How to Create a Daily Schedule Template in Excel


If you're one of those businesses that still create employee schedules using pen and paper and have grown tired of the process, you have come to the right place.

Creating a daily schedule template excel isn't rocket science, but it can be a bit tricky to acclimate yourself to the program if you've never used it before. What is certain, however, is that upgrading your scheduling processes will propel your business and make it much more scalable than a handwritten schedule.

Pen and paper is probably the most used tool for creating schedules, and that is why you might still be using it. But it shouldn't be like that.

Let's go over the basics in creating a simple schedule in Excel, and what you can do to improve your scheduling process in the future.

Why You Need to Stop Using a Pen and Paper for Schedule Creation

Schedule creation with a pen and paper is a dated tool that was used before the application of computers, but utilizing this method in this day and age has now proved to be a major disadvantage.

It is inefficient and in many ways counterproductive, as it does nothing to make your work life easier. Quite the contrary, it actually helps in making your life a lot harder.

For example, if you make a mistake while creating your daily schedule template, it's much more difficult to correct and update all of your employees of any changes made to the schedule. On top of that, there's no easy way to distribute the schedule to everyone on your team.

Furthermore, there are three ways to do distribute your schedule to all of your employees.

  1. The first method of distribution is to individually call employees and update them on what their upcoming shift hours are, then trust that they have accurately taken note of this and hope they show up for the proper shift at the correct time.
  2. The second method involves posting the schedule in a common area and verbally requesting that each member of the team take a look at the latest schedule.
  3. The third method is printing multiple copies of the schedule and giving one to each employee. Great option for the environment and conservation

How Utilizing Excel Will Ease Your Scheduling Processes

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Well, as a first advantage it's much easier to create a daily schedule template in Excel. There are preset grids, formulated into tables that consist of linear columns and rows. There is no need to draw anything yourself, and you won't have to worry about ink smudging.

Editing is also very easy in Excel. No need to use an eraser, leaving traces of initial mistakes made. Instead, you just simply hit a button and your revision is applied. Then, you input the new information and you're done.

The distribution of a spreadsheet is also much easier. Nowadays, everyone uses some kind of chat application and check their emails frequently. To distribute an Excel document, just create a group and send the file through the web.

Here is how to Create a Daily Schedule Template in Excel .

Step 1 - Create a New Excel Spreadsheet

Open Excel and you'll be greeted with a new spreadsheet. You should give it a name that will make it easy to identify.

If you were creating a schedule for the period of September 2nd to September 15th, it would be a good idea to name your file September 2-15.

Step 2 - Create Column Headings

The simplest way to name headings is to make the first column about employee names and all the following columns about days of the week, or dates if you're doing a longer period.

Helpful hint -- It's recommended that you create a schedule for at least two weeks in advance so that there's more space to solve conflicts, but also make it easier for your employees.

To add additional styling to further organize your schedule, you could bold all of the headings and color-code the rows.

To bold a column, click on it and then press CTRL + B.

To assign a color to a column, select it and then find the fill icon.

Step 3 - List All of Your Employees

All of your employees should go under the first column. You can either use their names or their ids if you have a different system in place.

It's important to list all your employees when creating a daily schedule template Excel because the number of employees will change the way you manage shifts.

Step 4 - Input Daily Shift Times

We will use the other columns to specify the shift time of each day for the workers. This will make it easy for each employee to organize their life the way they want to.

Keep in mind that you need to account for off days. If possible, you should give your employees two days off each week.

You can also use this template and copy it into a new spreadsheet for the next two weeks. You might need to make some changes, but it should fit nicely.

Once all of these steps are completed, you can distribute your schedule.

Employers usually have a habit of printing the file and hanging it in the break room or meeting room.

That is fine in most cases, but you should also save it and send it to all your employees electronically. It's not difficult to do these days and it gives your employees more accountability.

The Holy Grail

Moving from pen and paper is something every restaurant should try to do. It's such a time-saver that you'll never even think of going back to pen and paper.

Excel is certainly an upgrade from the pen and paper route, but if you truly want to modernize your scheduling practices, let's take it a step further.

For the best in schedule creation, you should utilize software dedicated to employee scheduling. Not only do these apps create everything we just covered in the tutorial, but there are also a number of additional features offered that will assist in helping your business thrive.

Just to give you an idea of what you can expect, here are the benefits offered from a work schedule app

  • Quickly creates daily, weekly, and monthly schedules
  • Easily adapts to changing employee availability
  • Improves internal communication between your team
  • Optimizes shift scheduling by preventing overscheduling and underscheduling
  • Reduces labor costs
  • Prevents scheduling errors and no-shows
  • Eco-friendly in paperless scheduling

If you want the benefits of a work schedule app in an all in one easy to use package, Zip Schedules is what you are looking for.