# Cumulative Timeline Plot Google Sheets

To make the job application process a bit more fun on the side, I am gathering some statistics on it. I would love to plot "number of applications submitted over time". I am limited to Google Sheets (doing this in `matplotlib` would be a no brainer, and no, I do not have access to Excel).

Fortunately, Google Sheets proves a Timeline Chart type. Unfortunately, I cannot figure out how to use it to my end. As you can see in the screenshot of my spreadsheet below, I have a column `N` where I enter the date at which I submitted the application. I would now like to plot the number of cells in column `N` which contain a date prior to date `d` over date `d`. My current approach involves column `A` which calculates

``````=countif(N:N, "<="&N2)
``````

for `A2` (`"<="&N3` for `A3` and so on). That is the number of rows with dates in column `N` that are earlier than the one in the current row. So the first date evaluates to `0`, the latest date to the total number of cells with dates. Empty dates evaluate to `0`. If I plot `N1:N1001,A1:A1001` in the Timeline Chart, I am left with this broken mess. The problem seems to be the order of cells. Is there a way to tell the timeline chart to sort the data by date before plotting? Or is there a simple way to input sorted data into the plot without manually needing to sort it (I want to keep the original order/sort it by different criteria without destroying the plot). I am fine with a solution that duplicates the data automatically in an extra sheet or something. But no manual intervention must be needed.

2 `=sort(Data!N:N,Data!N:N,true)` `=sort(Data!A:A,Data!N:N,true) `