Timesheets are useful tools for measuring team productivity, increasing accountability, and improving the billing process.
Excel timesheets are the basic, tried-and-true method of logging hours (although many powerful software applications can help automate the more mundane aspects of tracking time much better than sheets).
Here are some free timesheet templates you can get started right away.
Free timesheet templates
You can use a daily, weekly, or monthly time tracking template, depending on your needs. If you prefer paper timesheets, you can use our printable timesheet templates.
How to use these time tracking templates
You can click the links to open up the full template in both Excel and Google Sheets.
From Google Sheets, you can easily copy it to your own Google account or download it as an Excel sheet. Access to the template itself will be view-only because it needs to remain intact for others to use, too!
Daily timesheet template
Teams can use a time tracking spreadsheet to log time daily. This spreadsheet is great for tracking activities carried out throughout the day and provides a granular overview of what work has been done.
It is more accurate than weekly or monthly spreadsheets because most people remember what tasks they worked on immediately after completing them.
Daily timesheets are usually best for contractors, freelancers, or employees who record their activities by the hour.
Save more time with this daily timesheet template
Weekly timesheet template
A weekly time tracking spreadsheet tracks employees' total hours during the standard work week (usually five days). A weekly timesheet is generally filled out at the end of each week.
One downside to this method is that it's usually not as accurate as a daily time tracking spreadsheet. Since team members only fill it out once a week, they might forget how they spend their daily hours.
Save more time with this weekly timesheet template
Biweekly timesheet template
Biweekly time tracking spreadsheets are used to track employee hours over two weeks. A benefit of using this is that there are fewer spreadsheets to review than if you were tracking daily or weekly.
This timesheet template may be best for you if you process payroll every other week.
Save more time with this biweekly timesheet template
Monthly timesheet template
A monthly time tracking spreadsheet is used to measure the work hours over a single month.
Monthly timesheets mean reviewing and signing off on fewer documents—saving you time. It works best for businesses with a monthly pay period or salaried staff.
Save time with this monthly timesheet template
Project timesheet template
Project time tracker spreadsheets track freelancer/employee time throughout a specific project.
These spreadsheets are more granular, showing exactly how much time is spent on specific tasks, making it easy to bill clients for work.
Save time with this project timesheet template
How to create a timesheet in Excel
If you would like to create a time tracker spreadsheet on your own, here are some steps to follow:
Step 1: Start with a blank spreadsheet
Launch the Microsoft Excel application and select "New blank workbook."
Step 2: Fill in personnel information
Create fields to fill in your team information. You might want to add fields like name, department, date, etc.
Step 3: Create categories
In each row below the personnel information, write what you want to track. For example, in a weekly time tracking spreadsheet, your fields might include tasks, days (Monday through Friday), work hours, start time/end time, and overtime.
Step 4: Use formulas
Insert formulas in relevant cells.
For instance, if you want to total the hours worked on Monday automatically, you can use the formula =SUM(B4:B9).
If you want to generate the total amount due for the week, use the formula =(G11*I4)*24.
Are time tracking spreadsheets the best way to track time?
Time tracking spreadsheets are easy to set up and affordable, but they are not the most efficient way to track your team’s time.
According to Float’s Global Productivity Report, 43% of team members who were required to track their time described the process as “below average.” Part of the problem is that spreadsheets and other tools can create more work for your team and lead to time wasting.
Consider the time it takes to maintain and review spreadsheets—employees enter their data manually, and managers review the entries to detect discrepancies. Not to mention the constant reminders to employees to fill their timesheets.
Mistakes and errors can often occur when using manual timesheets. If someone is filling out their timesheet for the week at the end of the day on Friday, should they be expected to remember what they worked on from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday? If they forget, they might be forced to guess instead. As many as 41% of employees admit to making up tasks to fill in their reported hours! This can compromise the accuracy of time tracking spreadsheets and defeat the purpose.
While it’s possible to generate reports and foreplan using a spreadsheet, most people aren’t Excel gurus. For the rest of us, there’s a lot of head-scratching and trial and error involved in figuring out how much time is spent on a specific task or how many billable hours there are.
Also, it is hard to get insights for better planning. Spreadsheets do not automatically provide reports comparing the estimated time planned for a project to the actual time spent completing it.
Automate your time tracking with Float
Pre-fill your team's timesheets with their scheduled task hours, and compare your estimates vs. actuals in one place. More than 4,000 of the world's top teams plan and track their time with Float.Find out more
A better and more reliable way to track time
There is some good news. Time tracking doesn’t have to be a hassle! Using the right time tracking software can be easy and efficient, giving you all the information you need to plan ahead confidently.
A timesheet software like Float allows you to plan and track time employee hours in one place for minimal manual input and maximum accuracy.
Here’s how it works.
Your team’s assigned tasks are used to create pre-filled timesheets containing all of their planned work and any overtime or time off. These pre-filled timesheets based on scheduled tasks let team members bulk log a week of hours in one click.
Clicking on a task allows a person to adjust the time they spent on a task before submitting it for review. Or (if everything is already accurate), they can press Log to submit their hours at once.
You can lock logged time from within the team settings to prevent changes after a timesheet has been filled.
What about payroll?
Teams can customize their time logs and set which tasks are billable or non-billable. You can also use the project budget feature to set hourly rates for billable tasks at either a project or individual level.
To see how a team member spends their time, select a specific date range, filter people or tasks, and generate a report.
You can compare estimates to actuals to plan tasks more accurately and forecast timelines more accurately.
Before setting up spreadsheets and getting buy-in from the team, consider using a software solution that could lighten the burden for you and your team!
Ready to start tracking time the easy way? Try Float for free.