date1Date formulas can become your best friends, if you just take the time to get to know them. The next couple of posts will be dedicated to ‘various Excel date functions and how to use them to optimize your spreadsheet (and maybe even win the heart of your next date).


=TODAY(): Returns the current date. To use this, simply type =TODAY(), hit Enter and Excel will spit out the current date. I use this quite a bit, especially when I’m too lazy to type out the actual date.

=DAYS(): Returns the number of days between two dates. The formula’s syntax is =DAYS([end date], [start date]). For this formula, you must use a cell reference or a date formula. You cannot type “9/1/15” in the formula.

Here is how you use the formula. Let’s say your birthday is in cell C2 and today’s date is in cell C3. In cell C4 type =DAYS(C2,C3) and hit enter.


Or better yet, we just learned how to use the TODAY() formula. You could modify the formula to say =DAYS(C2,TODAY()).