While the best way to create schedules used to be using a shift schedule template in Excel or Google Sheets, now there’s a better way. A free employee scheduling software like Homebase makes it easy to create a work schedule and share it with your team.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of scheduling with Homebase vs. using work scheduling templates in Excel or Google Sheets.

1. Use Homebase to Build Your Schedule Automatically

Using Homebase is the best way to create a work schedule – certainly better than any shift schedule template. Best of all, it’s free!

Scheduling apps like Homebase are built for employee shift scheduling, so it’s easy to use and lets you do so much more than just make a schedule. With Homebase you can…

  • Use auto-scheduling to build your schedule in just one click, factoring in availabilities, seniority, wage rates, overtime, and much more
Free employee scheduling software


  • Keep an eye on sales, labor costs, and even weather data all in one place
mobile labor cost controls
  • Make shift work better by factoring employee availabilities into the schedule
  • See when an employee is scheduled to go into overtime – even across multiple locations
  • Change the schedule on the fly – 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
shift reminders via text
  • Manage shift patterns to keep your employees happy – easily swap employees from the night shift to the day shift in our free app
  • Notify employees whenever the schedule is published, or if anything changes
team messaging app
  • Copy schedules from week to week if things don’t change often
  • Make sure your employees are working the hours they’re scheduled and get notified when there’s an error on their time card
  • Use Homebase employee scheduling alongside our free time clock app to let employees clock in and out for shifts and our free hiring tool to find and onboard your new team
  • Export timesheets directly to popular payroll providers for easy payroll employee schedule

Scheduling employees has never been this easy, and teams work better with Homebase. Homebase helps you manage the complexities of scheduling – from 12-hour shifts to rotating shift schedules. Plus it’s certainly a lot easier than a spreadsheet template and light years ahead of a paper schedule.

Ready to get started? Click here to sign up free for Homebase!

Still not convinced? Well let’s compare the ease of Homebase to creating a schedule in Excel or Google Sheets…

2. Use A Shift Schedule Template in Excel or Google Sheets

Using modern scheduling software is the easiest and quickest way to schedule when your employees work. But if you still like pen and paper, here’s the best way to create a schedule using a schedule template.

To create an employee shift schedule in Excel:

excel schedule template
  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.

To create an employee shift schedule in Google Sheets:

google sheets scheduling

  1. Go to Google Drive (drive.google.com)
  2. Click “New,” hover over the arrow next to Google Sheets, and choose “New from template”
google sheets template gallery
  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. 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.
  4. Build your schedule

Looks tough right? Use Homebase instead. Click here to sign up for free today!

Want to learn more about Homebase? Check out how we can help you onboard new employees and improve employee retention.