7 Tips on How to Properly Format a Product Sheet

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April 12, 2019

7 Tips on How to Properly Format a Product Sheet

formatting-a-table

Dealing with large amounts of data can be daunting. Learning how to properly format a table in Microsoft Excel or Google Forms will help you organize your product information in an efficient and accurate manner. Save time and frustration by following our professional tips. We also offer high-quality professional formatting services for any business. Call us today to find out how we can help you.

Organize Your Data

Set up a good organizational structure for your data. Good data management does not start with properly formatting a table. Before you open your program, organize your data in logical folders with a top-down folder/subfolder system. Let’s say you sell hair products. This would be a sample folder structure that might work for you:

PRODUCT

SHAMPOO

  • WOMENS
  • MENS
  • DANDRUFF

CONDITIONER

  • SPECIALTY
  • STANDARD
  • ORGANIC

COMBS

HAIR DRYERS

HAIR TIES

  • CHILDREN
  • TEXTURED HAIR

By organizing your data into folders and subfolders in a logical manner, you will be able to find information easily and avoid any communication issues or errors.

Document Your Process

Inputting data can be a slow and tedious process. Be sure to create a small text file listing your steps for inputting data:

  1. Copy dataset from forms
  2. Sorted by Column X
  3. Colored X data because of X
  4. Added headers
  5. Freeze work
  6. Made Backup

Keep Tables Readable

You want to read your table easily. Keep the format wide with easy to understand headings. Be consistent when naming headers, tabs, products, etc. Avoid adding in non-alphanumeric characters. Generally, you want to avoid spaces. Be consistent with dates, product names, and abbreviations (ex. United States, USA, US).

One Piece of Information Per Cell

Avoid filling up the entire space with lots of information. Each cell should only have a single datapoint. While it might be tempting to just shove all of the information for a product (ex. product name and price) into one cell, it will be much difficult to sort later.

Bad Example:

PRODUCT

iPhone $699

Good Example:

PRODUCT                 PRICE

iPhone                         $699

By doing this you will be able to sort and organize your products correctly. Further, differentiate between columns and rows by adding color. Make sure that the coloring makes sense, is easy to read, and can be interpreted by anyone reading the document. For example, if a manager looked at the sheet, would they readily know that items marked in blue need to be restocked based on the data available?

The First Column Should be an Index Column

The index column is a simple numeric column. The column allows you to return back to your original order, regardless, quickly.

Store Your Formulas

Be sure to have a separate document that details and stores each of your formulas. Keep the information logically ordered with proper headings.

Avoid Merging Cells

Merging cells results in catastrophe. Avoid merging any cells. Data will be overwritten. Headings become confused.

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