How to use the NOW formula in Google Sheets

In our day to day lives, we will be needing to do certain activities that may be time-sensitive. There can be business scenarios where we need to check the current time and date before proceeding further. Thankfully, we have the NOW formula in Google Sheets that can help us through this.

Syntax

NOW()

  • Note: There’s no need to pass any input parameters.

Usage: NOW formula in Google Sheets

As you’ll notice, this formula is one of the simplest formulas existing in the Google Sheets application. Unlike most of the other formulas, this doesn’t even require an input parameter. While trying this formula may be extremely straightforward, this can become very handy at times.

NOW formula 1

The first application of the formula is just a direct demonstration of how it works. However, it gets more interesting when we can use this formula in conjunction with the others. Let’s just say we have a business procedure that has to happen only during the regular working hours, i.e. from 9AM to 5PM. This means that we have to achieve this as a two-part objective:

  1. Exclude the non-business hours from 6PM to 8 AM
  2. And also exclude the non-business days – Saturday and Sunday.

By making use of both the IF and HOUR formulas in the second example, we successfully were able to accomplish the first part of our objective. At the time of writing this, the formula NOW() evaluated to “6/7/2018 21:40:11”. Since the hour is beyond the work hours, the output is “Stop”. Likewise, we were able to realize the second part of the objective in the third example, using the IF and WEEKDAYformulas. The WEEKDAY returns 1 if it is Sunday, and 7 if it were a Saturday. However, it is Thursday at the time of writing this, so it is a working day. Therefore the output is “Proceed” The fourth example is just a combination of these two results, and we have our desired practical application!

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