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Microsoft Office templates hardly compare to the spreadsheet templates from Simple Sheets. In this post, we compare multiple spreadsheet providers.

Excel Spreadsheet Templates: Microsoft Office (and the Field) vs. Simple Sheets

benefit of excel templates microsoft office templates spreadsheet templates Jul 14, 2021

Some people ask us about our spreadsheet templates and how they might compare to the templates already provided by Microsoft. 

It’s a great question, considering no one wants to pay for something that is easily accessible and free.

Why Use a Spreadsheet Template?

In general, templates are used to serve broad purposes. We often use them without knowing it, like on Instagram, where we choose a pre-determined filter that makes our photo stand out. We even use it in our PowerPoint presentations in which we rather not create designs, infographics and themes from scratch.

In essence, templates help you

  • Save time by utilizing the talents of other people
  • Create a better finished product
  • Reduce errors and mistakes
  • Improve your efficiency and productivity

For spreadsheet specific templates, the same principles apply. Rather than create your own tables, formulas and formatting from scratch, you can quickly put a template to work with all that done for you.

Criteria for Reviewing Spreadsheet Templates

As we will dive into Simple Sheets vs. Microsoft Office Excel Templates comparison, it's helpful to know what we'll be comparing and why the criteria is what it is. Here are a few of the factors to consider.

  • Pricing

Free is better than not free. We can all agree on that.

  • Customization

Many business processes are standard across industries. But the products and services, business models, terminology, KPIs and organizational standards will vary.

To serve these specific needs, templates need to have some level of customization that allows a user to make the template fit their business.

  • Selection

If you could only order two items at a restaurant, they better be good. But unlike a restaurant, our jobs likely require more than two tasks. Even very specific jobs have so much depth they only expand the deeper you get.

This is why having a diverse selection of spreadsheet templates is helpful. Whether you are a business owner or work in operations, you want to have tools on hand that help you better manage, track and report your data.

  • Sophistication

A simple expense tracker may include a pre-formatted table with headers... and that's it. While those templates can still be useful, they don't help you unlock insights from your data.

Certain calculations, analysis', and processes, require a spectacular amount of knowledge in a particular field. For tasks that are inherently complex, they demand more formulas and functions 'behind the scenes.' If the template can replace a software people generally pay for, we'd consider that sophisticated. 

  • Visuals

Spreadsheets are a culture within themselves. Those who use Excel regularly love the minutiae of designing a spreadsheet and its functions.

However, many in the business world are not 'numbers people,' and prefer not to get lost in the details. They want the data summarized and displayed in a way that makes sense to them.

This is what makes visuals so important. Whether it's a pie chart, scatter and bubble chart, bar chart, line chart, map, or matrix, tools to highlight your data can make waves in your organization through data that tells a story.

  • Ease-of-Use

The mark of something being 'easy to use' is whether it can be used by both novices and power users. If a spreadsheet novice can make use of a template in minutes, assuming they understand the content, you've got yourself a hit.

Now that we've gotten our scoring criteria, let's move into analyzing specifics for each brand.

There are three criteria that can apply to the entire set of templates so we will look at those in step with the brand - not individual templates. The three are Pricing, Selection and Ease-of-Use.

Microsoft Office Excel Templates

Pricing

Microsoft Office offers free Excel templates. Free is good!

Selection

Excel offers hundreds of templates, although many are geared towards personal use rather than business use. Some of these include Planets and Comets, Baby Name Finder and Movie Tracker.

A few of their business templates included are Simple Invoice, Sales Invoice Tracker and Gantt Project Tracker.

Ease-of-Use

As most of their templates are trackers more than anything else, you can simply input your data into their respective fields. Lacking are instructions to help you navigate the template.

Simple Sheets Excel Templates

Pricing

As of now, the Premium bundle is less than $100 (less than $1 per template).

Selection

Whereas most of Microsoft's templates were geared towards personal or family use, Simple Sheets specifically builds templates for business professionals, administrators, consultants, operators and entrepreneurs. With more than 100+ pre-built spreadsheets covering categories such as HR, marketing, real estate, supply chain, project management, strategy, accounting and more, there is something for every professional.

Ease-of-Use

Every Simple Sheets spreadsheet comes with detailed instructions and a step-by-step video tutorial that showcases what the spreadsheet is for and how it is used. This ensures you can make use of every template.

Spreadsheet Template Comparison - Which is Best?

 

Profit Loss Statement Comparison

Number of Sheets

Office Template: 1

Simple Sheets Template: 2 (including instructions)

Customization

Office Template: Products and Services are customizable. Placeholder text for adding Company Name.

Simple Sheets Template: Edit Company Name and Year. Edit Income and Expense Row headers

Visuals

Office Template: Contains no visuals. 

Simple Sheets Template: Chart plotting Accumulated Profit and Net Profit. Corresponding bar graph displaying Month over Month Gross. Sparklines showcasing each month's revenue. 

Sophistication

Office Template: Basic table meant for simple tracking. 

Simple Sheets Template: Dynamic slicers allow you to analyze Expenses by Month. Formulas automate all calculations. Number summary details P&L KPIs such as Total Gross Income, Total Expenses, Total Taxes and Total Net Profit. 

Work Order Tracker Comparison

Number of Sheets

Office Template: 1

Simple Sheets Template: 4 (including instructions)

Customization

Office Template: You can edit headers. As there are only 8 columns, the data is not used elsewhere in the workbook and would likely not benefit from customization.

Simple Sheets Template: The Coordination Database has 13 fields for customization. As this template includes the ability to track specific Customers, Customer Information, Services, and Service Time Efficiency. Your inputs in this sheet are used in drop-down lists, slicers and the dashboard

Visuals

Office Template: Contains no visuals. 

Simple Sheets Template: The Services Coordinator contains a Dashboard for tracking Service Orders, Service Order Status, Lead Time, Service TIme Efficiency and Average Customer Rating. 

The Service Orders Management sheet is designed to analyze specific Customers, Services, and Statuses. 

Sophistication

Office Template: Basic table meant for simple tracking. 

Simple Sheets Template: A highly-dynamic tool built to track, measure and optimize work orders. 

Invoice Comparison

Number of Sheets

Office Template: 1

Simple Sheets Template: 4 (including instructions)

Customization

Office Template: Editable headers and style, although the default color is blue. 

Simple Sheets Template: Log Company Info (including taxes, terms and company contact), frequently used Products and Services and commonly applied Discounts. Actual invoice provides a photo placeholder for your company's logo. 

Visuals

Office Template: Contains no visuals. 

Simple Sheets Template: No visuals.

Sophistication

Office Template: Formulas for calculating Invoice Subtotal, Sales Tax and Total. 

Simple Sheets Template: Automatically populates data for invoice from Company Info. Actual invoice has drop-down menus for selecting products. Edit the company contact to a specific employee via a drop-down menu. All prices add automatically. 

Verdict

We cannot claim to be unbias in this grading, but through a side-by-side analysis of individual templates and their features, we hope the information is clear. Simple Sheets is a far better tool to get things done. That's not a slight at Microsoft - it looks like it's not an area they've invested in.

But if you are not a Simple Sheets user, you might be wondering how it compares to more formidable spreadsheet options. Let's showcase a few of the most popular ones that rank ahead of us on Google (for now).

Luz Templates Review

Luz offers a wide-selection of beautiful and dynamic templates.

Unfortunately, you may find issue with the price. Their spreadsheet bundles, specific to categories like Human Resources and Quality Management, fetch for $250. What you receive is 13 templates.

Half of those are already included in the Simple Sheets bundle.

Adnia Templates Review

Adnia has a variety of templates, each equipped with a clean interface. You can actually hardly tell it's an Excel spreadsheet. 

While the quality of their templates is solid, the pricing for two individual templates is $120. Those two templates are included in our bundle of more than 100+ templates for less than the price of the two. 

One other downside; the templates do not come with instructions for use and customization. This is a major component of helping people learn new processes through the templates. 

Someka Templates Review

As with the previous companies, we don't have a bad word to say about Someka's spreadsheets. They have a large library and some free templates you can make use of. 

Many of the premium Excel templates are priced at around $29.95-$129.95 and there are no 'bundles' that allow you to get access to many of the tools they offer. 

Simple Sheets Review

Rather than wax all poetic about why we are the best, let's simply recap a lot of what we've already showcased through this article.

✅ $99 for 100+ Templates!

✅ Large Library

✅ New Templates Every Month

✅ Easy to Use

✅ Wide Selection

✅ Customizable

✅ Power BI Templates

✅ 24/7 Customer Support

You deserve the best tools for running your business. Signup today

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