Using a Google Sheets timesheet template

Using a Google Sheets timesheet template seems a good choice for a simple and easy time recording system. Google Sheets is free and there are free timesheet template spreadsheets readily available to help get you started, what’s not to like? However, there is perhaps an even better answer than a Google sheets timesheet, and that’s to use your Google calendar as your timesheet.

You can’t beat a free timesheet, right?

Although Google Sheets is free, employees’ time isn’t, so it really depends on the value of employees’ time.

Every second employees spend entering timesheets costs companies money, it also reduces the time available to work on productive and chargeable tasks. As a result, if the time a commercial timesheet system saves time saves is worth more than the cost of the software, then the software is better value than a Google Sheets timesheet!

Google timesheet - Google sheet timesheet template

Example Google Sheets timesheet template – requires manual data entry. Imagine if there was a way to use data from elsewhere to magically prefill the timesheet and save time.

Even at minimum wage, it only takes a saving of around 10 minutes a week to more than cover the costs of a commercial system. When you take into account the value of chargeable time freed up, saving just 20 seconds a week more than pays for a Timewatch timesheet system, and it typically saves 1-2 hours a week!

It’s a bit like walking to the airport instead of taking a taxi – yes you can do it, and yes it’s free, but there are faster and easier ways to do it, and there are better things you can do with the time you save. The point is, it’s worth looking at the alternatives and the real costs and returns.

What are the alternatives to a Google Sheets timesheet?

So, although Google Sheets is free, employees still need to spend time entering timesheets, and  admin staff spend time collating and consolidating timesheets, preparing reports and analytics. Where rating or billing is needed, charge rates need to be applied, projects prepared for billing. and then all this needs to be entered into financial system.

Commercial systems can automate a lot of this work. They are not free and employees still need to spend time entering timesheets, but they often streamline business processes and save admin staff time as well as making timesheet entry faster, easier and more accurate.

Another approach is to combine the benefits of a commercial system with the benefits of a free Google system, but not Google Sheets – Google Calendar!

How a Google Calendar Timesheet saves people time and companies money

If your company uses Google calendar, your employees have already entered a lot of the information needed for a timesheet. By using this information in your timesheets your employees save time they’d spend entering into a Google Sheets timesheet.

Using Google calendar data to prefill employee timesheets increases the accuracy of timesheets and saves time as it avoids the duplication of effort entering this data again into Google Sheets or another system.

With a Google Calendar timesheet there is no need to jump from one application into another and duplicate your data.

But how does it work?

Google Calendar time tracking - using Google calendars in timesheets

This calendar has five appointments that can be used in a timesheet – saving the user time wasted entering it again into a Google Sheets timesheet template.

How does a Google Calendar timesheet work?

The example above shows five appointments. Timewatch can use these Google Calendar appointments to prefill a timesheet! At the click of a button this simple system not only saves employees work hours each week, it increases timesheet accuracy and adds powerful timesheet reporting and analytics to Google calendar.

How does Timewatch use Google Calendar appointments in a timesheet?

Appointments in Google Calendar already hold the date, start and end time, duration, subject, location and notes. That information is automatically added to your Timewatch timesheet as a draft entry. Our system lets you add any other information you need for your timesheet such as customer, project or work done. Timewatch and our Google timesheet makes time tracking faster, easier, and more accurate as it uses data already in your Google Calendar.

Google Calendar Timesheet Setup

Setting up a Google calendar timesheet is easy. Select preferences, enable Google Calendar link and specify if and how you want timesheet notes created from Google appointment data.

If your organization uses Google calendars, has more than five employees, needs to track time  / timesheets, and wants to save time and money, contact Timewatch. We’ll show you how a free Google Sheets time sheet template costs more than a Google Calendar timesheet system.

How does a Google Timesheet work?

Timewatch’s Google timesheet works with Google Calendar as it alreday has data in appointments that can be used in the timesheet. As you can see below, our Google Timesheet includes all the appointments from the Google calendar above.

Google Calendar time tracking - Timewatch
Timewatch’s Google timesheet display timesheets in either this Calendar layout, or in a classic spreadsheet timesheet layout.
If needed, timesheet approval is available.
The timesheet dashboard provides users with a quick summary of their timesheet status, PTO and Vacation taken and available and productivity.
Timesheets can be displayed in various formats, including work week, full week, bi-weekly and monthly.
Google appointments colored green have a customer / project allocated and are included in the daily and weekly totals.
Google appointments colored red need a customer / project to be allocated. They are not included in the daily totals until a customer / project is added.
Weekly and daily totals of all time with a customer / project allocated are provided.
Minimum daily timesheet requirements can be set per person. Days that meet minimum requirements get colored green, days that do not meet minimum total work hours are colored red.
Project managers need different reports to general timesheet users, and Timewatch allows your administrators to define roles to control which people can see which reports.
From the Reports menu you can manage which reports users can access, create new reports, charts, dashboards and data extracts.

This timesheet above has been prefilled with appointments from Google Calendar. Users can add customer and project details or ignore appointments. It’s easy, it takes seconds, saving employees hours each week, and as it uses data already in Google, it is more accurate.

Users can amend the hours they wish to add to their timesheet, and add not appointment time from the ‘New’ button in the menu. And that’s it! Simple, easy, fast Google timesheet entry.

Prefilling timesheets with data already in Google Calendars saves employees around two work hours a week. It also increases the accuracy of timesheets and increases staff morale. Timesheet entry is often seen as a chore, and Timewatch takes that chore out of timesheet entry and frees up employee time that they can spend on more productive and possibly chargeable work.

Timewatch and Google Calendar really is the perfect relationship for your business success. If you use Google calendar, you already have the data you need for time tracking and timesheet entry. Our system allows you to use this data directly in your timesheet, saving users time. Non-appointment time can also be added to the timesheet

How a Google timesheet increases weekly timesheet accuracy

Not all of the appointments in Google Calendar are needed to prefill timesheets, so Timewatch lets employees add items they want and ignore the ones they don’t. Many users typically complete their timesheet at the end of the week and check back manually through notes and their calendar to remember what projects they have worked on. They often miss important details that make their timesheets inaccurate. With a calendar timesheet, users are prompted with entries from their own calendar. Nothing is left to chance which increases timesheet accuracy as well as saving time and increasing employee productivity.

Timewatch provides powerful consolidated weekly timesheet reporting, and not only saves timesheet users one to two days a month in work time – it streamlines administration and management. Our software saves administrators, managers and business leaders time, too.

A timesheet template links to Google seamlessly

Google and Timewatch are both cloud applications. There’s nothing to download and install, no apps to integrate or plug in. The systems seamlessly link with each other. Appointments in Google automatically prefill the timesheet, combining timesheet data in Timewatch with the appointments in Google that are available to add to the timesheet. Users simply click on a Google appointment to allocate a customer and project to add it to their timesheet.

Appointments already hold most of the information needed for a timesheet entry: the date, start and end time, duration, subject, location and notes. By using this data rather than re-entering it all again, Timewatch saves users valuable time. No matter which Google Calendar you use: PC, Mac, Phone or Tablet, Timewatch can turn appointments into timesheets in seconds.

So who is Timewatch?

Timewatch are specialists in managing time in business, from scheduling and planning time, to tracking, billing and analytics of project time. Timewatch develop resource scheduling, time tracking and professional services automation systems, as well as analytics / reporting, time tracking and scheduling solutions for Outlook and Teams. We work closely with our customers to overcome the limits they come up against in Outlook so that they can continue to use Outlook as a core business tool, but seamlessly integrated with our solutions.

Want to Learn More About Our Google Timesheet?

Contact us, we provide free consultancy sessions with product specialists to help people that are genuinely interested in a Google timesheet system.

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