From the Not Just Numbers blog:

This weekend, I went on a bushcraft training weekend with my fifteen year-old son, building our own camp in the woods, etc.

This was an amazing experience and is still fresh in my mind as I write this blog post. So, it got me thinking, “In the Excel jungle, what would I have in my survival kit?”

I thought I’d ask myself the following question (and I’d love to hear your answers too, in the comments) – If I could only have three functions/features in Excel, what would they be? I am going to assume that basic mathematical functions like adding and subtracting and SUM are there, but what are the top three additional features that I wouldn’t want to be without?

So, here are my top three (in no particular order):


  1. VLOOKUP – Having Excel look up information from tables elsewhere in the spreadsheet is an incredibly useful facility. I did, however, think for a while about this as I would have preferred INDEX and MATCH, but that would have taken up two of my choices!
  2. PivotTables – I use them all of the time and they remove the need for formulae in many cases.
  3. The IF statement – being able to get Excel to essentially make decisions based upon the information it has available is too useful a feature to give up!
Please let me know yours in the comments.
By the way, although you’ve missed the discount, you can still get Mynda Treacy’s Excel Dashboards course until it is taken down on Thursday night.

Excel Expert Course

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