YouTuber Talks About Sheets | Sheet Talking Episode 3 Prolific Oaktree
Sheet Talking is a series of casual conversations with Spreadsheet Professionals. This one with Prolific Oaktree.
Sheet Talking is a series of casual conversations with Spreadsheet Professionals.
Spreadsheet YouTuber Talks Sheets | Sheet Talking Episode 3 Prolific Oaktree - YouTube
Watch Adam on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@ProlificOaktree
And can also be found at: https://sheetshelp.com/
(00:00) if someone says you wanna talk about sheets for an hour, I'm always gonna say yes. so happy. You're here to watch another episode of Sheet Talking here with prolific Oak tree, who is a YouTuber right here creating educational tutorials here on YouTube. And beyond we talk a little bit about why he has prolific Oak tree and sheetshelp.com.
(00:20) We talk about paywalls at the end. I think it was a pretty fun conversation. I hope you enjoy it. It gets pretty, wandery all throughout. Uh, this is what sheet people talk How many people have asked you? Can you just talk about sheets for an hour? ? Well, I, I don't, no one has asked exactly that, so I'll give you the, the first People know you as prolific oak tree.
(00:44) Right? And they're like, can we have Mr. Oak Tree? Please talk for an hour about what? Yeah. You know, it's funny because it's such a goofy thing. We all just started doing it right and there's no definition of what it looks like before and then all of a sudden it's up. People are asking me about spreadsheets.
(01:03) Oh, it's because of those 12 videos I did. But throughout the, I don't know, five or six years, one, one that, uh, stands out as that someone put, you probably know who it is. Someone put together a, uh, online sheets conference. Oh, yeah, yeah. Ben Collins. Yeah, sheet, sheet con. Sheet con. Oh, so that's, that's the, actually the only time it stands out where I got to talk with that.
(01:32) Well, I wasn't making my own video and I talked for an hour or two, cuz I did one of the presentations on that. But yeah, I think he, I, almost everyone that has reached that has gotten a hold of me, has just been through Twitter. .
(01:52) And I think at Twitter, I don't even really enjoy social media, but I use it because of the utility of it. Right. And I, I kind of post some things on there, but I'm always think like, and no one actually read that, but it's helpful that to reach out to people when I've reached out to other people that way. Also, by the way, I'm drinking a, uh, since we're on video, you can appreciate this, not, not sponsored by LaCroix, but Howard by LaCroix.
(02:14) No, but, uh, send me a tweet if you would like to sponsor my next YouTube talk . Uh, but yeah, so what else? So what, what else do you, beyond Sheets, right? You, you have a whole career in YouTube videos, but you were, I mean, we connected because you were doing sheets help, uh, a little bit, right? You, you were either creating a new thing or transitioning more towards sheets.
(02:38) Yeah. So the, the main, uh, way in which people have found me over the years and. and, um, connected about spreadsheets is because I have the videos on prolific oak tree, and that's been tons of fun, and I'm still making them, but I'm spending a lot of, uh, time on. So, back up here. Here's the situation I have with Prolific Oak Tree, right? I love to make videos.
(03:04) I find them like, there's nothing better to make a video. And a lot of people are watching, they start asking questions, but one prolific oak tree, like, why, why did I ever call it that? ? So it's, it's not branded very well, and it, I do put on, put things on there about Google Docs or Notion or Google Drive, and I really like that flexibility.
(03:28) So I wanted to keep it the way it was. But then really it's mostly about spreadsheets, right? So I wanted to start something else that was branded from the beginning. as Google Sheets. So that's its own, unfortunately they're disconnected and YouTube doesn't work very well with two channels.
(03:45) Like they're totally separate. Yeah. And I can try to point people one to the other, but that doesn't work very well. But, um, yeah, so the prolific oak tree is the one that happens to get lots of views and sheets. Help is the one that's more of a rethink of, I'm going to start again. I'm going to be very focused.
(04:02) I'm going to deep dive, but I'm gonna still do prolific Oak Tree cuz that's a lot of fun. But they're both mainly spreadsheets and Google sheets. Mm-hmm. specifically. I was gonna, I was gonna ask where you got prolific Oaktree from, if it was like a rap name generator or something? Yeah, yeah.
(04:21) I'm from the streets, so, no. Um, was that, wait, was that your actual porn name? Like the, your first uh, street that you lived on was Oak Tree and the first pet you had was named prolific. No. So here it is. I I, I'm six four, right? So some people call you variation nicknames with variations of trees in them.
(04:44) So someone in gym class called me Oak Tree and I thought it was pretty funny, but really not a lot of people call me that. So, fast forward 10 or 15 years later, I'm trying to think of a, uh, a u r url because I wanted to start writing tech tutorials. Hmm. And all the obvious ones were taken. So I just started looking for variations on oak tree, just cuz I thought it sounded cool.
(05:06) And I got the prolific oak tree. And at the time I thought it sounded cool. Now looking back several times I've asked my wife like, should I change it? But I think it's too late. Like now it does have some brand recognition, but at the same time I think I should just embrace it. So I've gone with just embracing it.
(05:20) Yeah, that's like a, a daily struggle, right? Like na naming things is like the, one of the hardest things in the world and you regret it and you re you feel like you're. Disconnected from it, or you're fully connected and embrace it. Have you, what, what are the things that you've done to embrace it? Like, cuz you, have you gone through this like rollercoaster? Have you, have you gone to merch or something and Yeah.
(05:48) You know, I, I just don't feel like there's an, I, I feel like most of the viewers really just get there to figure out a, a question, a specific question they have about a spreadsheet. So I've, you know, I, I had someone make a little fun intro. I kept it really short of an oak tree and I've done some things where the theme is actually trees in the spreadsheets.
(06:11) Yeah. But at the end of the day, I haven't done a lot on the branding because I really don't know that people care that much. Maybe they do, maybe there's a small subset of people do, but I really think, at least for if you are, uh, , a YouTube channel and your tech tutorials. I think your bread and butter is finding out what people want to learn.
(06:33) Mm-hmm. , getting them, starting the video, starting the story, getting them hooked, making their realize that you're going to answer their question and then going into the answer. And that's 99% of it. So the branding is, you know, I thought about like, do like a goofy coffee mug or something, but I, I'm just going and spend that time brainstorming on my next video instead, like you said, people ask so many questions, it's like you just need to be useful.
(06:58) And the branding is second, but it is sort of a, um, um, a spectrum, right? Like, yes, people are coming for the, the solution to the thing. And you can do that on YouTube, you can do that through seo, through a lot of search stuff. And you can do that by your own branding. How useful you are. Um, but that, but it's a spectrum, right? And I've been trying to come away from the useful spectrum to the entertaining and maybe people aren't entertaining and watching this are like, I've never entertained.
(07:30) But it's a spectrum, right? It's not like you either have to be entertained or you entertaining or useful. It's a spectrum of like, uh, what is it like one of those cross spectrums where you can be very entertaining or not very entertaining, but you can be, use very useful or not useful at all.
(07:47) Right? And then, yeah, I tell you, part of this spectrum, um, when you reached out to me, um, I, I looked at your website and I, you do do a good job of branding in, in kind of a fun way, but it still seems like you know what you're doing. So there's definitely like, I think there. A self-fulfilling prophecy going on there.
(08:12) It's to some degree that I've just given up. Like, oh, it's, it's not there. Well, I could create it like you have, and I think , you know, you've done a good job of, um, having your, your, when I look at your website, it stands out from, well, any of the others that I know, and it's been way too much time looking at them because it doesn't, you know, it's fun.
(08:33) So that's good. Stick with that, right? That you need something that makes you unique because, uh, you can only differe differentiate so much talking about spreadsheets, right? So it is good to have a unique brand. So I think you're, um, from what I've seen, um, you've done a good job of that.
(08:52) And I am, I'm literally going through a rebranding. That's why I'm like asking you these questions. And, and that's, it's on the top of my mind recently because I'm literally rebranding things and, and trying to think like, do I really need to hire a designer? Do I really need to like, go through a long process of rebranding when Yeah, you, you're right.
(09:12) Like you just need to be useful and people will come back time and time again. And that's it. , like, if you're not useful, well, I, so nothing, I think it depends too, so that I, I'm a lot of times coming from a U YouTube channel and really the business model there, I try to leave that just a YouTube channel and you just want someone to come in and watch a video and maybe watch a second one.
(09:38) Mm-hmm. , I think you are, you are more of an ecosystem where you want someone to actually purchase something, right? Stick around. So you need more of a know, like, and trust. I think a little bit more of what I'm going for with Sheets help. . So I think branding is more important. The more of a value add you're, you are trying to present.
(09:58) And the more of a professional and less important when you're, I'm more concerned with thumbnails and wait, you're more concerned with thumbnails? Uh, in pro I have two peop, two different personas I'm talking about here a little bit, but with prolific oak tree, my, my user interacts with me by seeing a thumbnail in the suggested column.
(10:20) Sometimes Yeah. Thumbnail when they search, forget the stats are, but, um, that's how my brand is presented. So how do you think that people usually find and see, uh, your brand? Well, so, so if I'm allowed to ask questions, sorry, I know you reached out to me, but I, I know you reached out to me, but I'm asking you questions too.
(10:42) This is a two-way street. Well, my, my YouTube. Strategy. Right. Right now is changing and has changed. So originally for the first two years, I was just putting videos up for that, that some smaller percentage than I had. Right? You're right. The business model is you need to buy my course eventually, right? Or buy a tool or buy a template.
(11:03) Like there's, I I'm not monetizing it on YouTube yet. Also, I wasn't in a position to grow a YouTube channel, but now I see the potential of growing a YouTube channel that is in the sheets spreadsheet category that is different, uh, like in the spreadsheet category, but different than spreadsheet help.
(11:21) Um, yeah, which is, which is, uh, bringing me to the YouTube strategy, which is, uh, get people to watch the entire video and then watch another video. And then the next video is watch the entire video and watch another video. So that strategy is, is not necessarily. Against, Hey, go buy my stuff. Because it's like, if you are being entertained and watching the channel, you, you sort of hit on this as like, you'll come back again and again, you'll become a subscriber, come a follower, and then I can get an, there's a another
(11:58) video where, or there'll be a slight mention about, oh, you can buy this thing, or members can get this extra thing. Like I'll show the two step-by-step tutorial, but I'm like, members got the sheet done. They just got to download it. Um, yeah. So I hope that like that's, that soft sell keeps people on YouTube so that the YouTube channel can grow, but keeps people also coming and buying membership.
(12:25) Mm-hmm. . Um, yeah, and I think, I think you're, um, you're right that you have to differentiate for that because there's only a few people that I watch that I actually like, recognize and kind of like and go back to in this category. And then otherwise it's just the ones like. Like the kind of stuff that I make that's just like answering the question really well.
(12:43) So you, you've got to, uh, you've gotta be unique and stand out. Yeah. And to do it that way. And so going back to the, your original sort of motion was towards thumbnails. I literally spent two d full days figuring out thumbnails the last, this last weekend. And I switched my thumbnails up com a hundred per like 180 degree, a hundred percent difference.
(13:08) Now, um, they're quite much more on the spectrum towards Mr. Beast, like, like the very eye popping, catching like one or two words, whereas educational content, and I actually heard about this, so the educational content, , the thumbnail strategy is that the thumbnail shows that there is a solution.
(13:33) If somebody's searching for something and they're looking for a question, they're asking a question, they need to know in that thumbnail that the solution is there. Um, and that's sort of what I tried to go with, but unfortunately, a lot of my YouTube videos and the strategy that I want to employ is not solution oriented.
(13:54) It's not, you ask a question and it's also about search oriented. Like I, what I'm doing right now is what's called, uh, trend jacking. I don't know if you know that. Okay. Yeah. Well, I can and for exactly. It's a great, it's a great name because you can figure out right away. Um, so last week I just released, I, I recreated chat, G P T, which is a trending topic inside of a Google sheet.
(14:19) Um, I'd done this a couple more other times with other not, not trending in like the. Grand scheme of the world, like, but in sort of pockets of notoriety that I can te tell, uh, for instance, people were leaving Twitter, so I created a Twitter clone inside of a Google sheet so you can create your Instagram.
(14:39) Okay, I gotcha. Um, so a, a writer that I like, uh, uh, Kat Rambo, she, she posted a, um, uh, on, she posted on Twitter, a screenshot of her word count across multiple files and stuff. And I was like, oh, that looks cool. And it's like a pro, it's just a progress bar, but multiple. And I was like, you could do that in a Google sheet.
(15:00) Uh, she was using Scrivener, right? Because writers will write in Scrivener and here's our progress bar. I was like, oh, what if people wanna capture their word count across multiple things, we can do it in a Google sheet. And so I, I made that like in 12 minutes and I just started recording the video to be like, oh, I'm gonna make this thing here.
(15:19) Oh, here it's done. Right? Like, trend jacking is pretty simple. if you can. Yeah. If, if all you're doing is what I'm doing, which is you see the trend and you attempt to do the trend in a video and then, then the title is the trend. Right? Right. Yeah. And I think that's a good way to bring personality into spreadsheets because they can be a bit dry, you know, and Right.
(15:49) So it's your, you, you're take making it your job to make them interesting. I've done a little bit of the opposite where I've kept, tried to keep mine and sheets help even more functional, and I've almost worked backwards. And this has actually made it a lot harder to, to get viewers, I think because, um, you can, it's very easy to get video topics if you just start with the functions and make a video about how to use a function.
(16:18) So for example, how to use the count if uniques function, um, But the problem with that is that no one fires up a spreadsheet and starts with the function and works backwards. So while there are some people who end up with thinking that's the function they need and want to learn more about it and hopefully get those views, that's not the direction that most people work in.
(16:45) So I, I've had a, an adjustment period where prolific oak tree was mostly, oh, if you're trying to do conditional formatting based on a value in another cell, millions of people type that in. Video worked great because people can verbalize that. They don't know how to solve it yet, but, but she sometimes I'm starting with the solution and working backwards and that makes it harder.
(17:07) Now, yours I think, are from a completely different angle where you're just, this is a fun idea, let's put it into a spreadsheet. But I do the same thing as you just did. I lo I do my, the same keyword research. I do the same. Um, Figuring out, and then I literally just reverse the title. So like instead of saying how to use the count if function, it's like how to add up my fantasy football, uh, winnings, , not po not winning.
(17:41) Yeah. Points. Sorry I don't play fantasy football, so I can't, I dunno why you went that route. Um, I got kicked outta my leg. I kicked myself out, so I'm with you. Yeah, like people will search for fantasy football, uh, spreadsheet templates that apparently Oh, sure. Yeah, that's a thing. Let me do, so like if then you, you have the count hit function in there and then you can always have a count if like, oh you, here's, I solved your problem of figuring out how to add up your points per team.
(18:13) If you want to go into five more use cases of this count if function, watch this right. Which is yeah, probably a terrible collection. like, no, I'm, I'm ready for my other football league. Right. Yeah. I mean it's, it's hard. Titling the videos I think is one of the hardest things to do because I know, well, exactly what that video is about.
(18:36) But do you call it how to count the number of unique items in a spreadsheet with multiple criteria? No, probably not. But you probably don't Also, you probably also don't call it count unique gifts. So you have to find some way to boil it down that looks good in a search result or is suggested, kind of tells you what it's about.
(18:55) But I don't know. Uh, can't tell the whole thing. So I don't know how many videos you've made total, but like in the last three years I've made over a thousand videos. Not all of them are public or published. Um, cuz they're usually like half my videos, like more than 500 are literally just me answering a member's question.
(19:13) Like, you ask this, here's the answer in like two or three minutes. Okay. But like, I have, I, I did not realize I have a lot of videos until a friend of mine emailed me and was like, Hey, I was looking for, I, I wanted to do this one thing in Sheets and I couldn't find it on your channel. And the thing he asked for was literally a video.
(19:35) Exactly. I answered his, his question exactly in this video on the channel that's available on YouTube. And I was like, it just was named differently. It was just named something completely different than he would ever imagine. And I was like, oh my God. And he's, and then I'm like, yeah, here's the answer to your question.
(19:52) You could have just asked me like, what he, he like even found another video that had a same ti, a different title, and he's like, oh, you should probably name it what I was searching for. And I was like, sure. But like, You're gonna come around search for this, the next hundred people are gonna search for a completely different thing.
(20:10) Like that particular example was like such exactly what you said. It's like there's so many ways to Describe this one thing. You picked one, you're gonna pick one, you're gonna pick one, right? Yeah. That's, um, the number of videos. I think I have a couple hundred on. Mm-hmm. , prolific Oak tree and for years.
(20:33) So I'm a c p a like in my other life. And I become the tech guy at that firm. But I also work with clients a lot and I work with their spreadsheets. So I've always been able to collect ideas because people ask me spreadsheet questions all the time in person, and, and, and uh, and I don't wanna say the real world, but it's all the real world And so it's, it.
(20:58) , a lot of times. I, I guess it's a similar, uh, setup to you in, in that you're starting with questions now. What I I, what I've done is I've, I've taken that question and I've made it into a five minute mm-hmm. video. Right. I, I don't script out the actual words, but I do a bullet point, do a bullet point outline, and make sure I have a good hook in the beginning and then, uh, and then record the video and then edit it down to get out all the awkward pauses and ums and us and things.
(21:31) So the, the process takes several days a week or two if you combine everything. But, um, yeah, it's, I've found that, that, uh, that direction and that approach puts me like, I wanna be in the br in the mind of the person who's at the computer. And I know now it's probably at the phone, uh, phone, but Right.
(21:53) Uh, you know, what they're thinking. So that. Mine comes up first. . Well, your videos are also much higher quality than mine. I'd use Loom and then I edit with the script and I will just cut out pauses and I will cut out ums. Mm-hmm. and that's it. Mm-hmm. Um, sometimes I will do a little bit more editing, but not much because, not because I think what I do is good.
(22:18) It's like, I think the next thing I I'm gonna do is better Uhhuh. So I Yeah, I know what you mean. I know exactly what you mean. And it's, I I still fall. Well, I'm gonna, I'm talking about like it's a bad thing and, and my, this be still fall prey to like, oh, it's good enough.
(22:35) And then the next one will always be better. But then the problem is when I look at my stats pre, pre on the new channel too, to a lesser. The, you know, the 80 20 rule that right? Yeah. So 80% of the views come from 20% of aids. It's more exact, way more exaggerated than that. So I'd say mm-hmm. , whatever, 95% of the views come from a dozen videos.
(23:00) So that makes me really want to make them good, because I want to get a 13th video and a 14th video. But I mean, the, the other side of that is, it's not because those were perfectly edited, right? That's not what makes them popular. It's because, well, who knows? That's the, that's the million dollar question.
(23:19) But, um, yeah, the, the quality versus quantity. But if you also, if you feel yours good enough, that's YouTube. Post it, right? , oh, sitting on the next one. There's nothing. I wanted, it's all I wanted. Ask you a question though before we move too far away from it. You, you said you get a lot of questions.
(23:36) I get a lot of questions emailed to me. I used to work at a startup for five years. I was the Google Sheet guy in the office, so I had a bunch of questions. And anytime I'm talking to someone like a marketer or like someone who's interested in the business, they'll always ask me, what's the number one question you get? And I'm like, oh my God, I can't even begin to tell you.
(23:55) Like, there are just so many questions. Do you have like the, a number one question or a type of question that people ask you like most? Uh, it's funny, I, there's a lot of questions that are, are not about the video in a, as for the business model, trying to make good videos and help people understand those videos.
(24:21) I've got, like I, it's hard, but I just ignore those. Yeah. So if it's a conditional formatting video and someone says in Excel, how do you get the um, you know, a date formatting, it's not the video. Yeah, I really wanna help that person. I do. And sometimes I'll answer, but I have to say like, no this, that I need to stay focused.
(24:41) But, um, there's no, I'll tell you one that comes to mind, um, that I've been asked a fair amount. Mm-hmm. and I think it's a, a good, uh, question on your part cuz it'll let me talk about something I'm working on. Is that, so there's a fair amount of videos, people are looking at how to sort things, right? Mm-hmm.
(25:01) sort your filter, um, and sheets and now Excel too. Um, if we can say that four letter words, not four letters, but you know what I mean, Excel too now. Yeah. I think the next episode I'm talking to someone who's has an Excel course, Shame on. Now. Um, so you can even sort and filter with functions now in addition to the menu.
(25:24) Um, and you'll notice I'm like 15 years ago is like yesterday. Sometimes I think Sheets has been able to sort with functions forever, but um, still feels, you know, anyway, so people, uh, a fair amount of people have asked, do you know how to make a table sport plate? So when you put an entry at the bottom, it goes to where you think it should go.
(25:48) Mm-hmm. . And you can't do that with the built-in functionality. Right? So I've been having fun, uh, making an add-on for that right now. So this'll be the third add on I've made. So that's part of Sheets help. Why I'm branding it just around sheets is because I think add-ons is an actual extension of when you're trying to do things in sheets, some things you can't do.
(26:09) So I've had some people ask if you can, so let's say you have a table and it's sorted by last name, which is the third column. , they want to put in information. Once they get to that third column and put the last name in, they want it to go, uh, to where they think it belongs at the table. Well, there's Solu a lot of these things like that, that would be really confusing if it was built in.
(26:30) Like, if you think about it, it's not built in because the record would disappear if you weren't expecting it. You're like, where'd that go? You don't know. Or if you don't know what's going on. So there are solutions to these things where you can, uh, you can go online, you can find the script, you can open up the app script editor, paste it in there, and then you can deploy it in your sheet.
(26:50) Sure, you can do that. But this, when you make an add-on, then you can just go to the sheets marketplace, install the add-on and use it with just a click of a button. But it's, so some of the questions, and that's one of the examples, lead to some, you know, gives you kind of a driver's seat as to what people are trying to do and maybe some of the needs that Google Sheets isn't serving.
(27:12) Because I think. They don't necessarily fit inside of a stock spreadsheet that works for everyone. And so this, that's going to be called Stay sorted. Stay sorted. That's gonna become, it's out yet. Stay sorted. That's a preliminary name. It's not out yet. Should be a week or two. I have someone helping me work on it cuz I know spreadsheets, I don't know.
(27:30) App, scripts of Forge Plan. I market with a guy that does. He's very good. Oh, abs script's awesome. And so wait, you said this is your third add-on, so stay sorted is your third add-on. What are the other two add-ons you've made? Yeah, so, um, back in, I'm gonna make a joke about how old it was, but now I'm thinking, I don't even really know when it was.
(27:51) 2000. I'm gonna guess. But, uh, I'll say 2016 I made a video about how to insert special characters in Google Sheets. Ah, and it's funny cuz I watch it, it's just like, oh, it's really painful to watch because it's the laptop microphone. And I sort of just, I'm talking like this.
(28:11) . Um, but still you can't, if you want to insert, uh, like a circled one, right? So you want to put a red circled one on this total and you want to reference it with an, uh, paired circle one, uh, on this lead sheet. So I'll talk like an auditor for a little while. Those special characters in Excel, you can go to insert special characters and put them right in.
(28:34) But in sheets you have to, I, it's not the end of the world, but you can go into docs, do insert special character copy and paste it in. Okay. Or get them off the internet somewhere else. Well, this gives you a sidebar. It's called insert Special Characters. And it just gives you a sidebar with, and you can search for it.
(28:52) And it just presents special characters. Just select it and you can insert it. Great. So you can do, uh, that just allows you if you have a workflow where you're using special characters. So as an auditor, I would, cuz I'm using check marks and circled numbers and maybe little symbols showing that I footed something.
(29:11) , you can do that all in Google Sheets. And so that, you know when you contact Switch, or at least when I do right, I go to copy something, two hours later, I'm still checking my email. Right? So it is very valuable, uh, for a lot of people, such as myself, to stay in sheets. So that's one. But the second one is actually really interesting and there's something that happened recently that I think is neat to talk about.
(29:37) Hmm. So if you have an address in Google Sheets. Okay. So think of your home address. Address. Address, yeah. Right. So let, let's say you're a delivery company and you organizing your route and you have 12 addresses. Mm-hmm. . Okay. So you have to copy and paste them into Google Maps, get the distance, and get the time and even the route, and put them back in your sheet.
(30:01) Mm-hmm. , if you wanna stay in sheets. So now this add-on, this one's called Trip Tally, and it's. , you tell it where the beginning addresses are, you tell it where the Indian addresses are and it will fetch that the time distance en route and put them into sheets next to it. Nice. So I thought that's really interesting.
(30:22) Like there are formulas out there that can do that. That again, you, you put into app script. I think you need a Google Maps API maybe. Um, so you can do it. Like I always have this moral quandary with these add-ons. It's like you can do this without an add-on. Should I do the add-on? Cause you can do it.
(30:37) Yeah. But I wanna do it right and I kind of know how to do this stuff. I'd much rather use an add-on. So this thing calculates, uh, mileage. But here's the interesting thing for a spreadsheet, in order to think about, I've had videos ruined in the morning. When I look at my Google Workspace newsletter, I had one that was really popular, is showing you how to rotate text.
(31:01) Mm-hmm. and popular to me five years ago was a hundred thousand views or something. It was a big deal. I loved it. . Well, I get this newsletter from Google. It says, guess, guess what? We've added the ability to rotate text. I was just like, that was my biggest video. Like my day was ruined. Now oh my god.
(31:18) They control that environment. Obviously they right. Do that. Right? It's their software. Yeah. But just overnight, it just destroys that. Where am I going with this? Oh, so a couple days ago after I made this add-on, trip tally, it's really new. I get the newsletter that says they're adding chips.
(31:37) Uh, so you know the concept where it's like people chips, file chips. Yes. They're great. I can talk about them forever. They're, they're interesting. At least, uh, now a chip, like a location chip. Mm. So when you put it, I, it's not, I'm on the early relief cycle, but I don't have it yet.
(31:54) But it's going to be interesting to see. I hope it doesn't hijack a, an address field, because then I don't know if the add-on's gonna know what to do because it might change. I don't know if you, if you look at it, if it's going to still remain 1, 2, 3 Sesame Street, New York. New York, or if it's going to do something where it just becomes a link, right? Because in that case go ahead.
(32:18) Um, you can test this out with the other chips they have, because I don't think dropdown chip changes the data in it. I'm gonna do it, but maybe the location might be because just like, uh, Google will change, not necessarily change, but do stuff with formatting dates. If it's like a formatted date, it'll change it.
(32:37) But the underlying data, it will be a Google Sheets data. Like with, with data, it's what some number, the number of days since, uh, January 1st, 1900. So if you put in a date, the date to that number, right. It's still really just that number. Yeah. But it, it'll change your date to that number.
(32:58) Right. So, um, . So hopefully, right, like, like you said, it's still a chance they're gonna change it, but if you look at the dropdown chip, um, it doesn't change the data, but also it wouldn't change the data for dropdowns shouldn't but location, it might change. Yeah. So I, I typed an app symbol and like I see people files.
(33:19) But the funny thing with these is that these aren't data types. You would put in, I suppose you could put in a link to a file. Mm-hmm. , I'm trying to think of one that's, um, I guess a dropdown. Then you would populate the dropdown and then see, so you're saying if you put in a dropdown and you put in different values and you select the value and then you reference that sell, it's gonna be that piece of text.
(33:42) Yeah. But that is what you would expect. Could be it to do. Yeah. I mean, sometimes it does things you don't expect it to do, like . But yeah, that's, it would be a big, I guess it would, especially for the dropdowns, it would have to do that cuz some people use a dropdown value to feed it into another function.
(34:00) Well, and I'm just also thinking of the analogy to dates. Like if you, if you put in a date and then you change the format of the date, I don't think the date, sometimes the date doesn't change. In some instances it does. Yeah. Yeah. That, that, I agree with you. And that's an, it is own interesting topic.
(34:19) I was on sheet's help, I was writing a, I did a basic section, which really made me rethink, like start from the beginning, right. One of it was, I, I thought I was going to write a page about data formats. Mm-hmm. , but then I realized there's data types and then there's formatting on top of that.
(34:42) But I don't think, I wouldn't have thought of it that way until I wrote that because a date. is a number, but then there's date formatting. Mm-hmm. . But it's still, the data type is still a number, but then the data formatting can be different. So like if you take December 12th, 2021, you can multiply it by four.
(35:08) Yeah. Doesn't make any sense. But you could, yeah. So there's this weird, I, I mean, I don't, I don't, I think 90% of spreadsheet users would not really know the difference. And that's why dates are always confusing because you are usually not using them as a number. But then occasionally you want to find the, the length of time that passed between two of them.
(35:29) And then you have to go in this weird world of like, you thought it was a label, but now it's a number. But you can actually do math with them. Don't get me started. I told you I'd talk all night about spreadsheets. I think, I think the hardest, I think the hardest video I made that I can remember about dates was trying to add a month.
(35:46) Have you, have you tried to do, all right, tell me what, what does that even mean? So add a month. So you have a date. You, you have a date, right? It's like the whole thing is confusing. Oh yeah. February 15th. And you want, and you want to select, you wanna say one month later? What's the date? One month later.
(36:02) Oh yeah. That's confusing. Not all months have 30 days. 30, 31, 28. You cannot add just plus one. You don't necessarily know if that person do, do they mean the 15th to the 15th, right. Do they mean 30 days? I mean, it, it, yeah. I don't even think I actually solved the person's problem. I think I just got onto the, like I cuz it's such a specific, you all I remember wa about this video cuz , I was scraped it from my memory was finding out of e uh, EO month.
(36:42) Function. Mm-hmm. , which is, if you give it a date, it'll tell you the end of the month, the, the day of that month. And then with that you can, there's also, you can plus one that to get the next month because you don't necessarily know what the next month is for, for all intense, like , it's such a, you gotta do a lot of stuff to, it's one month later or one month earlier.
(37:06) It's very, all right, stay with me here. I have a proposed solution. Oh God. I don't wanna get into, yeah, this is good. This is good. Uh, take said date. So let's say 2 15, 22. I wonder if you could say, if you could run the month of run, month, day, and year on it, and then just, no. You could say equals month, reference it plus one, and then day reference it, and a year reference it.
(37:36) So just return, same thing with one month again, month. Okay. So, So get this. If, if you add, okay, if you do that right, if you take just the day, the month, the year, add one, one to the month, then what happens on January 31st? Oh yeah, no, you're right. . Yeah. Yeah. Be because of what I said as assumes a month is just a, uh, right.
(38:00) A, a flat or a predictive. Huh. So like what, I mean the, the, the answer is actually more in the question of, of like questioning the question cuz it's like, wait, what do you mean by one month later? Do do you just mean 30 days or do you mean like 28 days? Like four weeks later? Do you mean? Yeah, the next month, the same day and then you're just gonna like, screw around with January, February.
(38:24) Like you'll never, the next month, day will never be March, uh 30, March 29th, March 30th. Right. Like, um, it's, it's a tough one. Yeah. And you need, without those purpose-built date functions, you wouldn't be able to do any of it because they're at least aware of the number of months in a date and they're aware of when lead year is.
(38:49) But still something, actually, exactly what you said is probably one of the hardest things to do. This should be easy and part of that, but maybe cuz it, no one really knows what the question is, . But what I was sort of in, in tune too is part of that was an easier answer to a different question, which is what's the next month if you have a date, what's the next month? Which I, I discovered this EO EO month end of month function.
(39:15) Yeah. Which tells you given a day, what's the end of the, the, the day at the end of the month. And then you can plus one that, or you can also do the other one. It's like, oh, what was last month? And this is really helpful for forecasting and um, certain sheets where you just want to know, uh, also PR project management.
(39:34) task management. If you're like, what's the end of the month? Like, I need to do this, this, and this by the end of the month, because you cannot say, especially end of the month is always weird. If if the due, if the due date is the end of the month, it's gonna be February 28th, March 31st, January 31st.
(39:51) It'll be 30th of some months, 31st of others. So that end of month function becomes very useful. Yeah. And then you have all, I'm realized that moving you over to more where my camera is. Um, and then you have functions that are aware of the weekdays, right? Workdays, yeah. Weekdays versus workdays. Yeah.
(40:13) Thing. Yeah. And then you can have the ones that are international. I don't know why this is international, but you can define different, uh, well, holidays would be international, but different weekends. Yeah. There's endless content that you can do about those. So, um, what, what I found was that, The, the sort of sameness of all the questions.
(40:38) Like, like I said, I, I never can say what is the number one question I get? Um, but have you, uh, found this to be true? I, I get questions a lot and they'll always say, this is so specific. They'll add that caveat. And I'm like, or have you ever gotten this situation? And I almost wanna say like, EV no, because like every situation is different.
(41:03) Everything is specific. So I thought you were going to say, they say it's so specific, but you look at it and it's really the same. So you threw me off. Oh no, your question. Wait, is that, is that what you can look at the same different question, but it's the same question all the. I get that. No, not really.
(41:21) I mean, but he is kind of funny. Like I'll, I'll get questions where they'll type out a spreadsheet grid in the comment field, right. , and then ask a question on it, and then a, after a certain point, it's just like, you know, I, I, I will do consulting for you if you would like to contact me, but if it's this specific, it's not a question that's going to be helpful for other people if you ask it on a YouTube video.
(41:44) Yeah. Right. So sometimes a strategy, and I don't do this that much cuz my business plan doesn't do a lot of consulting, but I had a canned email for a while. Like when I would get questions, I would say something to the effect of, I'm really busy, thanks for the question. If you would like to engage me, here's my rate.
(42:03) Um, and it's a way of saying like, I'd be glad to do this for you, but there's value to it. So if you would like to engage me, I'd, you know, I'll do it. Which has actually worked a couple times, it's worked. I'm like, oh. .
(42:18) Well, I guess I'll do it now, but, uh, no, I mean, it's just there, there's, there's funny questions and there's a lot of the questions though. I, I, my true response is I'd really have to see your sheep a hundred percent. Right? Like, you can even paste the link in, in this comment if you want. Um, you know, sometimes it's relevant, but, um, like they're trying to get me to, and I get it.
(42:42) Like, I'm not saying they're being annoying, but they're trying to get me to answer a very specific question that they're looking at on their screen and I can't see, but they're trying to journalize it in a way. I'm like, I don't know. There's 17 different ways to solve that, but I need to see what you're talking about.
(42:58) So get a fair amount. Those a hundred i, I run, um, a Facebook group called I Love Google Sheets. And it was originally the intent, what I intended it to be was people sharing interesting sheets. Like, I thought there would be a large amount of people making interesting things in Google Sheets. I did not realize it was about a dozen people in the world.
(43:21) Um, yeah, . So the intention was there, but what it ends up being, and now day-to-day, it's about anywhere between five and 15 questions of just questions of people having a Google Sheets problem. And people get into it. They, they will write so much stuff, and at the end of it, I'm just like, I'm so sorry.
(43:42) Like, can you just share the sheet? Like I even added a rule recently to just share the sheet because like people are screenshotting, uh, people are taking photos of their screen and then pointing to a cell and I'm like, you didn't even show a one, a, B, C, like, they crop out the, the information that I, I will go into your, I will look at your screenshot.
(44:05) I will look at your, your photo of your, your thing. I will try to read it and then understand the problem because I'm just, always looking for video topics, but they make it very hard. Yeah. So tell me, tell me what your, because it usually questions to me are just a supporting function of my videos.
(44:23) But for you, tell me what your, what is your Yeah. Ultimate business model. Well, it's, so the original intention and sort of still is the main model is that it's tutorials to get you better, better sheet. Like, literally it's called better sheets to get you just a little bit better. So it's not, I, I try to, uh, avoid the term tips and tricks, uh, because I don't necessarily think it's like a trick.
(44:51) It's like more like a better practice. Like, yeah. Okay. I, I sat in a, I sat inside of a startup where I was the Google Sheets guy and 30 people were using the sheets that I made, and then I also had to like deal with 30 people. Like I had to give them product. I had to make something productive. For them to use without having to come to me.
(45:12) Cuz 30 pe if you work in an office and there's 30 people coming to you for questions and they need to do their work, like that's not sustainable. So I found these like sustainable practices that just consistently were, you know, make things very clear for people where they need to fill it in, make things easier to read.
(45:31) Also, I was using Google Sheets for eight to 10 to 12 hours a day and finding myself getting headaches. So I had to like lower the contrast. I have some like early tips and tricks that I've continued to like, say a lot, um, like lowering the contrast, making headers different than what you normally do, which is like bold the headers and make 'em big and stuff.
(45:51) And it's like the, the header's the least amount of information we ever need. So it's those kinds of things that are like gonna make your sheets consistently, sustainably better. And that's like a tutorial thing. But recently, in the last year, so I've been running this for about three years.
(46:08) in the last year, I realized that a lot of my suggestions, uh, could be done in App Script. And so then I ended up okay sharing a lot of app scripts and then sharing the fact that like 10 years ago I started doing App script. And the reason why I was the Google Sheets guy was cuz I was coding an app script and I was like, oh my God.
(46:25) It, it wasn't Google Sheets that ended up being the thing that people were coming to me for. It was this app script that I was writing. I was writing app script for the company and to run this internal tool creating internal tools. So I was like, oh, let me teach app script. And then after teaching app script, I was like, well actually can I just make a tool that does the thing that I'm telling you to do? So here's like a tutorial about here's a better practice, here's how you can learn
(46:50) app script to do that or do that more. And then I just built tools to do that thing. So my Google sheet add on. First one I made was sheet styles, which lowers the contrast and you can set different contrasts to your page. Yeah, I saw that. . Um, I also made tiny sheets because I kept needing a one cell sheet.
(47:11) I just kept making more them. So that makes it in one click instead of like 10 to 12 clicks, it's one click. What do you use a one cell sheet for? Uh, so I do a lot of Just to hold a piece of data that you reference. Exactly. So instead of using named ranges, uh, in app script, I can say get sheet by name and get the range A one.
(47:36) I don't have to think about where it is. So why do you make a free add-on? Oh, I make a free Adam because I literally don't know how to charge for it. I have not figured that part out. I think it's a bit of license key, uh, thing. I don't know. Yeah, I can, I can connect you with, um, the guy that I use and I, I, I'm asking that because, um, you know, I didn't know if it was just a funnel to, to bring, to bring more people to you or if it was a fun project or a little bit of both.
(48:14) It's just curious. It's everything. Like I only built that out on, because I was like, try, I actually, I ended up making an add on the first time almost by accident because I was like, this is the app. I, I wrote the app script that does the thing and I was like, oh, just copy the app script. Same as you, you were saying before, like, just copy this app script.
(48:35) And I have a ton of app scripts in better sheets that people pay for and get, and they'll use like only sheets. I created a way to do like a paywall, like it's only fans for Google Sheets where you can sell a Google sheet and you only have to, you don't have to give. The internet access to your sheet, you can keep it restricted and this only adds the buyer as a user of a viewer.
(48:59) That's still an app script and I excel it as an app script that you have to download, copy, and put into your sheet, and I have some tutorial videos. With that, you're able to. Would you say you're able to make a paywall for a sheet, essentially? Yeah. So only Sheets. What it does is if you sell it on Gum Road, for instance, so it, it hooks up to Gum Road and also Stripe if you ask me to, but, um, us usually it's usually gum Road and I'm adding more, I want to add more because I set up someone with
(49:30) is Zapier as well, or Shopify to Zapier. But basically as long as you can get the u the buyer's email address. So Stripe customer data has that. If you get a purchase, you can get the API that'll send you the email. Same with Gum Road has Gum Road ping that it'll send you the customer's email address when they purchase something.
(49:49) And so it's a web hook that just captures that. So we set it up, deploy the app script as a web app, as a do, uh, post or do it now, I forget. But it's a web app, uh, web hook capture. And then once it does that, it's in your, in your Google sheet and, and you can select a Google sheet to say, I want.
(50:10) , everyone who purchases this product access to this sheet, and it'll automatically add that one user as a viewer of that sheet without you having to do anything. Yeah, I may be asking you about that in future . Uh, so I have, have you seen spreadsheet.com? Yeah. Is it that, like a alternative to Google Sheets, isn't it? Yeah, yeah, yeah.
(50:35) It's a cool idea. And I made, I switched over to that for a while. I made some content and made a site that was and members only functionality. Well, still there has members only functionality, but I did that by, uh, you know, a user can pay to be a member and then they log in, so it's an authenticated session.
(50:58) Then they can see the post that just has a link to a spreadsheet that they couldn't see otherwise. So there's some level, it's. I mean, I, you have to that, so that's the way that I controlled access. But it's interesting that it can be done in the way that you explained. I think that in some way, in seller certain situations, certainly that's better.
(51:20) Right. So the way you explain, so the way you explained is how people will sell sheets is Gum Road offers you a paywall. Stripe gives you a payment link, um, podium. Anytime you have a paywall, the thing you'll do is you'll just set that Google sheet to anyone with a link. So now you can just give that link to anyone who paid.
(51:41) Yeah. Uh, you can put in an email, automatic email. You can sell it through Convert, convert Kit Commerce, and just email. Here's a link to the sheet you bought. Um, what I've found with that is people don't do this maliciously, they do it just because they want to spread your word. Even if they can't share it, they're gonna, they can make a copy and share to say really one, a hundred percent.
(52:01) Right. So it, but it, what it does is it prevents the, the first person or not, it doesn't prevent, sorry, it, it just adds one road bump. One, one little extra thing that they can't just get the link and share the link because they actually can still get the link and share the link, but then the other person's not going to be gonna have access cuz it's not an anyone with a link.
(52:26) So, okay. Right. It's, it's totally fine. Like, I, I talk about this a lot, um, to people who wanna sell sheets who, who are just making like one or two templates like. Just brand the hell out of the sheet, right? Like just yeah. Know that a hundred percent of the time people will share it. Like you, if, if you don't ma, if you make a sheet and people don't share it, you haven't made a sheet that's useful enough.
(52:52) Like make sure that it's useful enough to share and then brand it so that when someone gets it, they're like, who may, oh, I know exactly who made this? Like it has links to your site. It has your, your yeah. Logo in it or whatever the colors look like you. Um, and then, then everyone's happy.
(53:13) . Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I was looking through my email the other day and I got a $7 PayPal payment. I thought, well, cool. I don't know what that's for, but cool. And then I looked at it and I realized that someone. um, because I have a similar feeling where a lot of people are using my sheets, but some of them, their business, their sheets for businesses.
(53:33) So I had made a video about a depreciation schedule for the accounting department and I put a little link in there. I said, if you, if you use this or depreciate, you know, a payment, um, for the value that you get from it. And at first I thought, oh, this is gonna be great. I think I'll get a little revenue, wealth That didn't really work.
(53:52) And then, cause that was five years ago, but then I got the payment in my email and I had to dig it up and then got a link to that sheet. I was like, oh, well that's, I remember doing that. That's good. Passive income, $7 every five years, right? I mean, yeah, that's, uh, I could probably get a new car soon with that.
(54:10) Nice. Before we, but that's a great thing about doing this stuff on the online is that you can try a hundred different things and finally find what works and what doesn't. Yeah. Before we go, I wanted to ask you, are you an A one or a B two kind of guy? , B2 all the way. It's a great question. You skipped, you skipped that you can't do first column, they're dead to you.
(54:30) Please don't tell me, please don't tell me you, you're an A one guy. I'm back and forth. If I, if I know, okay. I probably like 95% of the videos that I make are like b2, but like every once in a while you'll catch me on a one. Cuz like I'll know I'm, I did not expect that question .
(54:52) I, I do consciously think of that when I, especially like when I do a pivot table too. I never put it up against the border and I, but I think about it. I, but I also think there's no reason why I'm doing this, but it just doesn't feel right to put it up against the border. You know, it's not really feng shui. It should be in an A one, but it doesn't look right in a one, so I'm not gonna put it there.
(55:10) Yeah, you're right. Great question. It's like a New York City apartment. Like you gotta put, be right up here. We don't have the space, but we have an infinite amount of space. Oh, just move it here. What's your favorite formula? Oh man. Formula. So not a function. So it can be more more than one.
(55:30) It's gotta, well, in all honesty, it's gotta be X Look up. X look up in my real. There I go with the word real. In my CPA job, I did a lot of training on X lookup. Kind of made a joke like, don't ever use V lookup, it's gone. You'll never need it. But it's actually true if you, if I'd be using V lookup for 5,000 years, cuz I'm that old.
(55:54) And once you use X lookup, it's like, I didn't realize how clunky V lookup was because you learn it, it's weird, and then you just remember how to do it because you've done it a hundred times. You remember this lookup is just all you need. I feel like that's a superpower. Remembering how V lookup.
(56:10) Yeah. It, it is. And you know, it's one of these things where there's, uh, several functions I never touched until I went to the job I'm at now. And there's specific use cases where you use it every day or I could go to another job and never use it again. Right. It just depends what you're doing.
(56:26) I wanna know your favorite formula. Well, my favorite I think is if it's just magical. It, it's just, it's so simple and so magical. Like it makes things appear, disappear, combining if with is blank, combining if with check boxes. I I love that. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, and then I think my u most useful one being the formula combination is index match, which is like the poor man's X lookup.
(57:00) right? Yeah. That was just getting ready. I was just, uh, loading up there to give you a hard time. Now isn't that, uh, depreciated or deprecated with the X lookup or did you I never purposely used that. Oh wait, no X so new in Google Sheets. I think they just, isn't that like last year or two years ago? Didn't X lookup just get added Y Yeah, it did.
(57:23) And it was such a big deal that all, you know, in our tiny little world, people made a million videos about it because everyone knew Excel had it for a while and then it finally came to, to Google Sheets. I, I don't even think I've ever looked it up. Like I just, I just use index match all the time.
(57:40) Still. Like it's, that's in my Yeah. Heart. I remember that . Well, it work if Index Match works and I'm just giving you a hard time however. Mm-hmm. , um, I, you, you won't eat it again. Want you to use X look cups. Right. You really won't. Um, um, because that's people that wanted to do, people that were good at v lookup but wanted to do certain things, had to use index match, but now X lookup does with v lookup did and, uh, index match.
(58:12) Right. So maybe softball. I love that. I did notice, I thought for a while that V lookup was the most searched for, um, formula in Google Sheets. Uh, in Google. But actually now it's uh, I think some if is the number one search for Google formula. I think, uh, that makes sense. If people started to move away from, I think it'd take forever for people to move, move away from V lookup.
(58:41) But that makes sense. Maybe that's why, because X look ups a whole lot easier. Yeah. Not that I've been looking at. How, how do you, um, yeah. What's your source? How do you Um, I, I'm not a big keyword guy. Key subject maybe. Well that's not even a word anyway. How do you, uh, look up keywords for stuff like that? I know there's different ways to do it, but I'm curious what you do.
(59:07) Well, I don't really, so you don't have to give, if you have secret sauce, I don't You don't have to give away your secret. No, I don't use, I'll respect that. No, I don't use at wraps. I'm happy to share the secret sauce. It's fun. Um, cuz it's not so secret. So, um, sorry.
(59:23) So hfs like keyword tools, like that kind of stuff I use mm-hmm. , cat links with a K, uh, but it's not as powerful as hfs, but it's also 10% of the price. Um, and there's a bunch of free keyword lookups. And, and I don't, I did that for a while thinking that, just look, do the thing that SEO people say to do, which is the basics, is like, yeah, look up the keywords, find the ones that are rank up bull that are high volume.
(59:52) And I just found that so boring , which was just falling asleep with these spreadsheets full of SEO keywords. So that's why I got into more trend jacking, getting I, I wanna do things outside of the world of Google Sheets and bring a Google sheet into it. Then do Google Sheets. Does that make sense? Yep.
(1:00:14) Yeah. And the, especially after Covid that just the straight up Google sheets videos are, there's tons of good ones now. So yeah, you gotta have a new approach. I think that's a great idea. And, and I did not, so I didn't realize, what I'm about to say, I did not realize for the last three years is that it's, , unbelievably interesting that I can code in sheets, like App Script takes Google Sheets to a whole nother level that I didn't know because I was on that level and I didn't realize, oh, this is different.
(1:00:51) Um, uh, so now I'm doing workshops con almost consistently. I think I'm gonna be doing them more and more of getting more and more people into automating sheets and, and using app script. Cuz I think that just unlocks the absolute power of Google Sheets and it's, it's sort of, it's free.
(1:01:09) It, it's, it, it's so easy to access. It's right, it's right there. It's just two buttons away since it's script. Yeah. So again, this is interesting to, to suss out a little bit, is that I, I think there's somewhat of a honey hole there because spreadsheet users are the ones who want, are small to medium sized.
(1:01:31) Business. They work in the administrative side of a smaller, medium sized business. I'm saying smaller medium, because they use Excel usually in the, in the bigger companies. And those people don't code. Mm-hmm. . Right? So they have specific use cases that they want to do, but they're not in a world of people I don't know how to code.
(1:01:49) So, um, but, but so I think you can approach them. Here's what I'm going with this. Some other people that I happen to know in this space are really into app script, right? And they market ascr, but I think they do it at kind of a more programmer ish mm-hmm. approach and level. And it's, to me it's like, uh, that's just too complicated.
(1:02:13) I'm not gonna do it. Um, I, so I think there's an opportunity there for regular person app script usage, right? Where it's, you have this regular everyday problem that's really time consuming to solve in sheets. I can show you how to do it with, you know, lightweight programming, right? Because the, the stuff that I see is, it's, it's app script, and then it'll do, and it's this giant explanation.
(1:02:39) I'm like, well, the person that realizes that that problem is that way is going to be doing the a, you know, they're going to be coding anyway. So I think you could have, uh, I don't know how long you've been using that approach, but I think there's some real potential there to mm-hmm.
(1:02:54) , you know, you're not showing them how to, to write complicated code. You are showing them the easy way to automate sheets. And I don't know if you mess around with app sheets too well, that's making an app you're trying to see. I haven't even touched it. Yeah. So, yeah. Well, I don't know you what you're talking about when it be that.
(1:03:10) I think it'd be App Scripts. Yeah. I think that's pretty cool. And I mean, so many, I, and, and one of the reasons I did this is because literally in the Facebook group, uh, I love Google Sheets. People will ask a question and then someone will write, this can be done in App Script, DM me and I'll write it for you.
(1:03:27) And I'm like, Yeah, , I would say that too. Or I'll say, oh, I, I did this for a little bit. I would say, oh, that can be done in App Script. And then someone would, that person would probably, oh, can you write that for me? I'm like, sure. Like, maybe like, okay, I'll maybe make a video and in the video I'll write this app script so that I have some content and you get the answer.
(1:03:50) Um, but like again, I didn't realize how you percentage of people write app script until this kind of massive amount of people kept asking these questions. I'm like, oh, that's an easy app script. Oh, that's an easy app script. I can write that in five minutes, but it's not though. Yeah, I've had people write them, I've made videos, I make the app script available and it doesn't work for some people and I can't answer their questions.
(1:04:14) So like, I'm getting this air, I'm like, sorry man. You can contact the person in the video description that made it, but it's hard. Yeah. Yeah. I think you give yourself credit. It's complicated. So, so that's also where now I'm going into sort of a bifurcated. Setup where if you want to go the, this route of, okay, you, you know, Google Sheets and you want to take it to the infinite level Learn app script, and I can, I can teach you the basics and get you into app script, but then
(1:04:40) also the app script that I'm doing, instead of making them available as App Script, or I'm sorry, in addition to making them available Atscript, I'm also going to be making them into tools in sort of another product so that someone who doesn't know Outs script and doesn't even want to copy and paste this and use it and deal with it, they can still get the, uh, benefit of it.
(1:05:01) They can get the benefit of that. Yeah. So, and you're talking about putting in the workspace marketplace as an add-on? Yeah, add-ons. I have like a list of like 25 add-ons I wanna write. Um, but the process is so slow. Uh, I'm, I'm dealing with my fourth one now and it's a bit, I don't want to, I don't wanna say what it is yet because I don't know if it's going to get up, get through the whole process.
(1:05:24) I'm. Scared it won't. Um, but I'll speak about the topic that it is, which is, I think in addition to App Script, the ability to get AI into sheets, I think has been just one of those moments in time in the last six months to a year that I've been like, oh my God, fundamentally this might change Google Sheets.
(1:05:48) Yeah. Yeah. That, yeah, it could be huge. You just have them make a court, them it, make a quarterly report out a table of data that you have or something. Or, or you, well, you can be able to write. So some people are doing things like, I know there's Formula Bot, I know there's Sheets ai, they're trying to do things so that you write the thing you're trying to do and then it'll like maybe do it for you.
(1:06:16) Is that what you're talking about? Like, okay, I wanna, what's a quarter? I wanna say write the, produce the quarterly report from this tab. Yeah. Uh, I hadn't thought about how you would do it, but Yeah. That, right. Like, um, yeah, I guess you just have to tell it in plain, in English what to do and then just, it just goes and does it.
(1:06:38) Yeah. I don't know. I gotta see it when it's done. Well, if you watch, I don't know if you've watched any of the AI videos I made, cuz I just made in the last few weeks. So I made a literally achey PT that works with Open AI api Okay. Inside a sheet so you can have a question and answer. So just like Che p t, but inside a sheet.
(1:06:54) And then I also just did a basic tutorial on how to use the open AI api, uh, to write a prompt. So, so, uh, that, that all has Can I access, sorry, can it write data into cells? Yep. Oh, okay. Yeah. Yeah. And um, uh, actually just for members last week, which by the time this'll. This video will be out, it'll be out for publicly, but, uh, I wrote like a little tweet hook writing writer with AI inside of a sheet.
(1:07:28) Um, I might, I might do some more like clones or cl app clones around ai, cuz there's like dozens and dozens and dozens of AI writers and AI apps like, uh, my Friends Made, um, l e ai, which answers your emails with ai, but you can, you can get in app script, you can take Gmail emails into your sheet so you can sort like which ones you haven't replied to.
(1:07:58) I already made a, not AI at all, but I tag all of the members. If I, if you become a member, I'll tag all your emails in my Gmail as a member. And I did that with App Script. Yeah. Okay. So yeah. That's awesome. Maybe, maybe I could take in any unre reply to emails that I get. Put it in the sheet, write the email, reply with ai, and then send that reply.
(1:08:23) Maybe probably. I don't, I actually don't know. I'm being coy about this, but I don't know. I thought that would be funny. All right, let me show you my, um, this is gonna be the grand finale. Okay. This is unplanned. So I had a video idea, uh, over the summer. I forget how I got inspired by it and by inspired, I mean, now I look at it like, why did I ever think I was gonna be that? But I still might.
(1:08:50) I still might. So this requires, I think it's probably cuz I got a good camera and I thought it would be really cool to act like I just bought Viscal. Mm-hmm. . So I didn't know what that was. Again, I look at so much spreadsheet stuff, I'm not quite sure how I found it. Maybe it was like a 30th anniversary or 40th anniversary.
(1:09:12) So anyway, I went on eBay and I bought. A copy of VisiCalc. That's great. And what I wanna do, it's wonderful, isn't it? It's beautiful. What I thought I would do is like film myself walking up to the mailbox and act like I got a package and then put it down and do like an unboxing and VisiCalc.
(1:09:30) Oh, awesome. And then act like I was putting it into a computer. Like, not even like joke, like stick it into a laptop in the clam shell cuz I don't have a drive sitting around. And then start up an emulator and talk about like how it's automatic dark mode and like there's a lot of things that have changed a lot.
(1:09:48) So I was gonna present those as improvements to Google Sheets. I dunno if it'd be a short or a whole video, but that's, uh, that's the most original, uh, video that I would have. And this, I haven't done it cuz I tend to think like an accountant. I'm like, ah, but that's just, I don't even know how I.
(1:10:04) It'd be a lot of fun, and so I haven't started it yet. Then I have to admit something to you. I'll, I will tell you this, and anyone who's making it through this video, if this video goes up on my YouTube channel before April 1st, this, I am now revealing my April Fools joke for this year. Okay.
(1:10:21) . It is. No, I am not kidding you a hundred percent. I'm creating a vi calc emulator in Google Sheets. No, not, no. Yes. How about you do the intro and I'll do the sheet because I'm, I'm like, I literally recreated vis calc inside, like how stupid it is. It, this is, it has the stupidest features because I've like had to jam viscal inside of a sheet, right? Yeah.
(1:10:49) You do. You want to hear how stupid this is? I think this needs to happen. Yeah. This, so, okay, so Viscal had a limit to the amount of rows and columns, right? . Okay. And Google Sheets doesn't, I mean, technically there's a 10 million cell limit, right? Yeah. That's far more than Viscal. So what it does is when you use the Visc emulator inside of a Google sheet, if you try to add a column or add a row, it automatically deletes it.
(1:11:21) So it doesn't allow you to add more. That's one feature that I programmed into this. That's, that's wonderful. And you were gonna do it for, uh, April Fools. That's creative. Yeah. All right. I'm gonna do the intro. You, we'll get together about it. That would be awesome. I, now, I almost wanna wait.
(1:11:40) No, I think that's a good idea. I wanna save this, uh, chat for April 1st. But the hardcore fans of yours and mine are gonna be watching this, and so they'll get an inside tip to the, what our April 1st joke is. Yeah. You know, when we get off, tell me when you post it, because I'll, I don't know that anyone reads the community, uh, wall on my channel, but I'll definitely put it on there.
(1:12:06) Before people leave, before you leave and people leave, is, is there anything else other than Sheets help.com that you wanna point people to? The most interesting thing that I've done mm-hmm. lately is the, that add-on called Trip. I think it's neat. I think it's. There's gotta be a fair amount of people, I'm guessing slash open that are working with addresses in Google Sheets and they take them somewhere else or go back and forth to really tally up how far you have to go.
(1:12:35) Right. So I think there's gonna be a fair amount of people that are planning a route that could find it useful to not have to leave their spreadsheet in order to do it. If you do it yourself with ass scripts, you have to do something with the API trip tally, not so much taken care of for you. Cool. Thanks so much for coming, Adam.
(1:12:55) Go to sheets help.com. Thank you so much for watching that conversation between Adam prolific to Oak tree and myself. If you're looking for more sheet talking casual conversations with other sheet, people check out this playlist. And if you're looking for the next video from better sheets, go over here, watch it here on YouTube.
(1:13:14) And thank you so much for watching either of these pick your choice. I'd go with more sheet talking. If I were you.