How To Tally In Google Sheets

Last Updated on October 31, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to tally in Google Sheets.

Google Sheets is a powerful tool for storing data and performing calculations, but what if you want to use Google Sheets for tallying? For example, say you’re counting inventory and want to use Google Sheets to quickly log data as you count items without having to do math at each step?

There are a number of different approaches you could take to this problem, but below is one possible solution

Setting Up the Tally Sheet

Google Sheets is a great tool in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t always make it quick to enter data properly. In this tutorial, we’ll get around that problem by creating a separate tab to enter tally data by simply checking off boxes. We’ll leave the math for later and focus on an efficient tally for now

Step 1

Start with a blank Google Sheets tab by either creating a new Google Sheets file or opening an existing spreadsheet and clicking on the plus sign in the lower left corner of the screen to add a new tab

Step 2

Right click on the tab and choose Rename, then name it “Tally”

Step 3

Select the entire Tally tab by clicking on the square area in the upper left corner of the spreadsheet

Step 4

Open the Insert menu, then choose Checkbox

Step 5

Checkboxes will appear in every cell in the Tally sheet. Increase the font size if desired

Step 6

With the range still selected, double click on the line between any two columns in the column headers to resize all selected columns to fit their contents

Step 7

Click on a line between the row numbers and drag to increase the row height for better readability


Once the checkboxes are set up, simply click on one checkbox each time you want to add a tally mark. For example, if you’re counting inventory, you would click on one checkbox for each item you locate. You can also choose to use each checkbox to represent a case of items or a specific number of items such as 5 or 10, depending on how many items you have

Summing up the Tally

When you’re done tallying, here are the steps to adding up the count:

Step 1

In another tab, click on the cell you want to sum up the tally counts and type this formula: “=COUNTIF(Tally!A:Z, TRUE)”. Checked checkboxes evaluate to TRUE in Google Sheets, so this COUNTIF formula is directly counting the number of checked checkboxes on the Tally sheet. Note that you will need to update the cell reference Tally!A:Z if you add or delete columns to the Tally sheet or change its name

Step 2

Hit enter to finish the formula and the tally count will appear in the cell


Example Spreadsheet: Make a copy of the example spreadsheet

In this tutorial, I covered how to tally in Google Sheets. Want more? Check out all the Google Sheets Tutorials.