how do I make my own timesheet

Creating customized timesheets for SMBs can go a long way in improving time management practices and can only help in making sure operations run smoothly. Typically companies are looking at three things when adopting a custom timesheet template- tracking hours of their employees, keeping on top of project progress, and the overall goal of being as efficient as possible. What if we said you could achieve all three, plus gain more flexibility and control that is tailored to your specific business needs?

In this blog post, we’ll go over step-by-step guidelines and simple (yet effective) tips to help you create your own timesheets. We’ll start with understanding business requirements, then choosing the right format and making sure to include necessary elements.

How do you draft a timesheet?

Drafting a timesheet for your midsize business doesn’t have to be hard. Just make sure you include the below key steps - that way you’ll be sure your timesheet encompasses accurate info to keep your organization efficient and effective. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you draft a timesheet creator online that meets your business needs:

  1. Identify Your Requirements: Jot down the specific requirements and objectives your timesheet must meet. Consider factors such as the types of tasks or projects employees will be working on, the frequency of time tracking (e.g., daily, weekly), and any additional information or data you need to capture (e.g., client names, project codes).
  2. Choose a Format: Choosing a format shouldn’t be arbitrary - make sure that it aligns with your business needs and preferences. Common formats include digital templates, spreadsheet software like Excel, or specialized time tracking Harvest! Consider factors such as ease of use, customization options, and compatibility with your existing systems.
  3. Define Time Categories: This could include regular hours, overtime, vacation or sick leave, and any other relevant categories specific to your business. Clearly define the criteria for each category to ensure consistency and accuracy in time tracking.
  4. Include Essential Elements: Think basic info such as employee name, date range, hours worked (broken down by time category), project or task names, and any additional relevant information. Pro Tip: including a space for employee signatures or approvals can also help maintain accountability and compliance.
  5. Customize for Your Business: Customize your timesheet to reflect the unique needs and requirements of your business. This may involve adding custom fields or columns, incorporating company branding or logos, or adjusting formatting to improve readability and usability.
  6. Provide Clear Instructions: Make sure all instructions or guidelines are clear so that employees understand how to fill out the timesheet accurately. This may include instructions on how to record hours, how to indicate breaks or time off, and any specific procedures or protocols for submitting the timesheet.
  7. Test and Refine: Before implementing your timesheet system, test it thoroughly. Does it meet your needs and functions as intended? Solicit feedback from employees or stakeholders and make any necessary adjustments or refinements based on their input.
  8. Train Employees: Once your timesheet is finalized, provide training to employees on how to use it. Make sure they understand the importance of accurate time tracking and how their entries impact payroll, project management, and other business processes.

How do I create a timesheet online?

There are so many benefits to creating a timesheet online! These include accessibility, ease of use, and real-time data tracking. Here's a quick checklist to get you on your way:

  • Choose a Platform: There are various options available, ranging from dedicated time tracking software to general-purpose office suites with built-in online timesheet templates. Consider factors such as features, user interface, scalability, and cost when choosing a platform.

  • Select a Template or Design: Once you've chosen a platform, select a timesheet template or design that meets your requirements. Many online platforms offer pre-designed templates that you can customize, or, you can create a custom timesheet from scratch using the platform's design tools.

  • Customize Fields and Categories: Customize your timesheet by adding or modifying fields and categories to reflect exactly what you need. Common fields include employee name, date range, hours worked, project or task names, and any additional information or data you need to capture. Ensure that the timesheet layout is intuitive and user-friendly for your employees.

  • Incorporate Automation Features: Take advantage of automation features offered by the online platform to streamline the timesheet creation process. This may include automated time tracking, calculation of total hours worked, validation of entries, and alerts for missing or incomplete data. Automation can help reduce errors, save time, and improve accuracy.

  • Ensure Accessibility and Security: Your online timesheet should be accessible to employees wherever they are, whether they're working in the office, remotely, or on the go. Choose a platform that offers cloud-based storage and mobile accessibility for added convenience. Additionally, prioritize security measures such as user authentication, encryption, and data backups to protect sensitive employee information.

  • Provide Training and Support: Once your online timesheet is set up, provide training and support to employees on how to use it effectively. Offer resources such as user guides, tutorials, and troubleshooting assistance to help employees navigate the platform and address any questions or issues they may encounter.

  • Testing, Testing, 1-2-3: Before fully implementing your online timesheet system, conduct thorough testing and gather feedback.

Creating a timesheet online offers midsize businesses a convenient and efficient way to track employee hours, manage projects, and streamline operations. By choosing the right platform, customizing templates to meet specific needs, and incorporating automation features, businesses can ensure accuracy, accessibility, and security in their time tracking processes. Additionally, providing employee training and support helps ensure the successful adoption and usage of the online timesheet system. With the ability to access and manage timesheets from anywhere, at any time, businesses can enhance productivity, improve decision-making, and ultimately drive success. Want to get your business off on the right foot with customized timesheet templates? Grab our free trial - we’re here to help!

Also, be sure to check out Harvest’s library of free templates here!