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Every Nokia Lumia smartphone comes preloaded with Microsoft Office Mobile, a suite of mobile applications that almost everybody will be familiar with; PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and OneNote. In a series of posts, we’ll show why you might need these tools and how to use them – starting with Excel Mobile.

Track your spending

Microsoft Office in all its different versions has been around for over 20 years, and throughout that time has become the default ‘go-to’ for getting productive with millions of people using it on a daily basis. It’s this deep-rooted familiarity that makes using Microsoft Office Mobile incredibly easy.

While the Microsoft Office Mobile apps may be ideal for work purposes, Excel Mobile is also very useful for people who like to be productive in their personal lives.

For instance, if you have a joint account with your partner, keeping tabs on who’s spending what can be a challenge. One way to solve this problem is to create a monthly budget spreadsheet where you can include the balance of the account and keep an eye on the incoming and outgoing funds.


This same spreadsheet can be shared with your partner, with editing privileges, via SkyDrive and both of you can make edits as and when you add or deduct funds from the account. You’ll see an updated version of the Excel spreadsheet every time you open it up on your Nokia Lumia smartphone.

Adding functions to the spreadsheet will also make it easier for you to see how much money you’ve been spending, or have left in your account without having to calculate it each time.

How to create Excel spreadsheets within Excel Mobile

You can create your own spreadsheet right from within Microsoft Office Mobile.

Within Microsoft Office Mobile on your Lumia, tap on the plus symbol (+). You’ll notice there are a few templates already saved here, and you could use those if you like. However, if you want to make a new one, select Excel under the blank document category.



Think about the type of data you want to track. If you want to track figures against dates, line up the dates along the left of the screen cascading downwards in ascending order.

At the beginning of any new Excel spreadsheet, A1 is probably already selected with the keyboard on show. Type in a date, such as ‘1 jun’ and press return. Automatically, Excel knows you’re entering a date and formats the cell for such an input so that all the dates conform to a norm within the spreadsheet.

Enter as many dates as you need.

In the B1 cell, tap the back button on your Lumia to remove the on-screen keyboard.

Bring up the menu bar at the bottom and find Format cell… You’ll see a few formats available, such as bold, italic, underline, calendar, currency and percentage. If you want to use the B column for amounts of money, tap the currency icon.

If you plan to make all of the B column, or any other column for that matter, the place where you’ll make a note of your money, pressing on the top B cell will highlight the entire column; apply the same formatting rule to the entire column for ease and time saving.

Once you’ve entered several numbers, you can add a function to automatically add it all up for you.



Highlight the relevant cells by tapping on the top one and dragging the box to the last cell you wish to include in the calculation and hit the Autosum icon at the bottom.

You’ll be shown with several calculations based on the contents of the highlighted cells. You’ll be presented with the sum, average, max, min and count. Select which one you’d like to add to your spreadsheet and it will appear directly to the end of the highlighted cells.

If, however, you want more advanced functions, tap the Function icon located at the top left of the screen. There are lots of functions to choose from in here, so decide carefully.

With the ability to type in functions or commands manually, you can really start to personalise your spreadsheet and get some unique results.

Want a graph in your spreadsheet? Simply highlight the cells you want to include on the graph and press the Chart icon at the bottom. Then decide if you want a column, line, pie, bar, area or scatter chart.

While Excel Mobile can produce fully functioning spreadsheets, you don’t get the same level of personalisation when it comes to aesthetics. The only font colours available are black, red, brown, and green. If you want to fill an entire cell, Red, yellow and green are available to you.

For further personalisation, we recommend you use Microsoft Office Excel or Microsoft Excel Web App on your PC and access the spreadsheet via SkyDrive.

Downloadable budget templates

If creating your own budget spreadsheet sounds like too much work – don’t worry – we’ve created a simple ‘Joint Account’ template for you to download onto your Lumia.

As you can see in the embed above, you can add some figures into the In and Out (D12, E12, and F12 downwards) sections and the figures in the top box are automatically calculated for you.

If you’ve downloaded this template, you can do any of these edits when you’ve finished at the checkout in the supermarket, or while waiting for a bus, right from your Nokia Lumia smartphone.

Pin that spreadsheet to your Start screen to make it even easier.

If you don’t have a joint account, how about a spreadsheet just to keep a track of your own spending?

We’ve created a template for that, too. Go ahead and download it.

As you can see, it’s similar to the joint account, but designed for one. The same principles apply, though.

Are you a spreadsheet or data junkie, or just somebody who likes to stay organised in both your personal and work life? Let us know if you’ve found this useful in the comments section below.

Image credits: Quazie