8 Google Sheets Productivity Hacks Every User Should Try

Google Sheets is a great online spreadsheet software with many powerful features for manipulating and analyzing data. One of its downsides, however, is that it won’t let you do anything if it doesn’t have an internet connection.

That’s why you should learn these 8 Google Sheets Productivity Hacks every user should know…

8 Google Sheets Productivity Hacks

Use the keyboard to navigate quickly through cells and sheets

Use the left and right arrow keys to move between cells in a sheet, without clicking on them. You can also use Ctrl+PgDwn or Ctrl+PgUp, which will move you to the first or last cell of the current sheet.

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In addition, use Ctrl+PgDwn or Ctrl+PgUp to navigate between sheets within a spreadsheet. Use PgUp and PgDn for larger jumps (30 or 10 cells). Alternatively, click on the name of the sheet at the bottom left of your spreadsheet.

You can also click on the arrow at the bottom right of your spreadsheet to quickly navigate through sheets, but you need to have some visible for this trick to work.

Use keyboard shortcuts

One of my favorite Google Sheets productivity hacks is that you can press  Ctrl + /  to insert today’s date into the current cell. Why is this useful? Well, maybe you always need to fill in the date when writing a report or an email…

If your date format in Google Sheets is set to month/day/year, pressing  Ctrl+Shift + ;  will insert the time into the current cell.  

Clear All Formatting in a cell or range

  • Apple: ⌘ + \
  • Windows: Ctrl + \

Insert the current date in a cell

  • Apple: ⌘ + ;
  • Windows: Ctrl + ;

Find and Replace

  • Apple: ⌘ + Shift + H
  • Windows: Ctrl + H

The most commonly used keyboard shortcuts are shown at the bottom of your screen while you’re working on a spreadsheet. You can also see them by going to Help > Keyboard Shortcuts.

Use text formulas

Text formulas are extremely useful for manipulating strings of text , which are often needed in data analysis, predictive modelling and statistics. A common example would be combining first and last so they form one full name.

Google Sheets has a full set of text functions, but the most popular ones are CONCATENATE()  (which merges cells), LEFT(), and RIGHT()  (which extract parts from strings). I have used one of them just now to show you how they work!

Search for your sheets more efficiently

Names can be quite long, so finding the sheet you’re looking for in the list of Google Sheets files on Drive can sometimes be tricky.

A faster way would be using search. Type ‘weekly report’ for example and choose ‘Search all’ results. Now click on File > Open with columns set as Name:week_report (to see your latest weekly report) or Name:weekly_report_2015 if you’re looking for an older version.

Use keyboard shortcuts to navigate through cells

Pressing  Ctrl + /  will insert today’s date into the current cell, but it won’t select the contents of the cell. If you want to do this, press Alt + ; .

Use Ctrl+UpArrow or Ctrl+DownArrow  for selecting cells in normal mode or while editing a formula respectively. This will work until you leave that cell or start typing again.

Create your own keyboard shortcuts

You can create your own keyboard shortcuts, although I recommend using them sparingly – they should only be used when the standard shortcut doesn’t work well enough or there is no standard shortcut.

Use cell comments to add relevant information

These are the most useful Google Sheets productivity hacks for me personally! Comments can be used to mark important cells (not all of them) and this is extremely useful when you’re collaborating with other people on a spreadsheet, especially one that has lots of data in it.

 A comment takes up very little space and is easily visible when looking at a specific cell or row/column within a sheet.

They also have a great search function, so you can quickly find all comments in a particular sheet or spreadsheet. You can enable comments by going to Tools > Comment.

Access Help from any screen

The best Google Sheets productivity hack without a doubt is that you can access the Help menu from every screen: to find out more about a specific function, press  Alt+?  after inserting it into your spreadsheet.

This is especially useful if you’re not familiar with Google Sheets and want to quickly learn how to do something without leaving your current screen/tab!

If you know other great Google Sheets productivity hacks, please share them in the comments below or write a blog post about them and we will gladly check it out and promote it on our website.

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