How to use simple Excel Date Calculations

Several students have asked about Excel Date Calculations. Here is a good quick example to calculate the difference between todays date ( “today()”) and a date entered in a cell.

For a real world example, I use this to track the time I follow up on small projects. For example confirming client backs or checking for updates on client websites.

Excel Date Calculations

In column C above is a formula that calculates the number of days since the date in column B has passed. The formula is noted in column D.

Lets take this a step further and add a Conditional Formatting Icon Set to it so only a quick look is necessary to determine if an item has not been checked in a long time.

Conditional Formatting

The option screen above is accessed by clicking the Conditional Formatting icon in Excel and choosing Icon Sets then More Rules. I have set the icons to show when the value of the number is less than 30 (Green Check), between 30 and 90 (Yellow Check) and over 90 (Red Check).  This will result in the column having an extra visual reference for ease.

Date Calculation with Icon Set

Using Excel Date Calculations with some options of Conditional Formatting in Excel can really help make your data easier to read and understand.