Analyze how you spend your time with a new Excel 2016 template


by Kara Hiltz

Application: Microsoft Excel 2016

Operating System: Microsoft Windows

If you don’t take a second glance at the template gallery that Excel displays when you open the program, you may want to think again. There are many pre-made Excel 2016 templates that can save you a ton of time and energy, including the Calendar Insights template, which gives you a data-based, visual perspective of how you spend your time.

To use the Calendar Insights template to track how we spend our time, we’ll:

  • Open the Calendar Insights template and explore the Excel 2016 tutorial about the template.
  • Connect with an Exchange Server or Microsoft Server to import our calendar.
  • Analyze how we spend our time based on our existing calendar.

You may feel that built-in templates are limiting and mundane. How can Microsoft know what you really need, and won’t you spend as much time tweaking a template as you would just building it from scratch? These are valid concerns, but Excel 2016 offers some templates that can really save you time and energy.

And speaking of time, the Calendar Insights template can break down how you spend it, as shown in Figure A. If, for example, you have a performance review coming up and want to show that you have trouble meeting deadlines because you spend 10 hours a week in meetings, this template may prove useful.



A: (Image credit: The Calendar Insights template uses a variety of advanced Excel features to help you break down your use of time.

Open the template

Let’s start by accessing the Excel 2016 Calendar Insights template. When you open Excel, you’ll see the template gallery, as shown in Figure B. Click on the Calendar Insights template to open a new copy of the template in Excel 2016. The workbook template includes three worksheets: (1) Start, (2) Import Your Calendar, and (3) Learn More. The workbook opens with the Start worksheet, as shown in Figure C.


B: The Calendar Insights template has been hiding in plain sight.


C: There are three tabs included in the Calendar Insights template.

Click on the Let’s Get Started button front and center on the Start tab. When you do, Excel switches to the Import Your Calendar worksheet.

Connect with your Exchange server

Once you’re on the Import Your Calendar tab, you’ll see instructions for signing in to your Microsoft Exchange server account. If you have a Microsoft Outlook account at work or at school, you have an Exchange server account. Excel also offers the helpful hint that your Exchange server information is probably the same username and password you use to log in to your computer.

Tip: If you aren’t sure whether your Outlook account uses Microsoft Exchange server, you can look in your Outlook settings. Go to the File tab and click on the Account Settings button. Choose Account Settings [...]

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