Mark’s Monday morning

Meet Mark. He’s been using Cortana for a couple of months now. It’s made his Monday mornings a whole lot easier. Most mornings, in fact. Here’s a typical Monday morning for him...

Mark sits at his desk, turns on his computer, thinking about the reports he has to review, edit and get to management that day.

He scans his Outlook for the weekly reports that came in late on Friday. Opening the workbooks, Cortana automatically loads up when Excel begins.

“Good morning, Mark, how are you?”

“Good Cortana, thanks.” Mark says, enjoying her usual greeting, although he prefers when she uses “You alright?” as it reminds him of a British friend.

“Cortana, do you have this workbook in your memory?” He asks

 “Yes, I created that with Allison, at 7pm last Friday,”

“Ok, any major changes from the previous version?”

“There were value changes in cells, D10, E10 and F10,” Cortana replies, Mark is delighted he didn’t have to go looking for this information.

“Ok, load up workbook Management Report Template,” He says


Mark glances through the cells Cortana has mentioned, noting that it’s just normal weekly changes, but he appreciates that it takes far less time than it did six months ago. He then spots one number that looks way off -

“Cortana, were there any pastes in this report?”

“Yes, cell D10 and E10,”

“Where was E10 copied from?”

“Workbook Company Report 8-23-16, Cell P9.”

Hmm, Allison must have had the wrong data report up, Mark thinks.

“Cortana, do you have Workbook Company Report 9-23-16, cell P9 in your memory?”

“Yes, it’s in the clipboard,”

Mark makes the quick change, glad he spotted it before any damage was done.

Most of the cells changes in the report are auto-updates from other sheets, ie reference cells, just a few cells are copied over from the ones that aren’t in the main drive.

“Ok, Cortana, highlight all the duplicate items in Column F,” Mark asks


He scans down the column of highlighted cells, it’s helpful that Cortana highlights what he needs to see in such a large report.

Mark has forgotten a function, unsure of a particular command so he clicks on the walkthroughs. He scrolls down the menu to the List Difference function, hovering over it till the tooltip pops up and shows him the command. Oh yeah, that’s what it was. He’s seen the walkthrough before, and it showed him exactly what the command did and how to do it, but right now he just needed to remember what to ask Cortana

“Cortana, find the difference between two lists,”

“Sure, what’s the first cell range?"

“B1 through B200,”

“And the second cell range?”

“C1 through C200,” Cortana highlights all the different items in lists

Great, nothing new to see. Mark’s ready to build his reports.

“Cortana, show me all my macros,” Mark requests of Cortana and she shows a display of all the macros he’s created, mainly by just doing his usual work and then telling Cortana to save the past few actions.

He created a few of them that make his report creations fast. And he can chain them together! He doesn’t know how to code, been too busy to learn, but now he doesn’t have to, he just shows Cortana what to do and she remembers it.

He clicks macros 1,5,6 and 9. That’ll copy the data over, reformat it, add some borders and different backgrounds, and then save with a new name. He clicks ok and 5 seconds later it’s done.  He attaches it to a new email and moves on to other tasks, happy in the knowledge that his digital assistant has made his day easier.