Maintaining a date value through a formula



I am using a form to collect an employee Title and the start date for that employee. There are three different titles, and a different columns to collect that date per title (to allow us more instructions in the form that is being filled out). Ideally I'd like to keep the start date separate for each title. However, once they are in the sheet, for automation and some reporting purposes, I'd like to combine the dates into one column. I used JOIN to do that in the "Start Date" column, however that does not maintain the date value. Not sure if Index would be better? Is there a way to have the "Start Date" column recognized as a Date column, while using a formula to pull the data from other columns?

In summary, I want a formula in the "Start Date" column that says, If the "Title" is Title 1, display the date from "title 1 Start Date", if the "Title" is Title 2, display the date from "title 2 start date", if the "title" is Title 3, display the date from "title 3 start date". And have the answer recognized as an actual date.


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