How to Sort by Date in Google Sheets (2 Easy Methods)

how-to-sort-by-date-in-google-spreadsheet

Today’s article is about sorting in google sheets, we will learn how to sort by date in google spreadsheet. Sorting is one of the most important features that help us sort our data by many types of data, such as sort by date, sort a-z, etc.  This article is solely for sort by date in google spreadsheet. We will see two methods for doing it. The first method is by using a built-in sorting function, and the other one is by using a sort formula. So, let’s first start with some useful information about sort by date in google spreadsheet.

Understanding Sort by Date Data Structure

Sort by date in google spreadsheet is a pre-defined function that helps us sort our dates. For instance, we have a lot of student’s data and in a column, we have the date of births of all the students to get the oldest and youngest student we can sort that list by date and get the min and max value to identify the youngest and oldest student. Similarly, in many other cases, we need the sort by date function. This is function is built-in in google spreadsheet and also another quite handy way is using the sort formula. Let’s move forward.

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Why do we need sort by date in google sheets?

While having a big data set that includes a lot of dates, to find out the oldest and newest date what we can do? for example, we have a lot of transaction data with their respective date, what if we want to fetch the first transaction date? Here comes sort by date. You cannot count the scenarios where we need this function and it’s very fast in google spreadsheet. We use this function to sort our date and the respective column data that is connected with our date column. Confused? don’t be, we will see everything in detail.

  • To sort dates by oldest first or newest first manner.
  • To sort the corresponding data along with the date column.

Download Sort by Date Google Sheets Workbook

How to Sort by Date in Google Sheets

1

Method 1: Sort by Date Using Sort Function

Step 1

Add a dataset having several dates of some duration. (Duration can be of any length)

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Step 2 

Make sure your dates are properly formatted in date format, it’s very important, If dates are not in proper format then the sort methods will not work.

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Step 3

Select your date column and adjacent column (if you want to sort that, if not then select only date column) with headers. Click Data > sort range > advance range sorting options.

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Step 4

A dialog box will appear, Check on Data has a header row. If you don’t have headers then left this checkbox unchecked. then in sort by dropdown pick your column name, check on A-Z sorting checkbox and click on sort.

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Step 5

If you have more than one range of columns then click on add another sort column, and repeat step four.

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Step 6

After you double-check all the settings click Sort. Now see your data is sorted.

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2

Method 2: Sort by Date Using Sort Formula

Step 1

In this method you will get the sorted result in another place, select the place where you want to keep a sorted list.

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Step 2 

In the very first cell, start writing formula (=sort, range, sort_column, is_ascending)

Example:

SORT(range, sort_column, is_ascending, [sort_column2, is_ascending2, …])
= sort(A2:A13, 1, true)

Here 1 A2:A13 is data range, sort_column is applicable for multiple columns, here we are sorting one so we will write 1, and then is_ascending will be true because we want to sort in ascending order.

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Step 3

After writing the formula, hit enter and on the position, your sorted column will be added.

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To recap, you can sort the date column solely using both methods, and you can sort the column along with the adjacent column using both methods. Both methods are easy, the only difference is that the formula method gives you a copy of the unsorted column after sorting it, and the function method will sort your data in the same position and will not generate the copy. We may need both features in different cases. So, practice both methods as much as you can.

Notes

  • Carefully write the formula.
  • Don’t confuse in 1, and true. they can be treated as constant in the beginning.
  • Both methods can be used to perform sorting of date column only, along with the adjacent column as well.
  • Never forget to format your date rightly.
  • Google sheets formulas are not cased sensitive.

Conclusion

In this article, we learned how to sort by date in google sheets. Sorting is a very important feature that we need very frequently while working with data. Sorting by date is only possible when you format your dates properly. Maybe your dates are written as general text so make sure to convert them into actual date format. So, after this article, you will be able to sort by date in google spreadsheet very easily. If you like this article, please share it with your friends and subscribe to our OfficeDemy blog for exciting future updates.

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M. Shaiq Ansari

Hi, I am Shaiq. A young and self-motivated content writer having years of experience expertise in MS Office suite, Google docs Editor Suite. I have a technical education background that empowers me to stand out in today's digital world. I am currently a freelance content creator and a part of a local digital marketing agency in Karachi Pakistan.

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