Google Sheets may be one of the most undervalued tools in the Google Workspace arsenal of productivity apps. Accounting fiends swear by more powerful applications such as Microsoft Excel, but there is a lot that Google Sheets can do that will suffice for those simply looking for an application that can crunch some numbers. One of the things Sheets can do very well is to sort your data in an easier way for you to analyze. In this guide, I will show how you can do just that and sort by date.
How to validate your dates
The first thing we have to do is make sure we have valid dates entered in a column that you can use to sort. Just typing your date as “April 22, 2022” doesn’t mean that Sheets will recognize it as a valid date. In fact, if your date is not right-aligned, that’s a good sign that it is not a valid date format.
To ensure you are entering a valid date, pay attention to the locale you have set in Google Sheets. This plays a very important role because different countries have their own pattern for displaying dates and times. For example, in the U.S., the date format is mm/dd/yyyy, which is not the case in Europe and other countries. If you enter the dates in the incorrect format, they will be treated as text and show as left-aligned.
How to sort your values
Once you have made sure that all your dates are properly formatted, it’s time to sort them so that they appear in order. For example, I entered a few birth dates out of order in the example below and later sorted them using the method below.
To begin, select the cell range you want to sort, then click on “Data” from the Google Sheets menu. Next, click on “Sort range,” then select how you want to sort it. If you want the dates sorted in chronological order, select “Sort range by Column (A to Z).”
I just want the steps!
- Verify that your dates are formatted correctly.
- Select the cell range you want to sort.
- Click on Data > Sort range > Sort range by column (A to Z)
Once you’ve followed these steps, your dates will be properly sorted. Advanced sorting options are also available to specify a header row that is not to be touched and to add more conditions, such as sorting another set of values. These features are available in Google Sheets to anyone with a Google account, personal or corporate, and can be used when needed without much fuss.