Excel Tip: Counting Weekdays & Today’s Date

Problem

You are setting a deadline or goal and need to know the number of weekdays between any two dates. If you have a 12-month calendar handy, you could count the weeks and multiply by five. But, when you try this on the computer, the calendar scrolls smoothly, making it hard to know if you counted that week or not. Or, maybe this is a long term project and you’d like to set the goal off in the distant future. If so, counting weeks by hand and multiplying by five would be tedious.

The TODAY Function

Excel has a function for figuring today’s date. And, because it will change each time you open the document, you can guarantee that it will always reflect “today”, whatever today is!
=TODAY()

The NETWORKDAYS Function

How to find the number of weekdays between two dates:
=NETWORKDAYS(A1,A2)

Example

The formulas will look like this:

Col 1 Col 2 Col 3
Row A =TODAY() 12/21/2012 =NETWORKDAYS(A1,A2)

Your view of the Excel Worksheet will look like this:

Col 1 Col 2 Col 3
Row A 7/18/2011 12/21/2012 185

Other Considerations

Of course, this does not factor in holidays or vacation time, so if you are using this to set a goal for work, be sure to pad the deadline accordingly. This is just one tool to help you along the way. It might give you the motivation you need to pick up the pace or the satisfaction of knowing that you are on track toward the goal, but it can not be the only tool for goal-setting.