Sorting a Google Sheet by date is a breeze once you know where to click and what to select. Basically, you’ll be highlighting the column with dates, clicking on the Data menu, and then sorting the sheet by either ascending or descending order. Let’s dive in and get those dates in order!
Step by Step Tutorial: How to Sort Google Sheet by Date
Before you start, make sure your dates are formatted consistently throughout the column. This helps Google Sheets recognize and sort them correctly.
Step 1: Select the Column with Dates
Click on the letter at the top of the column that contains your dates.
When you select the column, make sure you don’t have any other cells selected outside of it. If you do, the sorting might not work as expected.
Step 2: Click on the Data Menu
Look at the top of the screen for the menu bar and click on ‘Data’.
In the Data menu, you’ll find a bunch of options for manipulating your data, but for now, we’re just focusing on sorting.
Step 3: Choose ‘Sort Sheet by Column…’
Hover over ‘Sort sheet’ and a side menu will appear. Click on ‘Sort sheet by column X, A → Z’ or ‘Sort sheet by column X, Z → A’.
‘A → Z’ will sort your dates from the oldest at the top to the newest at the bottom, while ‘Z → A’ does the opposite.
Once you’ve successfully sorted your Google Sheet by date, you’ll see all your data neatly organized. Your dates will be in the order you chose, making it easier to analyze your information.
Tips for Sorting Google Sheet by Date
- Make sure all your dates are in the same format (MM/DD/YYYY, DD/MM/YYYY, etc.) for the sort to work correctly.
- Consider using the ‘Create a filter’ option if you want to toggle between sorting by ascending and descending without going through the Data menu each time.
- If you have headers in your column, freeze the top row to prevent the header from being sorted into the date entries.
- Use the ‘Sort range’ option in the Data menu if you only want to sort a specific range within the column.
- Remember that sorting the sheet by date will rearrange all of the rows in your sheet, not just the date column, so ensure that each row’s data belongs together.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I ensure my dates are recognized by Google Sheets for sorting?
Make sure all your dates are entered in a format that Google Sheets understands and are consistent throughout the column.
Can I sort by date if some cells in the column are empty?
Yes, you can still sort by date. Empty cells will normally be sorted to the bottom of the sheet.
What happens if my dates are in different formats?
Google Sheets might not recognize them as dates and the sorting may not work as expected. It’s best to keep the date format consistent.
Is it possible to sort multiple columns by date at the same time?
Yes, you can use the ‘Sort range’ option in the Data menu and select multiple columns, but make sure the data across those columns are related.
Will sorting by date affect the other data in my Google Sheet?
Yes, sorting by date will rearrange entire rows based on the selected date column so that related data stays together.
- Select the column with dates.
- Click on the Data menu.
- Choose ‘Sort sheet by column…’.
Sorting a Google Sheet by date is a fundamental skill that can significantly increase your efficiency when working with data over time. It’s like having a magic wand that instantly organizes your chaotic data into a comprehensible timeline. Whether you’re tracking project deadlines, organizing event schedules, or analyzing sales data, mastering this simple yet powerful tool will save you time and frustration.
Imagine the satisfaction of looking at your once jumbled dates suddenly lined up neatly, giving you clear insights into patterns and trends. Plus, it’s not just about aesthetic – sorted data is easier to analyze, share, and act upon.
If you’re new to Google Sheets, this might seem like a small step, but it’s a giant leap towards becoming a spreadsheet ninja. And for the seasoned pros, it’s a reminder of the simple foundations upon which complex data operations are built.
So next time you’re faced with a spreadsheet full of unruly dates, remember these steps and tips. And if you get stuck, there’s a wealth of resources and a thriving community of Google Sheets users out there to help you out. Happy sorting!
Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.