with formulas with copy and paste.
  5. 04:01 Copy and pasting – across select ranges in the same Sheet.
  6. 04:43 Copy and pasting – from one Google Sheet to another.
  7. 05:38 Copy and pasting – from a different Google Sheet to another.
  8. 06:19 Copy and pasting – from other document types like Text, Excel, or a Webpage.
  9. 10:15 Copy and pasting – same values or a range of values multiple times.
  10. 11:57 Copy and pasting – formatting only.
  11. 13:12 How copying the formatting also copies conditional formatting.
  12. 13:55 Copy and pasting – excluding borders.
  13. 14:36 Copy and pasting – column widths only.
  14. 15:40 Copy and pasting – formulas only.
  15. 16:44 Copy and pasting – data validation
  16. 17:27 Copy and pasting – conditional formatting only.
  17. 18:40 Copy and pasting – transposed ( changing rows to columns and columns to rows)

Conclusion

So did anyone get the Tribble easter egg? Anyone…? 👓🐐

Spend some time masting the shortcuts for cut, copy and paste. Most of them will apply for all sorts of software (not just Google Products). So it is well worth knowing.

If you enjoy the video and want to learn more about how to use Google Sheets, check out the Youtube Playlist:

Google Sheets Shorts: Beginners

Did you enjoy the tutorial? Want to upskill and get a solid step-by-step course to become a pro at Google Sheets? Check out my course, Google Sheets: Learn the Essentials with Three Detailed Projects. Sign up today.

 
Google Sheets Shortcuts Mousepad
Google Sheets Shortcuts Mousepad
Want a fast track to boost your Spreadsheet efficiency? Grab one of these handy Google Sheets Shortcuts mousepads that I created from my store.
Google Sheets Shortcuts Mousepad Gel
Google Sheets Shortcuts Mousepad Ge

~Yagi

The Monster Guide to Data Validation in Google Sheets: Free Course (Updated May 2022)

In this tutorial, we will cover everything there is to know about Data Validation in Google Sheet.

Why am I writing this tutorial? Well, there is a lot to cover for one, but I also find that there are a lot of snags and nuances to Data Validation in Google Sheets that make it easy for even the experienced user to get stuck.

I didn’t start out to write a course on data validation. To be honest, I was just preparing some notes for a short introduction as a part of a beginners video series, but the more I looked at it the more I found that data validation really deserves a deep dive on its own.

There are even some things in this course that I learnt that I wish I had known years ago that would have saved me and my team a lot of grief.

If you are coming at data validation as a complete beginner or a seasoned spreadsheets veteran, there should be something in here for you to learn. Below you will see a contents page of major topics and you will also find an embedded video tutorial for each of the topics if you need to just jump to something important.

Using the contents page to jump to a link will also give you a URL to that item if you want to bookmark it for quick reference later.

Let’s dive in!

Data Validation Basics

What is data validation?

Data validation helps you to control what your users enter into your cells. Among many other things it also allows you to:

  • Create drop-down menus for your users.
  • Provides date pickers.
  • Ensure users of your Google Sheet to enter text into a cell only.
  • Validate emails and URLs.
  • Even create designer rules for your users to abide by to ender data in a cell.

Why is data validation important?

Let’s say you need users to put in a set of numbers in a cell. These numbers are then calculated in another cell by one of your awesome formulas. Perhaps your data entry users were not properly instructed or were confused about their task. Without data validation, they could put in words instead, breaking your carefully crafted formula.

Likewise, you may want to reduce responses to a question you have asked in a sheet to specific items that your users select from a dropdown list for you to better analyse the frequency of the response. Without data validation rules, your users could enter any response that may well be similar, but is now incredibly difficult for you to analyse.

Finally, you may just want to help guide your uses and provide convenient suggestions for them to enter their data in cells. You can also do this with data validation.

How do I get me some data validation goodness?

To get to data validation in Google Sheets, you have two approaches. First, select the cell or range for your data validation and then:

  • In the menu bar go to  Data > Data validation. OR
  • Right-click and scroll to the very bottom and select view more cell actions << data validation.

Data Validation basics video

Check out the Data Validation basics video for a quick tour of what this Google Sheets tool can do for you:

In the video tutorial, I’ll cover,

  1. 00:00 Intro.
  2. 00:17 Accessing the data validation menu.
  3. 00:41 What does each part do?
  4. 01:12 What can I choose to use data validation for?
  5. 02:10 Criteria – List from a range in your Google Sheet.
  6. 04:49 Criteria – List of items not in your Google Sheet.
  7. 05:18 Criteria – Having to choose a Date.
  8. 06:29 Criteria – Choosing numbers between a range.
  9. 08:14 Removing Data Validation

List from a range. Dropdowns!

In this part of the course, we will dive into creating dropdown menus from reference data in your Google Sheet. I’ll guide you through how to set up and organise your reference data to work best for your data validation list from a range dropdown.

We will even dip our toes into creating a basic dynamic dropdown list that changes based on your selection of a previous dropdown list.

Check out the video below!

In the video tutorial, I’ll cover,

  1. 00:00 Preview of what our dropdown will look like.
  2. 00:22 Creating an ordered dropdown list from a range of cells.
  3. 01:59 Creating a dropdown list from horizontal data.
  4. 02:45 Create a dropdown list from a matrix of data.
  5. 03:50 Using relative and absolute values for dynamic lists.
  6. 05:57 Wrapping up data validation list from ranges.

An  extra note on relative and absolute ranges in data validation in Google Sheets

As we mention in the video above, you can make your dropdown somewhat dynamic by using relative ranges.

With a normal Google Sheets formula or function in a cell, you are able to drag down the cell to duplicate the range. In this case, the formula will update automatically and reference the data in the next row or column of the cell depending on if you dragged the data down or across.

For example, in cell C1 we have the formula = A1 + B1. If we drag C1 down to cell C2. Then the formula in that cell would be = A2 + B2. Drag it down again and the formula is =A3 + B3 and so on.

If you don’t want your formula reference to change you are ostensibly locking them and making them absolute. So if we want to just add A1 to all the cells in column B we could change our column C equation to look like this = A$1 + B1 for our first row. The dollar sign indicates that row one will be locked or made absolute.

Dragging the formula down now to cell C2 will result in this  = A$1 + B2, C3 to = A$1 + B3 and so on.

We have locked the row in place.

If we drag our C1 cell to the right to cell D1, however, we would get this = B$1 + C1 . So to lock cell A1 from moving to the right we need to lock the column too with a dollar sign like this = $A$1 + B1.

You can find out more about relative and absolute cell references in my tutorial here:

How do I lock certain cells in a formula in Google Sheets?

In data validation, it is a little different, however. Your data validation’s row and column cell references will come locked or absolute out of the box. You will need to update them manually. You can do this by adding an equals sign at the front of your range and removing the relevant dollar sign ($) reference, just like in the video.

List of Items

You can also create a data validation dropdown list from a list of items in your Google Sheets cells. One of the benefits of this is that you don’t need to reference any data in your Google Sheet.

Nevertheless, there are some things to consider and I will be covering them in the video below.

Check it out!

  1. 00:00 Introduction to creating a list from a range with data validation.
  2. 00:08 Why use List of Items rather than List from a Range.
  3. 00:18 What it all looks like.
  4. 00:30 Creating a list from items.
  5. 01:43 Duplicating the dropdown.
  6. 02:01 A better approach to duplicating data validation rules.

Validating Numbers

You can also restrict cells to only display numbers or even ranges of numbers. Google Sheets data validation has a large list of rules to help you set your cells up just how you want them.  Having said that, there are some pitfalls that you may fall for that I hope to steer you away from in this video below. I’ll also show you a few alternate solutions.

Have a gander!

  1. 00:00 Intro to using number data validation.
  2. 00:25 Number is between two digits.
  3. 01:14 Can I use decimal numbers?
  4. 01:32 Numbers is not between to digits.
  5. 02:18 Enter a number less than a value.
  6. 02:52 Number is less than or equal to a value.
  7. 03:15 Number is greater than a value.
  8. 03:43 Number is greater than or equal to a value.
  9. 04:07 Number is equal to a value.
  10. 05:12 Number is not equal to a value.
  11. 05:31 Number is between multiple sets of ranges.

Validating Text, Emails and URLs

The text data validation in Google Sheets is more than just validating some simple text, it allows you to check if certain text exists in your cells or not. The text criteria allow you to check for valid emails and URLs. However, like most technology, there are some limitations that we will highlight in the tutorial below:

  1. 00:00 Intro to using text validation in Google Sheets.
  2. 00:11 Enter text that contains certain a certain string of text characters, word or phrase.
  3. 3:05 Enter text that does not contain a certain string of text characters word or phrase.
  4. 03:54 Enter text that equals a certain string of characters, word or phrase.
  5. 04:19 Enter a valid email.
  6. 05:36 Enter a valid URL or website.

While text validation has a few weaknesses we can use custom formulas to resolve these. I will provide a few examples in part 1 of using custom formulas with data validation.

Validating Dates and a Date Picker in Google Sheets

I’ve really leaned on date data validation quite a lot in my Google Sheets career. It is extremely helpful to help guide users into putting in the correct date into the spreadsheet that you need to conduct good analysis.

We will also talk about educating your team on using the hand dandy date picker!

Check out the video!

  1. 00:00 Intro to date validation.
  2. 00:16 Enter a valid date (My favourite!).
  3. 00:34 Users entering different date formats. Is it a problem?
  4. 01:04 Formatting data validation cells. The solution to many of your date validation issues.
  5. 01:47 Displaying a date picker and quickly showing your users how to find it.
  6. 02:49 Enter date equal to a specific date.
  7. 03:41 Enter date before a specific date.
  8. 04:58 Enter date on or before a specific date.
  9. 06:52 Enter a date after a specific date.
  10. 07:20 Enter a date on or after a specific date.
  11. 08:10 Enter a date between two dates.
  12. 09:20 Enter a date that is not between two dates.
  13. 09:56 Wrap up.

While there might seem like a bit of repetition in this tutorial, I have sprinkled in a few troubleshooting tips and tricks along the way to help you better prepare your date validation.

Custom Data Validation with Using Simple Regular Expressions

I won’t lie, exploring the depths of custom data validation is a vast and endless rabbit hole (Of fun! 🐐).

I’ve gone ahead and split up this part of the course into two chapters. This first one explores using custom data validation with regular expressions.

Wait! Please done run away.  Here! Here’s a cookie… 🍪. Okay, gang! Grab em and hold them down! Someone get the eye vices.

Yeah, yeah, regular expressions can be scary. They are so esoterically irregular (Pun intended) that they can be quite difficult to memorise or master. But I will let you in on a little secret: only the most bespeckled, sun fearing of goats memorise data validation rules. The rest of us just look them up.

In this chapter, we will cover just a few very common rules that you can simply copy and change for your own use. Hopefully, they should be useful for your day to day Google Sheets work.

Check out the video!

I this tutorial we will cover:

  1. 00:00 Intro to custom formulas.
  2. 00:09 A basic example.
  3. 01:54 Removing data validation.
  4. 02:02 Cell must contain the word.
    1. Formula example: =REGEXMATCH(B2,"\b(be)\b")
  5. 05:03 Must contain at least one word from a list.
    1. Formula example: =REGEXMATCH(B3,"\b(be|at|in)\b")
  6. 07:01 Must start with a word.
    1. Formula example: =REGEXMATCH(B4,"^(Be)\b")
  7. 08:09 Must end with a character.
    1. Formula example: =REGEXMATCH(B5,"\?$")
  8. 09:34 Wrap up.

Got a bit of Stockholm Syndrome for regular expressions now? Check out a couple more examples of using regular expressions in Google Sheets:

Google Sheets: Counting and Filtering Rows where Cells Contain Particular Values.

Google Sheets: Conditional Formatting with Custom Formula

More Data Validation Using Custom Formulas in Google Sheets

In this second part of using custom formulas in our data validation, we will branch out and use some other formulas to create some interesting validation rules. We will also start using some more compound formulas that I hope will inspire you to create your own custom formula rules. If you come up with a good one I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

I’ll be sure to add the formula examples for each part in the show notes below the video if you want to copy and modify them for your own project.

  1. 00:00 Intro to custom formulas in data validation part 2.
  2. 00:27 Greater than the current day’s date.
    1. Formula example: =B6>TODAY()
  3. 02:28 Date must be a weekday.
    1. Formula example: =AND(WEEKDAY(B7) <> 7, WEEKDAY(B7) <> 1)
  4. 04:47 No more than 15 characters in the cell.
    1. Formula example: =LEN(B8) <= 15
  5. 06:08 Must meet specific phone number parameters.
    1. Formula example: =AND(LEN(B9) = 10, NOT(REGEXMATCH(TO_TEXT(B9),"\D|\s")))
  6. 10:14 Whole numbers between 1-20.
    1. Formula example: =AND(ISNUMBER(B10),
      NOT(REGEXMATCH(TO_TEXT(B10),""[.]"")),
      B10>0,
      B10<21)
  7. 12:37 Wrap Up

Oh…yeah. I squeezed in some more regular expressions too. Umm…sorry. Not sorry. 🐐

Using Data Validation on Checkboxes

In this chapter, we will look at how we can control check or tickboxes in Google Sheets. One of the cool things I discovered is that  I  changed the true and false condition to whatever I want.

Such power! Yes, I abused it.

Have a look a the video, if you dare!

  1. 00:00 Intro checkbox validation.
  2. 00:10 Enforce entry of true and false in a cell.
  3. 01:18 Change what is truthy and what is falsy.
  4. 02:38 Changing a checkbox from another cell.
  5. 04:21 Wrap up.

Update dropdown list in Google Sheets dynamically based on previous dropdown choice

That’s a mouthful. However, this is one of the most searched for things people want to do with data validation. In our previous chapter on List from a Range we covered one approach, but it is kinda messy.

Here, I will give you a more appropriate example on how to create a dropdown menu that changes based on another menu choice.

One great example of this is a list of cities after you have chosen a state. Or a list of parts once you have selected a specific tool.

Here is the link to the starter file if you want to follow along. Go to File > Make a copy to generate and edit your very own version.

Starter File

Here’s the video!

  1. 00:00 Intro.
  2. 00:16 Demo example.
  3. 01:23 Why using relative cells is not a great option.
  4. 01:44 Add a ‘Notes’ Google Sheets tab.
  5. 02:24 Designing the input data.
  6. 02:33 Getting a unique list of items.
  7. 03:13 The item selector dropdown setup.
  8. 03:39 Create a dynamic option list in ‘Notes’.
  9. 04:39 Create a dynamic dropdown list.
  10. 05:00 Wrap up.

Update a range of dropdown lists in a Google Sheet dynamically based on a corresponding dropdown choice.

I’ve added a bonus tutorial on dynamic dropdown lists here after some comment queries. Check it out. It contains a detailed written tutorial and a YouTube video!

Update a range of dropdown lists in a Google Sheet dynamically based on a corresponding dropdown choice (Updated 28 Mar 2022)

Conclusion

Hey, you made it! Congratulations on complete the course. I hope you found it useful. It was a big one to build for you, but I enjoyed the process.

So what did you find useful? Can you think of anything  I missed? I would love to hear you thought in the comments below.

Did you enjoy the tutorial? Want to upskill and get a solid step-by-step course to become a pro at Google Sheets? Check out my course, Google Sheets: Learn the Essentials with Three Detailed Projects. Sign up today.

 
Google Sheets Shortcuts Mousepad
Google Sheets Shortcuts Mousepad
Want a fast track to boost your Spreadsheet efficiency? Grab one of these handy Google Sheets Shortcuts mousepads that I created from my store.
Google Sheets Shortcuts Mousepad Gel
Google Sheets Shortcuts Mousepad Ge

~Yagi

 

Changelog

31 May 2022 – Updated List from a range. Dropdowns! video with an updated ending that better describes the dynamic and static movement of selected ranges when they are duplicated down or across a sheet. 

Automatic download link for non-Google Workspace files in Google Drive

Ever wanted your users to simply click a button on your webpage and,💥, a file you saved on Google Drive is automatically downloaded for them?

Here have a look at two examples:

NOTE! Clicking the links above will automatically download the file described.

This quick tool allows you to do just that. It works with any file like:

  • Images e.g. *.png *.jpg.
  • Documents e.g. *.pdf *.doc.
  • Zip files e.g. *.zip *.7z.
  • Pretty much anything that isn’t a Google Workspace file like a Google Sheet, Google Doc, Google Slide.

Grab and set up the file

    1. Find the file you need to set up for auto-download.
    2. Righ-click the file.
    3. Select Get link.
    4. Ensure the settings says, Anyone with link can view.
    5. Select Copy link.
Google Drive get link example
Click to expand!

Create the link

*Wait for the converter to load.

Do no harm!

Yes, I guess this could be used for downloading some nefarious content. This little tool is designed to provide a convenience for you and the people you want to share your files with. Please consider other people when preparing a tool for them. Even a quick heads up in your own content might be a good idea:

  • Note! File will download automatically from Google Drive.
  • Note! Clicking this file will download it automatically.

What about my Google Workspace Files?

Not directly with this tool, I’m afraid. The simple answer is Google Workspace files are designed to be in Google Drive and online. Much better for you to share the file publically and then provide a link to the file.

However…

If you are intending on providing your Google Workspace files or folders for your users to download and use offline anyway then you could download the in advance. This will cause the Google Workspace files to be exported into an offline format. Then you can drag that converted file and put it back in your drive and share it. You will be able to complete the steps above then.

Also, if you are downloading an entire folder it will export it files into usually Microsoft formats for you automatically and save the entire document in a zip file. Then you can drag that zip file back into your Google Drive and convert with the above too.

Neat huh?

~Yagi

 

2020 – Year in Review

It’s always nice to a have a bit of a look back at the previous year to see how you went, what you’ve achieved, what you can work on and where you want to go in the future. 2020 was a rough one for everyone and it was no different for this goat 🐐. Some extremes of this year pushed me and my wife to some pretty major life changes. Some hard; some very, very positive.

The executive summary is like this:

  • My wife and I moved countries.
  • I left my managerial job to focus on Yagisanatode and developing fulltime.
  • I revealed the man behind the goat.
  • My site has exploded in views ( I am incredibly grateful ❤)
  • I’ve produced more content than ever.
  • I became a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace.
  • The jokes are still bad.
  • The website got two overhauls.
  • I started my first Youtube Series.

Read on to get the full details:

The Website

Stats

My main goal was to reach 1 million unique visitors by the end of 2020. Why is this important? Well, I think it is just a pretty good metric to show that my work is helping people, people are sharing my tutorials on sites like support.google.com and Stack Overflow, and the posts are clear enough for Google search to recognise that I am making good content.

All-time Stats

So did I reach 1 million unique visitors? No, but frustratingly almost. As of lunchtime on the last day of 2020, I got to 981,988 visitors since my first ever post back in October of 2017.

For me, that is still pretty awesome, and I am truly thankful for all the people who take the time to visit my site and hopefully find something useful to help them with their own project.

Here are few more all-time stats since I first started:

  • Total posts: 135
  • Total views: 1,350,035
  • Total visitors: 981,988

That’s an average of 1.37 page views per person.

I now have 90 legendary email subscribers that receive an email every time  I post and 320 you-beaut followers overall.

2020 Stats

This year, I have published 51 posts (up 13 posts from last year). 27 of these posts have been a part of the Google Sheets Basics Youtube Series. I wrote 18 posts on Google Apps Scripts, 5 on Google Sheets and 1 posts on Google Slides.

I wrote a total of 94,891 words this year (up 6,197 words from 2019) and on average wrote 1,861 words per post.

The most popular post written this year was a Google Apps Script post:

Google Apps Script: Extract Specific Data From a PDF and insert it into a Google Sheet

The most popular Google Sheets post written this year was:

Google Sheets: How to use OR inside a FILTER

This year’s visits and views have skyrocketed too:

  • Views: 816,785 – up 372,419 views from 2019
  • Visitors: 597231 – up 278262 visitors from 2019

Covid-19 made it an incredibly busy first half of the year in my day job. In many months I had to reduce my usual 2 posts a month to only one, just to keep up with the demands of my full-time job. Much of the increase in posts has been since October, where I have produced up to 16 video posts a month and up to 5 long-form posts a month.

Oh. I also got my first DD0S attack (You know you really made it then 🤣). Fortunately, My WebHost GreenGeeks were all over it and let me know and helped me improve the security of my site.

Site Improvements

This year saw some significant upheavals to the Yagisanatode website. I have improved the site security and made two runs at improving my Site Speed some moderate success. I’ve also worked on improving the sites layout to make it more browsable.

Site Speed

Site speed still needs a lot of work though, though I have made use of better caching and other plugins to improve the loading speed of the website. My biggest issue is my use of gifs and images. I think visual cues are important for you so you can see what is happening in the process. However, now I am starting to change to using short looped mp4’s instead of gifs and using an expand-box for larger images to reduce load speeds.

Mobile performance is still a pain-point for me and I am really struggling to improve this. Hopefully, with time, I will figure something out.

Layout

My website’s layout has been really bugging me, and while I have made a lot of changes this year, I still have more work to do in 2021.

The first run at the Google Apps Script and Google Sheets pages

The first clue that  I needed to make some improvements was some feedback from family (Thanks Earnie and Kerry), who also happened to be academic administrators. They found it challenging to find a learning progression in my posts in a sort-of course structure.

I responded to this by creating unique Google Apps Script and Google Sheet pages where not only did I have a list of lastest posts but also ordered some posts into courses and categories of ability. I also provided resources for further study.

The Post Grid

Around April I got a great email from a reader who suggested that I move from displaying single-lines of posts with a rather long preview to a grid of posts containing the feature image, title and tags.

Yagisanatode Grid View
Click to Expand!

I included this in the Google Sheets and Google Apps Script pages of the site. The bump in browsing habits suggests that it seemed to have helped user retention which might mean that I am helping you find what you need better.

Updating the Homepage

In December, I finally managed to get around to updating the homepage. Before, there was the old list posts, one under the other with a little bit of a preview of the writeup.

My wife helped me to redesign the home page so that it made browsing more accessible and highlighted recent posts, while also briefly showcasing what the site is about. It is one-thousand times better than what it was, but there is still room for improvement.

My favourite part of the whole process was creating the feature buttons.

Help! I would really love your advice on how to improve the layout of this website. If you have any suggestions, liked or loathed the changes, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

yagisanatode home buttons
Click to expand

Other Business Accomplishments

Becoming a Google Developer Expert

Without a doubt, my proudest moment this year was being accepted as a Google Developer Expert or GDE for Google Workspace. Essentially this is recognition from Google for the work I put into supporting the community.

It also gives me the opportunity to give feedback on Google Workspace products, but the biggest bonus is the community you become a part of. It’s hard to describe how amazing these people are. Their support and dedication is something I greatly admire.

A huge thank you goes out to Sourabh Choraria for recommending me to the Google Dev Advocate team. Martin Hawskey for the first GDE interview and Dev Advocate, Charles Maxam for accepting the very first goat as a GDE.

Yagi logo circle gde 2020 square

YouTube

While I had a tiny YouTube presence to help demonstrate my two Google Workspace add-ons, it wasn’t until June this year that I decided to produce a YouTube series of Google Sheets shorts that walk viewers through most of the tools that Google Sheets provide. The videos cater for the absolute beginner and go into my usual pedantic detail on each topic.

Most of the videos have a table of contents so you can quickly get to what you need and move on with your project.

You will also start to see these videos pop up in some of my long-form posts to help with instructions.

There is everything from styling your Google Sheet, to filtering data and printing and exporting.

There are still  15 more videos in this series. You can check out the series below:

Add-Ons –

Updated Sections to Sheets

This year, I didn’t get around to publishing any more Google Workspace Add-ons. However, I did make some minor changes to Sections to Sheets an Add-on where you can select a column of data and separate it into individual Sheet Tabs categorised by the values in your chosen column.

Don’t worry. It’s totally FREE!

After some feedback from users, I have slightly improved the performance of the processing of the values into separate sheet tabs and taken the restriction off only having single-item categories.

Add-on Stats

Current Stats for my add-ons are:

Spacer: 427 users

Sections to Sheets: 3,194 users

Personal Life

The Move Back to Australia

After 5 years of living in the Middle East, we travelled back to Australia at the end of June into two weeks of hotel quarantine before emerging into a mask covered Sydney.

I had an increasingly worsening back injury. So our plan at the time was to hold out in Australia and get my back sorted out before returning back to work overseas.

Leaving the Job

Unfortunately, the injury was a little worse than expected. Also, COVID wasn’t lightening it’s grip on the world any time soon. On top of that, I was facing exponentially increasing demands from work and the request to return to the Middle East without my wife.

Mrs Yagi and I are joined at the hip so with all this in mind, we tended our resignations and I commenced the handover to my replacement.

I’m sad to see the job go, I created a lot of administrative automation and processes (in Google Workspace 😉) that I can say that I am proud of and save my staff unnecessary work. Nevertheless, the position is in good hands and I am sure that my replacement is doing a tip-top job.

Yagisanatode All The Way!

After making the decision to leave my job, I really don’t think I hesitated in throwing myself at Yagisantatode.com full time. I love developing automation solutions in Google Workspace and teaching people how to reduce their administrative burden.

Running a business and having a side hustle are very different things, however. There is registering a business, doing taxes again, meeting clients, optimising the balance between earning a survivable income and providing great content for readers and a panoply of so much more.

So from October to the end of the year, I spent the rest of my time moving Yagisanatode from a weekend hobby business to a fulltime enterprise. I am learning a lot on the way, making mistakes and getting better (I think). I have some changes and directions I want to test in the coming year to figure out how I am going to best settle into this new life.

I think I can fill some of the gaps in the Google Workspace education world and be unique enough to support, buffer and encourage my fellow Google Workspace educators. One of the things I love about our particular community is the support and encouragement. There is no aggressive competition but rather a genuine desire to enrich the knowledge pool and support one and another.

The Man Behind the Goat

And at last, one of the most fun things I got to do was update my About page and disclose who I was. To be honest. It wasn’t much of a secret if you did a bit of digging (and a few did 😂).

So, yeah… Hi! I’m Scott. I’m from Australia. Here’s me pic, mates:

about-me Yagisanatode

Slightly less goaty than you imagined?

Google Workspace

So much has happened at, I feel, the right time for Google Workspace in 2020. It really took up the slack with supporting educators scrambling to provide online classes with Google Classroom and quickly expanded the capabilities of Google Meet, their video conferencing software, and then provided it for free.

I know, hand on my heart, Google Workspace saved me this year, and for that, I want to thank all the Googlers involved in developing all the Google Workspace tools.

Not only that, Google Workspace had come up with some amazing updates and new products. These are my two favourites for 2020:

  • Google Apps Script – V8 Runtime: The start of the year kicked off with the Apps Script team updating the runtime engine from Rino to V8. Thus opening it up to modern Javascript methods and syntax.
  • Google Apps Script – New IDE: The end of the year equally wrapped up with a bang with the release of the much anticipated new IDE for Apps Script. It is much more modern and userfriendly with a bunch of cool tools.

The Future

With the move from a weekend side-gig to a fulltime job, you can guess that I have a lot of plans ahead for the coming year.

Plans & Goals

Project

I am currently in the process of developing a web project. Is it Google Workspace related? No, not really, but there are a few things I want to achieve with this project:

  • Improve my front-end dev chops.
  • Create some resources for a few pure HTML-CSS-JavaScript tutorials.
  • Get familiar with another Google product, Firebase.
  • And finish up with a website that people would like to engage in and generate a little passive income.

2 Courses

Once I have finished up with the project, I plan on creating two Google Workspace related courses that I think will be very relevant for 2021. The plan is to release the first one by March.

Posts and Videos

Long-form tutorials on Google Apps Scripts, Google Sheets and other Google Workspace related topic will continue with a minimum of 2 a month. I will be testing out a few approaches to make them more accessible and succinct. Please bear with me while I work this out and if you have any feedback, don’t hesitate to let me know.

The Google Sheets: Beginners video series will continue for up to 44 videos. Then I have two more short video series that  I hope to push out throughout the year for you.

Talks

I would really love to do some live talks. Either online or at a meet. It’s just one of those goals that, although terrifying, is important to accomplish.

I’d love to do some talks in rural towns in Australia and introduce them to Google Workspace. I think it would benefit small and medium rural businesses by broadening their reach and saving them a bunch of time and money.

A little more time with loved ones and exploring

I do tend to give everything I’ve got and work myself to the bone to get things done. This year it affected my health. So a major goal for this year is to dedicate moments to reflect, relax and spend time with my best mate, Mrs Yagi.

To work on

Speaking skills

If anything has come out of producing YouTube videos it is that I very much have the stereotypical Aussie male mumble. This year, I need to really improve my speaking skills and strive towards a one-shot recording of my short videos. Wish me luck.

Condensing posts

My long-form posts have started to get carried away. I think while this year, that I really started to delve into more in-depth multi-part problems in Google Apps Script, but I do think I am slipping into a bit of a waffle in my post. This is wasting my time writing the post and your time reading it.

One of the challenges of my writing is to try and write to as broad an audience as possible. Unfortunately, with that comes more explanation. I do encourage you to simply read what you need and skip the rest, but I do think I can go too far in my explanations. Time to trim the fat a little and develop some tools to help make explanations clearer but also more concise.

Meeting more people in the community

The social restrictions that were created by COVID created the perfect hermit environment for me. However, as much as I love and embrace solitude, I know that the feedback loop of more isolation is probably not the best for someone with reclusive tendencies.

I do feel myself losing what social skills I had.

I do enjoy people’s company and more so, learning from them and sharing ideas. Just the thought of the initial engagement terrifies me a little. But it is time to toughen up and bite the bullet and get out there and reach out to people online and, when it’s safe to do so, in person.

I would love to go to some developer meetups and cons around Australia or be apart of any online conventions or meets. Please let me know if there are any around that you think might be interesting. I might be a bit clumsy in my introductions, have no idea what to say or ask and may stand ominously in the corner, but I am interested in you I can guarantee.

Finally, I hope to engage more with my readers in the comments of this site and on Twitter. I think the start of the year I could not reply as much as I wanted to due to work and that made me feel I was letting you down.

Wrapping up

That’s a wrap for 2020. Thanks for following along on this wild ride of a year. I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read my tutorials. I thank all the people I have engaged within the comments, via email, on Twitter over at the Google Groups Community and the GDEs.

Finally, a massive thank you to my wife for her support, love, advice and hugs.

Have a wonder 2021!

We’ll see you on the other side!

~Yagi

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