Scheduling your team doesn’t have to be hard or take hours to complete every week. Whether you use a Google Sheets schedule template or shift schedule software like Homebase, this article will help you ditch your paper version once and for all.

Follow these five steps to build an easy employee schedule that will take you just a few minutes.

[Save over five hours a week with our free scheduling software. See how.]

1. Use Software to Build Your Work Schedule

Using modern scheduling software is the easiest and best shortcut to saving time scheduling your team. Best of all it’s free!

You really have two options in terms of software—either a dedicated employee scheduling app like Homebase or spreadsheet software like Excel, Apple Numbers, or Google Sheets.

To create an employee shift schedule in Excel:

  1. Go to File > New From Template
  2. In the search box on the upper right in the Template Gallery, search for “schedule”
  3. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see a template called “Weekly employee shift schedule”
  4. Double-click the template and new spreadsheet with this template will open.
  5. Customize the template — highlight cells and change the background colors to match your business’s branding.
  6. Add your logo. Go to Insert > Picture. It’s a quick step that’ll add some customization.
  7. Add in your employees’ names and build your schedule.
  8. If you have pretty much the same schedule week to week, you can just copy the tab. Right-click on the tab, then choose “Move or Copy.”
  9. To avoid confusion, double-click on each tab and rename them to the week the schedule takes effect.

To create an employee shift schedule in Google Sheets:

  1. Go to Google Drive (
  2. Click “New,” hover over the arrow next to Google Sheets, and choose “New from template”
  1. On the next page, the template gallery, choose “Employee shift schedule”
  2. Now it’s time to customize. Google’s template includes a monthly overview as well as weekly schedules.
  3. The template is built for January, so be sure to adjust the dates to match the current month.
  4. Update the fake employee names with your real employees’ names
  5. Update the shifts to match the real shifts employees can work at your business.
  6. Customize the color scheme and, if you’d like, add your logo. It’ll make the schedule more official-looking, and it only takes a few minutes.
  7. Build your schedule!

2. Use Homebase to Build Your Schedule Automatically

Using a schedule maker is much easier than using a spreadsheet template like Google Sheets. Best of all, it’s free!

Homebase was built for employee shift scheduling, so it’s easy to use and has all the features you need.

  • Sales, labor costs, and even weather data all in one place
  • Employee availabilities are factored in to the schedule
  • See when an employee is scheduled to go into overtime, even across multiple locations
  • Your team can view their schedules at any time in the free mobile app, and can even trade shifts (with manager approval) if something comes up
  • Employees are notified whenever the schedule is published, or if anything changes
  • You can easily copy schedules from week to week if things don’t change often
  • With the integrated time tracking, you can make sure your employees are working the hours they’re scheduled, and get notified when there’s an error on their time card
  • You can even use auto-scheduling to build your schedule in just one click, factoring in availabilities, seniority, wage rates, overtime, and much more
  • Export timesheets directly to popular payroll providers for easy payroll
employee schedule

All-in-all, you can save hours every week with Homebase. It’s certainly a lot easier than a spreadsheet template, and light years ahead of a paper schedule.

Learn more about Homebase and our free employee shift scheduling app.

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