Business Operations

How to Create a Timesheet in Excel

By Véronique Forest August 24 2021

Here are a few simple steps in order to make a timesheet in Excel in just minutes so you can track employees’ work hours.


Step 1: Enter Headings and Dates

Start by naming each column you need. Write the following headings in the first cell of each column in the first row: Date, Time In, Time Out, Unpaid Break Time, Total Hours.

In the first column, under “Date,” enter the dates corresponding to each day of the pay week in question. Then enter the title “Total” at the bottom of this column.

Excel timesheet

💡 To speed things up, click and hold the lower-right corner of a cell containing a date and drag the cursor to the desired cells to create a logical date range.

Step 2: Customize the Cell Format

Before automating work hour calculations, be sure to customize the format of cells containing hours. To do so, simply select all cells with hours, click on “Custom” in the main menu at the top, and then click “Hours.”

Excel timesheet

💡 To speed things up, click on the first cell to customize and drag the cursor to the cells you want to select.

Step 3: Automate Calculations

To automatically calculate your employees’ work hours, enter the following formula under the “Total Hours” heading: =(C2-B2-D2).

Click and hold the lower right-hand corner of the cell and drag the cursor to the cells below to apply the formula to other days of the week.

To calculate the total number of hours worked for the week, enter the following formula in the cell following the last day of the week: =SUM(E2:E8).

Excel timesheet

Step 4: Customize Your Timesheet’s Appearance

To make your timesheet more complete, customize it by adding the necessary information for payroll processing such as employee name, employee number, pay period date, etc. You can also change the sheet’s appearance to make it easier to read.

You will then be able to duplicate your template and use it for each of your employees.

Make sure your Excel timesheet template is complete and easy to understand, but don’t spend hours personalizing it. Keep it simple.

If you’re using work planning software, be aware that most of these programs offer timesheet management tools that greatly facilitate the work of managers.

To save time and work more efficiently, you can also download our free Excel timesheet template.

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How Do I Track Timesheets Online?

There are tools specifically designed for managing timesheets online. These tools record employee hours and automatically create a complete timesheet to facilitate payroll processing.

Some planning management software can also track timesheets online as an added feature.

Why Use Timesheets?

Timesheets are necessary to keep track of your employees’ work hours. They help prevent errors in payroll processing and validate whether planned hours of work have actually been worked.

How Do I Calculate My Own Work Hours?

To calculate your employees’ work hours, you can download our free timesheet template.

If you want to calculate your own work hours, you can use our online calculator.


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