Spreadsheet time tracking

How to track time in a spreadsheet, generate time reports, and improve your productivity.

Spreadsheet time tracking method

Tracking time in a spreadsheet is vital for keeping the records of the time you’ve tracked for work clear, clean, and easily accessible - you’ll later need this data for HR and payroll, client billing, government compliance (DCAA, FLSA), and project status reports you send to clients.

The spreadsheet time tracking method involves entering the time you spend on tasks in a spreadsheet template.

Depending on what you want to see in your timesheet report, you can open an Excel spreadsheet or Google sheet, and add "Start Time", "End Time", "Hourly rate", "Client", "Activity", "Total Hours Worked", "Overtime", "Amount earned", and other parameters you'll need.

Then, you'll need to manually enter this data, before sending out the spreadsheet for approval to your supervisor on a regular basis (usually on a weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly basis).

Filled out Excel Timesheet

Spreadsheet Time Templates

You can download free spreadsheet templates (as either Excel or Google Sheets), and fill them out.

Monthly Weekly Daily employee Daily supervisor Projects


Monthly Spreadsheet

Monthly time tracking spreadsheet with: Start Time, End Time, Lunch Start, Lunch End, Vacation/Sick Hours, Regular Hours, Overtime Hours, Total Hours Worked, Monthly Totals and Pay, and Hourly Rate.

Download: ExcelGoogle Sheets

Preview of monthly timesheet template

Weekly Spreadsheet

Weekly time tracking spreadsheet with the same data, only presented by week, with weekly totals and pay.

Download: ExcelGoogle Sheets

Preview of weekly timesheet template

Daily Employee Spreadsheet

Daily time tracking spreadsheet for employees, with days divided into hours (7:00 AM - 8:00 PM), where employees can enter what they worked on during each workhour of the day.

Download: ExcelGoogle Sheets

Preview of daily-employee timesheet template

Daily Supervisor Spreadsheet

Daily time tracking spreadsheet for supervisors, where supervisors can enter employee hourly rate, employee ID, Start Time, End Time, Hours Worked, Pay, and Daily totals for each employee.

Download: ExcelGoogle Sheets

Preview of daily-supervisor-timesheet-template

Projects Spreadsheet

Project time tracking spreadsheet, where you can enter project ID, Client, Activity, Start Time, End Time, Billable Hours, and total Billable hours for each project you worked on.

Download: ExcelGoogle Sheets

Preview of projects timesheet template

Cons of tracking time in a spreadsheet

Although this traditional interpretation of the spreadsheet method is straightforward enough, it comes with its share of shortcomings:

  • It's time-consuming to enter time and all data manually every time
  • It's time-consuming to create various different timesheet templates for the various data you need entering
  • You'll have to memorize the projects and tasks you've worked on, as well as the time you've spent on them
  • You'll have to fill out, print, and store paper timesheets
  • It's more likely you'll make a mistake, two, or ten if you always enter time and data manually
  • You'll have to add complicated formulas to the Excel or Google Sheet system, in order to calculate your billable time and other data you need

Overall, the traditional spreadsheet method serves its purpose in terms of allowing you to indicate your start time, end time, total hours worked, and other time tracking data in a simple way - but, you'd be best off if you were to automate the process of time tracking in a spreadsheet as much as possible.

Free online time tracking app

Clockify is a time tracker spreadsheet and timesheet app that helps you improve, speed up, and streamline your time tracking. You and your team simply type time in personal timesheet, which Clockify summarizes in visual reports, which you can later share and export as customizable CSV and Excel files.

Clockify is a modern employee time sheet app that works in a browser. Clockify streamlines timesheet collection and time analysis so you no longer have to fill out, scan, and store paper time sheets.

Entering time in a timesheet

Entering time in a timesheet view with Clockify is similar to handling project time tracking in Excel - you define the project you're working on (this can be a name of a project, but you can also indicate "vacation", "overtime", or "sick leave" as projects), and enter the time you spend on these projects by date in a couple of clicks.

Clockify Timesheet

Exporting time reports as customizable spreadsheets (CSV, Excel)

You'll be able to download editable CSV and Excel files from the time entries you create in Clockify. Simply choose the type of report you want to create (Summary, Detailed, or Weekly), filter by the desired parameters, and choose a time period. All exported CSV and Excel spreadsheets are editable, in case you find that you need to fix some data.

Clockify Summary Report

Once you've generated the desired Report, you'll be able to export the results as a CSV or Excel file, in order to get a spreadsheet template with the usual spreadsheet data automatically filed out. And all it takes is a couple of quick clicks. Once you export a report as a CSV and Excel spreadsheet, you'll get full time tracking data: who tracked the time, how much, and what they've worked on.

Exported Summary Report

Download spreadsheet samples: ExcelCSVGoogle Sheets

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I used to get myself in a mess with Excel timesheets

Clockify is ideal for my needs. I work part-time for a client working as his executive assistant and his bookkeeper. I was getting myself in a mess just using a timesheet created in MS Excel and when I discovered Clockify I was over the moon with joy. I keep Clockify open in the background and I switch projects when I start the work and when I finish the work. I used to under invoice for my time and lose income but now I can bill for every second I work on his projects. Also, it has great reporting function and can either print off or save as a PDF or Excel etc. So not only do I invoice my client, I've also got exact data for the time I carry out each of his tasks

— Ruth Manser, Executive Assistant & Bookkeeper