Help your team keep track of their time with this Excel timesheet template. Includes calculations for cost per hour, vacation and overtime. Timesheets can be used for a variety of different project needs, so don’t hesitate and get started downloading your free timesheet template today!
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Why You Need a Timesheet Template
Simply put, a timesheet is how a team member records the time they’ve spent on a specific task. It has earned a reputation as a frustrating and unpleasant part of any project. Many complain that they’re outmoded, top-down, authoritarian and a soul-sucking tool of micromanagement.
But before you dismiss timesheeets as a necessary evil, know that the timesheet isn’t the same factory punch-clock ancestors used. The timesheet has grown and matured into, dare we say, a thing of beauty, useful and streamlined. They are easier than ever to update and are a reservoir of data that can offer unexpected benefits when leading a project.
First of all, timesheets are a way to take advantage of collaboration. By having everyone note their time in timesheets, it’s easier to know what part of the project requires more resources and which part is maybe getting too many. It’s an overview of your team’s effort and a great tool to adjust the workflow accordingly.
Furthermore, the use of timesheets provides team members with the authority and autonomy to their work they way they prefer to do it. They can structure the workday and manage their tasks how they feel is best, as long as the deadline is met. All they have to do is record the effort. So, the team that has been hired to do the job because they have the right experience and skill sets is given the freedom to do just that. And best of all, little to no management oversight is required.
Timesheets give you the big picture. Having them gives you an historical record of past project from which you can make better decisions about current and new ones. More than merely helping estimate more effectively, they can impact the balance sheet by keeping project managers conscious of the enterprise-level and the way your organization accounts for time spent on developing new assets.
Timesheets tell you how profitable your efforts are and expose areas you can address to make them moreso. Not to mention, timesheets can be your argument to stakeholders for the resources you need, as you show them in hard data why your team needs the help.
How to Use a Timesheet Template
Once you’ve got your free Excel Timesheet template and have downloaded it, you’re going to want to fill it in correctly. That’s as easy as following these steps.
1. Personnel Data
The top of the free Excel timesheet template is where you put the name of the employee, the name of the department, the supervisor and their hourly rate. You can also add whatever lines you want, such as one for the project manager if one is assigned to approve the timesheet and signs off on it.
2. Collect the Hours
This is the section that the team member is going to use. They can note the start and end time for their workday, adding any overtime and lunch.
The last part of the free Excel timesheet template is where the figures above are totaled up. It is also where the pay rate is noted. The total pay line is where hours multiplied by the pay rate is recorded. And in the final column the weekly pay is captured. There is also a space for the employee and supervisor signatures.
Tips for Filling Out The Timesheet Template
The timesheet template is more than just a means to collect hours logged by your team, though that is primarily what it’s for. Instead of approaching your timesheet as a necessary evil, try and be creative and figure out the best ways for your team and you to take advantage of what it can do. Here are a few tips:
Figure Out Frequency
Depending on the project you’re working on, teams might want to submit their timesheets weekly. That’s the norm, and understandably so. But maybe you’d prefer bi-weekly or another timeframe that fits with the pay cycle at your organization. Think it through, and bring the team into the discussion to get their input. They’ll appreciate it.
Timesheets can be used as a tool to improve productivity with techniques such as time batching, which is a way to improve efficiencies by focusing on a group of similar tasks over a period of uninterrupted time. Use the timesheet to collect these tasks and then look at how long they took and how productive the team was.
Timesheets are often submitted and approved. They’re not thought of as a springboard for getting to talk with the team member, but they’re often a great why to hear about the progress your team is making on tasks. It can be a way to open up the conversation with your team. Never penalize someone for being honest!
How to Import a Timesheet Template
Once you’ve downloaded your free Excel timesheet template and have created it for your project, the next step is importing it into your project management software. If you’re using ProjectManager.com, then the process is quick, simple and seamless.
One the homepage of ProjectManager.com, at the top left-hand corner, there’s a pulldown menu. Click on it and scroll down the list until you reach import and select that. This will bring up another window in which you can choose what it is that you want to import. Select timesheets.
Now a popup window appears with instructions. Follow the prompts. It will ask you to select the file you want to import, which can be an Excel or CSV file, and require that certain columns are correctly titled. After that, just click the add file button and now the template is in ProjectManager.com.
How to Use a Timesheet Template in ProjectManager.com
Once the free Excel timesheet template has been imported into ProjectManager.com the timesheet becomes so much more than a static timesheet. It’s now part of a robust online, cloud-based collaborative software program and able to do so much more than it had already been able to do.
You’ll be able to use your timesheet to track so much more than a team member’s hours. By filtering the columns, people and projects, you can customize reports to give you an up-to-the-minute look at where your project is. Then you can share the report with team members or stakeholders either as a static document in email or PDF, an Excel spreadsheet or CSV file.
With your timesheet in ProjectManager.com, they save time, believe it or not. You’re no longer just filling up paper, but streamlining your project and making it more effective with online tools that help produce up-to-date timesheets. ProjectManager.com dashboard is automatically updated with those timesheets, so you have a real-time view of the project status. This saves time in having to pester team members to generate reports or having to generate them yourself.
Other Templates to Complement Your Timesheet
A timesheet template is helpful when managing your team and keeping track of their progress. But it’s only one of the many free templates that we offer on our site. Look over this additional selection, and you’ll find tools to help you with your project from initiation to close. The following can work with your timesheet to best manage your team’s time.
Before you can log your team’s hours, you need to know when they’re available to work. To assign them tasks, you can use our free work schedule template. Here, you can list all your team members and the various tasks you intend to assign to them. By also adding the days the team members can work, you can begin to create a schedule to make sure that all your team has enough work to keep them busy.
You might have a tool to collect the hours logged on a task by your team, but without tracking the task as they execute it, you’re only getting half the story. The free task tracking template is a place where you can gather all the project tasks and mark them as ready to assign, note that they have been assigned, whether they’re finished or failed and many other considerations. It’s the first step in tracking the progress of your team.
To get a high-level view of your project’s progress you’ll want to use our free dashboard template. This tool will take the data from your project and turn it into a graph or chart. For example, there is a task widget that shows you all the tasks, what percentage are completed, which are in progress, those that haven’t started yet and the ones overdue. It also measures workload and costs. But if you want a dashboard that automatically collects and calculates this data in real-time, you’ll have to use ProjectManager.com’s dashboard features.
By now you realize that a timesheet can be much more than a boring financial document, but another tool in managing projects more effectively. There is more that timesheets can do, and we have written about them extensively on the ProjectManager.com blog, where we publish regular articles and produce videos to help project managers, both experienced and new.
We recommend you visit ProjectManager.com and have a look around. There are great resources there beyond our blog and software. But to whet your whistle we did a little searching ourselves and found three of the more timesheet-relevant pieces for you to read. Let us know what you think.
Try ProjectManager.com Free for 30 Days
Timesheets and time tracking are important aspects of project management, but they’re only one part of a larger whole. ProjectManager.com is an award-winning suite of software solutions that are designed for every facet of project management, from planning and monitoring to reporting. The newly redesigned package has more features to make managing any project, big or small, easier and more productive.
Large, medium and small companies alike have found ProjectManager.com benefitical, and you can read their testimonials on our website. And the independent software ranking site, Gartner’s GetApp has repeatedly awarded ProjectManager.com as #1 in project management applications. See for yourself by going to ProjectManager.com and taking our free 30-day trial.
(This post was updated October 2020)