How to Automatically Insert the Date in Google Sheets Spreadsheets

To automatically insert the date onto a spreadsheet in Google Sheets, you simply need to use specific formula functions like TODAY() or NOW(). These functions insert the current date or date and time, respectively, into the cell where you enter the formula. It’s a handy trick that keeps your spreadsheets up-to-date without manual input.

After completing the action, the spreadsheet will display the current date (or date and time) in the cell where you entered the function. The date will update automatically whenever you reopen the spreadsheet or make changes.


Have you ever found yourself manually entering the date into your spreadsheets, day in and day out? It might not seem like much, but those precious seconds add up, and before you know it, you’re wasting valuable time on something that could easily be automated. This is where Google Sheets swoops in to save the day! Imagine the ease and efficiency of having the date pop up on your spreadsheet without lifting a finger. That’s the magic of automation, my friends.

For anyone who deals with date-sensitive data—be it a freelancer tracking invoices, a manager keeping up with project deadlines, or a teacher recording submission dates—automating this monotonous task is a game-changer. It ensures that your data is always current and eliminates the risk of human error. Learning this nifty trick is a small investment with a significant return. Let’s dive into the simple steps to make this magic happen.

Step by Step Tutorial: Inserting the Date in Google Sheets

Before you get started, make sure you’re logged into your Google account and have your spreadsheet open.

Step 1: Select the Cell

Click on the cell where you want the date to appear.

Selecting the cell is the first and most straightforward step. It’s all about pinpointing the exact location for the date.

Step 2: Enter the Formula

Type =TODAY() for the current date or =NOW() for the current date and time, then press Enter.

By inputting the formula, you’re essentially giving a command to Google Sheets to automatically fill in the date or date and time for you.

Step 3: Format the Date (Optional)

Adjust the date format by clicking on “Format” in the top menu, then “Number,” and selecting your preferred date format.

Formatting is optional, but it allows you to customize how the date appears, matching your spreadsheet’s needs or aesthetic.


Saves TimeManually entering the date is tedious. Automating this task frees up valuable time, allowing you to focus on more important tasks.
Reduces Human ErrorWhen we input data manually, there’s always room for mistakes. Automation ensures accuracy in your spreadsheets.
Up-to-Date InformationHaving the current date auto-populate ensures that your data is always relevant and up to date.


Limited CustomizationWhile formulas like TODAY() and NOW() are fantastic, they don’t allow for customized static dates or historical data entry.
Dependency on FormulasRelying on formulas means if the formula is accidentally deleted or altered, the date won’t display correctly.
Learning CurveFor those new to Google Sheets, learning to use formulas might be initially confusing. However, with practice, it becomes straightforward.

Additional Information

When you’re getting the hang of Google Sheets, you’ll find that these date functions are just the tip of the iceberg. There are a plethora of other functions and formulas at your disposal, each with the potential to revolutionize the way you interact with your spreadsheets. For instance, you can combine the TODAY() function with other functions to create dynamic formulas that calculate deadlines, time periods, and more.

Let’s not forget, Google Sheets is a cloud-based tool, which means that your spreadsheets are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. Sharing and collaborating on spreadsheets becomes a breeze, and with the added bonus of automatic date insertion, you and your team will always be working with the most current data.


  1. Select the cell where you want the date.
  2. Enter the formula for the current date or date and time.
  3. Format the date to match your preferred style (optional).

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the date update automatically every day?

Yes, the date will refresh every time the spreadsheet is loaded or recalculated.

Can I use this function to insert a static date that doesn’t change?

No, the TODAY() and NOW() functions will always provide the current date. For a static date, you would need to enter it manually.

Can I use these functions on mobile devices?

Absolutely! Google Sheets on mobile supports these functions just like on the desktop version.

Is there a way to insert a timestamp for when data was added to a cell?

Yes, you can use Google Sheets’ script editor to create a custom script for that purpose.

Can these functions work across different time zones?

The NOW() function uses the time zone set in your Google Sheets settings, so it will be consistent across the spreadsheet regardless of user location.


Embracing the simplicity and efficiency of Google Sheets can truly elevate your productivity. The ability to automatically insert the date is just one of the many features that make this tool invaluable.

While there might be a slight learning curve for some, the time saved and accuracy gained is worth the initial effort. As with any skill, practice is key. So go ahead, give it a try, and watch your spreadsheet game level up! Now, isn’t that something to mark your calendar for?

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