Google Sheets: More than Data

Google Sheets is a great place to record data–whether that be student attendance, class participation, or daily anecdotes from class.  But what do you do with the data once it’s into your neat spreadsheet?  Certainly not just let it sit there and get buried beneath all the other things on your desk!  Here, 2 more advanced tricks on how to make the most of Google Sheets:

CountIF Function

Just like any other function, this one starts with an = sign to let GSheets know that we are creating a formula.  Your countIF function should look something like this:

=countif(tardy, D2:D18)

With the red text being the specific word or phrase you would like GSheets to count, and the blue text being the range of cells in which to search for that specific word or phrase.  This is one simple way to tally items in a given row or column, to easily catch patterns of behaviors or achievement.

Conditional Formatting

This feature is pretty awesome, and it was only until fairly recently that I discovered it, but there are a number of great ways you can use this.  By hovering and then clicking on the arrow at the top of a given column, you should see “Conditional Formatting” close to the bottom of the list:


From there, you can establish rules:


Based on a given range, and then tell GSheets to “Format cells if…” — you can format based on if the cell contains (or doesn’t contain) specific text, if the cell’s contents fall between a certain numeric range, or if the date is before, on, or after a given day.

I love, love, love using Google Drive in my day-to-day, and with students.  Interested in learning more about these great tools?  I’m now offering this mini-course on G Suite.  Check it out!


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