With so many digital tools available, creating PDF timesheets stands out as a reliable method for documenting work hours, tasks, and projects with clarity. However, for many business owners and managers, the process of generating PDF timesheets may be unfamiliar. This comprehensive guide will provide actionable insights for strengthening time management practices.

What is a timesheet template?

A timesheet template serves as a pre-designed framework or layout that facilitates the recording and tracking of employee work hours, tasks, and projects within a specified period. Essentially, it's a structured document that simplifies the process of documenting time worked by providing predefined fields and categories. Incorporating a time-tracking strategy and timesheets templates can curb the staggering statistic that 50 million hours are lost in daily productivity within the US economy due to work tasks that go undocumented.

These templates typically include sections for employee information, date range, tasks or projects, time entries, and total hours worked. Additionally, they may offer customization options to tailor the template to the specific needs and preferences of the business. At Harvest, we value timesheet templates that provide a standardized format for recording employee hours, ensuring consistency and accuracy across the organization. By utilizing timesheet templates, businesses can maintain detailed records for payroll, project management, and compliance purposes.

Are there timesheet apps?

There are multiple options for timesheet apps available, especially for the needs of medium-sized businesses. These mobile timesheet apps track employee hours, tasks, and projects in real-time, right from the convenience of smartphones, tablets, or computers.

One of the primary advantages of timesheet apps is their versatility. They come in various forms, from simple clock-in/clock-out apps to more advanced solutions with features such as project tracking, geolocation tagging, and integrations with payroll and accounting software. This flexibility allows businesses to choose the app that best fits their specific requirements and budget constraints.

Timesheet apps offer several benefits over traditional methods of time tracking. They eliminate the need for manual data entry, reducing the risk of errors and inaccuracies. Additionally, many timesheet apps provide automated reminders for employees to submit their hours, ensuring timely completion of timesheets and payroll processing.

Timesheet apps offer valuable insights and analytics that can help businesses optimize their workforce management strategies. They provide detailed reports on employee productivity, project progress, and resource allocation, empowering managers to make data-driven decisions and improve overall efficiency.

With all the choices out there, selecting the right one can be an overwhelming task. Be sure to consider factors such as user-friendliness, compatibility with existing systems, scalability, and data security when evaluating timesheet apps.

How do I create a timesheet?

With the right approach, you can develop a comprehensive timesheet that accurately tracks employee hours and activities, whether for multiple employee timesheets or an individual. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you create a timesheet template:

  1. Define Your Requirements: Start by outlining the specific information you need to capture on the timesheet. Consider factors such as employee details, date range, tasks or projects, and any additional information relevant to your business needs.

  2. Choose a Format: Select a format for your timesheet that aligns with your business processes and preferences. You can opt for a digital spreadsheet, a customizable template from time tracking software, or a paper-based format, depending on your workflow and accessibility requirements.

  3. Include Essential Details: Begin by including essential details at the top of the timesheet, such as employee name, ID or number, department, and supervisor's name. This ensures proper identification and attribution of the timesheet.

  4. Set Up Columns and Rows: Organize the layout of your timesheet with clear columns and rows to capture time entries for each employee and task. Include headings for date (you can even break it down by daily timesheet template, monthly timesheet template, biweekly timesheet template), start and end times, total hours worked, task description, and any other relevant categories.

  5. Customize Categories: Customize the timesheet to include specific categories or fields that are relevant to your business. This could include project names or codes, client information, billable hours, or any other details necessary for accurate time tracking.

  6. Provide Instructions: Offer clear instructions or guidelines on how employees should fill out the timesheet. Include information on how to record time entries, what to include in the task description, and any formatting or submission requirements. Some find a timesheet calculator also useful.

  7. Test and Review: Before rolling out the timesheet to your team, test it out yourself to ensure functionality and accuracy. Review the layout and formatting to make sure it's intuitive and easy to use. Consider soliciting feedback from employees to identify any areas for improvement.

  8. Educate Employees: Once the timesheet is finalized, provide training or guidance to employees on how to use it effectively. They should understand the importance of accurate time tracking and the impact it has on business operations.

  9. Monitor and Adjust: Continuously monitor the use of the timesheet and gather feedback from employees to identify any issues or challenges. Be prepared to make adjustments to the timesheet format or instructions as needed to improve usability and accuracy.

  10. Stay Consistent: Establish a consistent process for filling out and submitting timesheets to ensure timely and accurate tracking of employee hours. Reinforce the importance of compliance with company policies and procedures to maintain data integrity.

How do I create a PDF timesheet?

Creating a PDF timesheet is a straightforward process that offers the advantage of a standardized, professional-looking document that can be easily shared and stored. Here's a checklist to help you get started:

  • Choose the Right Tool: Start by selecting a software or tool that allows you to create PDF documents. Popular options include Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Excel (with the ability to save as PDF), Google Sheets (with the option to export as PDF), or specialized time tracking software that offers PDF export functionality.

  • Design the Layout: Once you've chosen your tool, design the layout of your timesheet. Decide on the structure and format that best suits your business needs, including sections for employee information, date range, tasks or projects, time entries, and total hours worked. Consider incorporating your company logo and branding elements for a professional touch.

  • Add Fields and Text: Use the editing features of your chosen tool to add fields and text boxes to the timesheet template. Label each field clearly to guide employees on where to enter their information. Include fields for employee name, ID or number, department, supervisor's name, date range, task descriptions, start and end times, and total hours worked.

  • Customize as Needed: Customize the timesheet template to include any additional fields or categories that are specific to your business requirements. This could include project codes, client information, billing rates, or any other relevant details for accurate time tracking.

  • Format and Styling: Pay attention to the formatting and styling of your PDF timesheet to ensure clarity and readability. Use consistent font styles, sizes, and colors throughout the document for a professional appearance. Organize the layout logically, with clear headings and spacing between sections.

  • Test and Review: Before finalizing the PDF timesheet, test it out to ensure functionality and accuracy. Review the layout and formatting to make sure it's intuitive and easy to use. Consider soliciting feedback from employees or colleagues to identify any areas for improvement.

  • Save as PDF: Once you're satisfied with the design and content of the timesheet, save it as a PDF document. Most software tools offer the option to save or export files in PDF format. Choose a location on your computer or cloud storage where the PDF timesheet can be easily accessed and shared.

  • Educate Employees: Provide instructions or training to employees on how to fill out the PDF timesheet correctly. Make sure they understand the importance of accurate time tracking and compliance with company policies and procedures.

  • Distribute and Use: Share the PDF timesheet with your team and encourage them to use it for recording their hours worked. Establish a consistent process for submitting and reviewing timesheets to ensure timely and accurate tracking of employee hours.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, from choosing the right tool to designing the layout and distributing the timesheet to your team, you can streamline your time tracking processes. A well-designed PDF timesheet not only provides a standardized and professional document for recording hours worked but also facilitates compliance with company policies and procedures. Additionally, the convenience of digital PDF format allows for easy sharing, storage, and accessibility. Harvest has all the time tracking features your team needs to keep track of billable hours and projects. Take us out for a test drive with a free trial.