Google Sheets Tutorial

Google Sheets Tutorial

How to Sort by Date in Google Sheets

Discover the easiest methods to sort by date in Google Sheets. Organize your data efficiently with this simple guide.

Google Sheets Tutorial

Google Sheets Tutorial

Google Sheets Tutorial

How to Sort by Date in Google Sheets

Discover the easiest methods to sort by date in Google Sheets. Organize your data efficiently with this simple guide.

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Sorting data in Google Sheets is a fundamental task for organizing information effectively. Whether you're managing project timelines, tracking expenses, or analyzing sales data, arranging dates in chronological order can streamline your workflow and enhance data clarity. Sorting by date in Google Sheets helps you find and organize your data more efficiently. This makes your data easier to analyze. In this blog, we'll explore various methods for sorting dates in Google Sheets, from basic sorting functions to more advanced techniques.

Why You Should Sort by Date in Google Sheets

Arranging data by date facilitates quicker analysis of your spreadsheet information. The techniques for sorting by date in Google Sheets are all uncomplicated, enabling you to efficiently organize your data with just a few clicks.

  • Time is money, and Google Sheets saves you both. Effortless date sorting lets you focus on what matters most - your data insights.

  • Sort by date feature in Google Sheets is as easy as pie. No complex formulas or programming needed, just a few simple steps.

  • No more calendar confusion. With a few clicks, you can have your dates in perfect order, ready for analysis.

Sorting by Date in Google Sheets

Method 1: Sort Sheet Option

Let's utilize a sample dataset to demonstrate the application of locking cells in Google Sheets. The dataset provided below has been extracted from HubSpot into Google Sheets.

For establishing a seamless connection between HubSpot and Google Sheets, use StackIt. For Detailed instructions please refer to our blog “How to Integrate HubSpot to Google Sheets Seamlessly”.

If your data resides in a single column, utilizing the Sort sheet feature provides a swift method to organize it by date.

Prior to sorting, verify that all entries in the "Create Date" column adhere to a valid date format to prevent potential errors.

  1. Choose a cell in the column containing the dates you wish to arrange.

    Choose a cell in the column containing the dates you wish to arrange


  1. Click on Data > Sort sheet > Sort sheet by column F (A to Z). This will sort the "Hire Date" column from earliest to latest.

    Click on Data > Sort sheet > Sort sheet by column F (A to Z)


  1. (Optional) Select the Sort sheet by column F (Z to A) option if you want to organize the column from the latest to the earliest date.

You can employ this identical sorting feature for organizing data alphabetically in Google Sheets.

Method 2: Sort Function

The SORT function in Google Sheets offers an alternative method for sorting data by date. This function enables sorting of single or multiple columns within a formula.

Additionally, the SORT function ensures that the sorted data remains dynamic, automatically updating whenever changes occur in the original dataset.

To make use of the SORT function,

  1. Insert an empty column next to the dates you wish to organize. This will give you space for the sorted data without affecting your original dates.

    Insert an empty column next to the dates you wish to organize


  1. In the first cell of the empty column (let's say cell I2), enter the SORT formula:  =SORT(H2:H30,1, TRUE)

    In the first cell of the empty column (let's say cell I2), enter the SORT formula


Here, H2:H30 is the range of dates you want to sort, make sure you adjust it according to your spreadsheet.

The function immediately arranges the dates in ascending order, starting from the earliest to the latest.

The function immediately arranges the dates in ascending order


Additionally, you have the option to merge multiple columns into a single column while sorting. To demonstrate this, let’s sort the data in adjacent columns (Hire date and Exit date).

  1. Add two blank columns beside the Exit date column.

    Add two blank columns beside the Exit date column


  2. Enter this formula (in cell J2) to sort both columns based on the Hire date column: =SORT(H2:I30,1,TRUE)


Enter the formula (in cell J2)


  1. Press Enter and you should see the blank columns populated with the sorted Hire Date and Exit Date columns.

Press Enter and you should see the blank columns populated


The SORT function is restricted to providing output solely to empty cells. Otherwise, Google Sheets will generate an error message. If you delete or modify the cells containing your SORT formula, it will lead to errors. To make changes to these cells, you need to convert them to values before making any edits.

Here's a use case: You have a list of customer orders with order dates (column A) and purchase amounts (column B). You want to analyze your recent sales trends, so you need the orders sorted by date with the most recent at the top.

  1. In a new column (let's say column C), enter the formula =SORT(A2:B10, 1, TRUE) in cell C2 (assuming your data starts in row 2 and goes to row 10).

  • A2:B10: This is the range of your data containing dates (column A) and corresponding order amounts (column B).

  • 1: This specifies that you want to sort based on the first column (column A containing dates).

  • TRUE: This indicates ascending order, placing the most recent order date (today's date or later) at the top.

  1. Hit Enter. This will display the sorted list of orders with the most recent purchase at the top, followed by the remaining orders in chronological order. The original data (in columns A and B) remains unchanged.

Method 3: Sort Range Tool

Another option for sorting dates in Google Sheets is using the sort range tool. This method is suitable if you only require a one-time sorting of dates and don't need them to update dynamically.

Here’s how the sort range tool works:

  1. Select the data for sorting (I2:I23)


Select the data for sorting (I2:I23)


  1. Click on Data in the top menu and take your mouse over the Sort range option in the dropdown list.


Click on Data in the top menu and take your mouse over the Sort range option in the dropdown list


  1. Click on Advanced range sorting options. This will open a dialog box with more sorting controls.


Click on Advanced range sorting options


  1. (Optional) If your selected data has a column header, check the "Data has header row" option. This tells Google Sheets to exclude the header row from sorting. If there's no header row, leave this unchecked.

  2. Choose Column I as the "Sort by" option

Choose Column I as the "Sort by" option


  1. Select the desired sort order

  • Choose A→Z to sort your dates in ascending order (oldest to latest).

  • Choose Z→A to sort your dates in descending order (latest to earliest).

Select the desired sort order


  1. Click Sort. This will apply the sorting based on your selections.

Click Sort


And there you have it — the Sort Range Tool arranges the column based on the dates.

Method 4: Filters

An additional method for arranging data by date in Google Sheets involves using filters.

To use Filters:

  1. Choose the headers of the columns containing the data you wish to organize. Click on the cell containing the header for each column you want to sort. You can hold down the Ctrl key (Command key on Mac) to select multiple headers.

Choose the headers of the columns containing the data you wish to organize


  1. Click on Data > Create a filter. This will activate a filter row at the top of your selected columns.

Click on Data > Create a filter


  1. Click on the inverted triangle icon within the cell of the date column you want to sort. This icon is located in the filter row, above your date data.

Click on the inverted triangle icon within the cell of the date column you want to sort


  1. Select Sort A→Z to arrange the data in the date column chronologically, starting from the earliest date and ending with the latest. Click Ok.

Select Sort A→Z


To remove the Filter:

  1. Choose Data


Choose Data and remove the filter


  1. Then Remove the filter

 It’s that easy!

Frequent Errors When Sorting by Date in Google Sheets

While Google Sheets is a powerful tool for sorting data, you might encounter some roadblocks when you sort by date. Here are some common errors to take note of:

  1. Incorrect Formatting:

  • Mixed formats: Dates can be entered in various formats (e.g., MM/DD/YYYY, YYYY-MM-DD). If your data has inconsistent formatting, Google Sheets might not recognize all entries as dates, leading to a jumbled sort.

  • Text vs Dates: Sometimes, dates might be accidentally entered as text (e.g., "12-31-2023"). Google Sheets won't sort these entries chronologically unless you convert them to a proper date format.

  1. Inconsistent Ordering:

  • Hidden characters: Special characters or hidden formatting within cells can disrupt the sorting order. For instance, a leading space before a date can cause it to sort incorrectly.

  • Dates with text: If you have dates with additional text (e.g., "Invoice Date: 10/26/2023"), Google Sheets might sort based on the text instead of the actual date.

  1. Blank Cells:

  • Empty cells: Blank cells within your date column can disrupt the sorting order. By default, Google Sheets might treat them as if they contain very early dates, placing them at the beginning of your sorted list.

  • Incomplete dates: Dates with missing information (e.g., only year or month) can confuse sorting. Google Sheets might not interpret them correctly.

Tips to Avoid Sorting Errors

  • Use consistent date formatting: Choose a single date format and ensure all entries follow it.

  • Clean your data: Remove any special characters, leading/trailing spaces, or unnecessary text from your date entries.

  • Convert text to dates: If you have dates entered as text, use the "TEXTTONUM" function to convert them to a recognizable date format.

  • Fill blank cells: Consider filling empty cells with a placeholder date (e.g., a future date) or by deleting them before sorting.

  • Use data validation: Set data validation rules to ensure only valid dates are entered into your column.

By following these tips and being aware of potential errors, you can ensure smooth and accurate sorting of your date data in Google Sheets.

Conclusion

Sorting by date in Google Sheets is a powerful tool that streamlines data organization and analysis. By mastering the various sorting methods and best practices outlined in this guide, you can transform your spreadsheets into powerful tools for data exploration and insights. Happy sorting!

Say goodbye to tedious data exports! 🚀

Are you tired of spending hours manually exporting CSVs from different tools and importing them into Google Sheets?

StackIt is a data connector for Google Sheets that connects your favorite SaaS tools to Google Sheets automatically. You can get data from these platforms into Google Sheets automatically to build reports that update automatically.

Bid farewell to tedious exports and repetitive tasks. With StackIt, you can add 1 additional day to your week. Try StackIt out for free or schedule a demo.

Sorting data in Google Sheets is a fundamental task for organizing information effectively. Whether you're managing project timelines, tracking expenses, or analyzing sales data, arranging dates in chronological order can streamline your workflow and enhance data clarity. Sorting by date in Google Sheets helps you find and organize your data more efficiently. This makes your data easier to analyze. In this blog, we'll explore various methods for sorting dates in Google Sheets, from basic sorting functions to more advanced techniques.

Why You Should Sort by Date in Google Sheets

Arranging data by date facilitates quicker analysis of your spreadsheet information. The techniques for sorting by date in Google Sheets are all uncomplicated, enabling you to efficiently organize your data with just a few clicks.

  • Time is money, and Google Sheets saves you both. Effortless date sorting lets you focus on what matters most - your data insights.

  • Sort by date feature in Google Sheets is as easy as pie. No complex formulas or programming needed, just a few simple steps.

  • No more calendar confusion. With a few clicks, you can have your dates in perfect order, ready for analysis.

Sorting by Date in Google Sheets

Method 1: Sort Sheet Option

Let's utilize a sample dataset to demonstrate the application of locking cells in Google Sheets. The dataset provided below has been extracted from HubSpot into Google Sheets.

For establishing a seamless connection between HubSpot and Google Sheets, use StackIt. For Detailed instructions please refer to our blog “How to Integrate HubSpot to Google Sheets Seamlessly”.

If your data resides in a single column, utilizing the Sort sheet feature provides a swift method to organize it by date.

Prior to sorting, verify that all entries in the "Create Date" column adhere to a valid date format to prevent potential errors.

  1. Choose a cell in the column containing the dates you wish to arrange.

    Choose a cell in the column containing the dates you wish to arrange


  1. Click on Data > Sort sheet > Sort sheet by column F (A to Z). This will sort the "Hire Date" column from earliest to latest.

    Click on Data > Sort sheet > Sort sheet by column F (A to Z)


  1. (Optional) Select the Sort sheet by column F (Z to A) option if you want to organize the column from the latest to the earliest date.

You can employ this identical sorting feature for organizing data alphabetically in Google Sheets.

Method 2: Sort Function

The SORT function in Google Sheets offers an alternative method for sorting data by date. This function enables sorting of single or multiple columns within a formula.

Additionally, the SORT function ensures that the sorted data remains dynamic, automatically updating whenever changes occur in the original dataset.

To make use of the SORT function,

  1. Insert an empty column next to the dates you wish to organize. This will give you space for the sorted data without affecting your original dates.

    Insert an empty column next to the dates you wish to organize


  1. In the first cell of the empty column (let's say cell I2), enter the SORT formula:  =SORT(H2:H30,1, TRUE)

    In the first cell of the empty column (let's say cell I2), enter the SORT formula


Here, H2:H30 is the range of dates you want to sort, make sure you adjust it according to your spreadsheet.

The function immediately arranges the dates in ascending order, starting from the earliest to the latest.

The function immediately arranges the dates in ascending order


Additionally, you have the option to merge multiple columns into a single column while sorting. To demonstrate this, let’s sort the data in adjacent columns (Hire date and Exit date).

  1. Add two blank columns beside the Exit date column.

    Add two blank columns beside the Exit date column


  2. Enter this formula (in cell J2) to sort both columns based on the Hire date column: =SORT(H2:I30,1,TRUE)


Enter the formula (in cell J2)


  1. Press Enter and you should see the blank columns populated with the sorted Hire Date and Exit Date columns.

Press Enter and you should see the blank columns populated


The SORT function is restricted to providing output solely to empty cells. Otherwise, Google Sheets will generate an error message. If you delete or modify the cells containing your SORT formula, it will lead to errors. To make changes to these cells, you need to convert them to values before making any edits.

Here's a use case: You have a list of customer orders with order dates (column A) and purchase amounts (column B). You want to analyze your recent sales trends, so you need the orders sorted by date with the most recent at the top.

  1. In a new column (let's say column C), enter the formula =SORT(A2:B10, 1, TRUE) in cell C2 (assuming your data starts in row 2 and goes to row 10).

  • A2:B10: This is the range of your data containing dates (column A) and corresponding order amounts (column B).

  • 1: This specifies that you want to sort based on the first column (column A containing dates).

  • TRUE: This indicates ascending order, placing the most recent order date (today's date or later) at the top.

  1. Hit Enter. This will display the sorted list of orders with the most recent purchase at the top, followed by the remaining orders in chronological order. The original data (in columns A and B) remains unchanged.

Method 3: Sort Range Tool

Another option for sorting dates in Google Sheets is using the sort range tool. This method is suitable if you only require a one-time sorting of dates and don't need them to update dynamically.

Here’s how the sort range tool works:

  1. Select the data for sorting (I2:I23)


Select the data for sorting (I2:I23)


  1. Click on Data in the top menu and take your mouse over the Sort range option in the dropdown list.


Click on Data in the top menu and take your mouse over the Sort range option in the dropdown list


  1. Click on Advanced range sorting options. This will open a dialog box with more sorting controls.


Click on Advanced range sorting options


  1. (Optional) If your selected data has a column header, check the "Data has header row" option. This tells Google Sheets to exclude the header row from sorting. If there's no header row, leave this unchecked.

  2. Choose Column I as the "Sort by" option

Choose Column I as the "Sort by" option


  1. Select the desired sort order

  • Choose A→Z to sort your dates in ascending order (oldest to latest).

  • Choose Z→A to sort your dates in descending order (latest to earliest).

Select the desired sort order


  1. Click Sort. This will apply the sorting based on your selections.

Click Sort


And there you have it — the Sort Range Tool arranges the column based on the dates.

Method 4: Filters

An additional method for arranging data by date in Google Sheets involves using filters.

To use Filters:

  1. Choose the headers of the columns containing the data you wish to organize. Click on the cell containing the header for each column you want to sort. You can hold down the Ctrl key (Command key on Mac) to select multiple headers.

Choose the headers of the columns containing the data you wish to organize


  1. Click on Data > Create a filter. This will activate a filter row at the top of your selected columns.

Click on Data > Create a filter


  1. Click on the inverted triangle icon within the cell of the date column you want to sort. This icon is located in the filter row, above your date data.

Click on the inverted triangle icon within the cell of the date column you want to sort


  1. Select Sort A→Z to arrange the data in the date column chronologically, starting from the earliest date and ending with the latest. Click Ok.

Select Sort A→Z


To remove the Filter:

  1. Choose Data


Choose Data and remove the filter


  1. Then Remove the filter

 It’s that easy!

Frequent Errors When Sorting by Date in Google Sheets

While Google Sheets is a powerful tool for sorting data, you might encounter some roadblocks when you sort by date. Here are some common errors to take note of:

  1. Incorrect Formatting:

  • Mixed formats: Dates can be entered in various formats (e.g., MM/DD/YYYY, YYYY-MM-DD). If your data has inconsistent formatting, Google Sheets might not recognize all entries as dates, leading to a jumbled sort.

  • Text vs Dates: Sometimes, dates might be accidentally entered as text (e.g., "12-31-2023"). Google Sheets won't sort these entries chronologically unless you convert them to a proper date format.

  1. Inconsistent Ordering:

  • Hidden characters: Special characters or hidden formatting within cells can disrupt the sorting order. For instance, a leading space before a date can cause it to sort incorrectly.

  • Dates with text: If you have dates with additional text (e.g., "Invoice Date: 10/26/2023"), Google Sheets might sort based on the text instead of the actual date.

  1. Blank Cells:

  • Empty cells: Blank cells within your date column can disrupt the sorting order. By default, Google Sheets might treat them as if they contain very early dates, placing them at the beginning of your sorted list.

  • Incomplete dates: Dates with missing information (e.g., only year or month) can confuse sorting. Google Sheets might not interpret them correctly.

Tips to Avoid Sorting Errors

  • Use consistent date formatting: Choose a single date format and ensure all entries follow it.

  • Clean your data: Remove any special characters, leading/trailing spaces, or unnecessary text from your date entries.

  • Convert text to dates: If you have dates entered as text, use the "TEXTTONUM" function to convert them to a recognizable date format.

  • Fill blank cells: Consider filling empty cells with a placeholder date (e.g., a future date) or by deleting them before sorting.

  • Use data validation: Set data validation rules to ensure only valid dates are entered into your column.

By following these tips and being aware of potential errors, you can ensure smooth and accurate sorting of your date data in Google Sheets.

Conclusion

Sorting by date in Google Sheets is a powerful tool that streamlines data organization and analysis. By mastering the various sorting methods and best practices outlined in this guide, you can transform your spreadsheets into powerful tools for data exploration and insights. Happy sorting!

Say goodbye to tedious data exports! 🚀

Are you tired of spending hours manually exporting CSVs from different tools and importing them into Google Sheets?

StackIt is a data connector for Google Sheets that connects your favorite SaaS tools to Google Sheets automatically. You can get data from these platforms into Google Sheets automatically to build reports that update automatically.

Bid farewell to tedious exports and repetitive tasks. With StackIt, you can add 1 additional day to your week. Try StackIt out for free or schedule a demo.

FAQs

Can I sort by specific weekdays (e.g., all Mondays)?

Can I sort by specific weekdays (e.g., all Mondays)?

What if I have dates and times in the same column? Can I sort based on time as well?

What if I have dates and times in the same column? Can I sort based on time as well?

Is there a way to sort by the difference between two dates?

Is there a way to sort by the difference between two dates?

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How to Sort by Date in Google Sheets

Discover the easiest methods to sort by date in Google Sheets. Organize your data efficiently with this simple guide.