Karen asks: “How do I become an excel/access master?”
Good question. As I was composing my reply, I realized that your comments will dwarf my response and that the only place for a question like this is on a blog.
The only way to get good is to solve real-life problems. The best way to do that is to answer questions on Microsoft newsgroups (also called Usenet or nntp) or some other forum (like Mr. Excel forums).
You need a newsreader. Outlook Express and Windows Mail are good newsreaders and one is likely already on your computer. I use Agent, which is not free, but has some subtler benefits. Point your newsreader to the Microsoft servers, see Chip Pearson’s Hints and Tips for Newsgroup Users.
Then subscribe to:
If you want to get an idea of what’s on there, you can visit Microsoft’s Online Newsreader. But, trust me, you’ll want a true newsreader if you answer any significant number of questions.
Spend 10-15 hours per week answering questions from these groups. Don’t worry if they’ve already been answered. Figure them out and check your result against other answers that were posted. After about a year, you’ll get bored with those questions and you’ll want to subscribe to:
And start answering VBA questions. Same deal, 10-15 hours a week. Some people answer > 700 per month
They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. I think you can do it in half that time. In fact, after two years of answering newsgroup questions, you’ll be the best Excel/Access user in your company by a wide margin. The only reason you’ll continue to do it is because you really enjoy the satisfaction of helping people and bettering yourself in the process.
If you like books, I recommend these http://www.dailydoseofexcel.com/daily-dose-of-excel-book-list/. Who has a good Access book recommendation?
After another year, you’ll be sick of answering the same questions over and over. You’ll think “I wish I could just point these people to the answer instead of typing it out each time.” In no time, you’ll have a website, then a blog.
And that’s it. No magic bullets, just time and attention.