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How to Create a Today's Date Field in HubSpot (and Why You Should, Today)

 

I've worked in HubSpot for roughly 14 years now and have been waiting for them to implement some sort of field with the current date in it for...14 years. 

Clearly, somewhere in the system HubSpot populates the current date. That's how you can trigger date based workflows, use "days since" and "days until" criteria in lists and workflows. So why don't they surface it for our uses?

Unfortunately, you have to build it yourself. But once you build it, there's a ton you can do with it.

  • Date-centric formula fields - one of my favorites is stamping how many days a contact has been in its current lead status. Or you can pair it up with a rolling, auto-updating date property.
  • "Is After" Criteria for Lists and Workflows - You can basically pair up any other property with a "Is After Today's Date." For example, if you have a nurture sequence for cold leads, you can use "Date of Last Meeting Booked in meetings tool is after Today's Date" as an easy way of identifying contacts who have re-engaged.



1. Create the Today's Date property (format: date field) across all objects.

2. For each object you want to populate today's date, you'll need a workflow. The easiest approach is a trigger workflow that fires anytime Today's Date is less than one day ago OR is empty. 

Make sure you have re-enrollment enabled.

Original variations I built of this used a schedule workflow that enrolled everyone at midnight to save computing power, but that didn't help with people who showed up during the day and were stuck with empty values. Just accept that every day, every object in your database is going to go through one of these workflows.

3. The only action you need is to stamp Today's Date with the "date of step" and that's it. 

It won't happen automatically at midnight but each day your entire database will run through one of these workflows and get Today's Date.

 

Are There Alternatives to Workflows?

Well yeah. Insycle has the ability to insert Today's Date into fields. In my experience it struggles with a large database (think over 250k records) and will take all day to populate.

Zapier, Google Sheets, even HubSpot Ops Hub can do it as well. Not everyone has access to those tools nor the acumen to write up some code. One of the great things about HubSpot is the ease of which things like these workflows can be hacked together with just some creativity and experimentation.

If you read more of these articles, one of my consistent themes is Don't Try To Outsmart HubSpot. What I mean is, use the tools within the tool to do most jobs. We have to hack it a bit to populate Today's Date, but it's easier, and more scalable, to do it with the tools at hand and not rely on outside systems or code.