Google Sheets Time Tracking (+Templates & Usage)

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Google Sheets Time Tracking (+Templates & Usage)

Tracking employees' work hours is a wonderful way to learn how your employees spend their time, for which you pay a handsome amount. Advanced corporations tend to prioritize monitoring employee performance. Tracking work hours provides essential insights into overall company productivity. Google Sheets time tracking, despite some drawbacks, can be helpful in this regard.

This article discusses Google Sheet time tracking, its usage, time tracking templates, and numerous advantages and disadvantages. It also discussed why Apploye is a wise replacement for Google sheet time tracking.

Why is Google Sheets time tracking important?

Time tracking provides ongoing project visibility and reveals important operational indicators that would otherwise go unnoticed. Benchmarking, budgeting, estimating, and compliance all depend on it. It's impossible to manage your time if you don't keep track of your time.

This harms your company in so many ways, which is just another reason why well-implemented time tracking may produce excellent outcomes.

Below are the reasons why you should track your time in the organization.

  • Managing the workload: Time tracking allows easy detection of unfavorable situations and reduces stress by identifying overworked employees who may need additional support.
  • Performance comparison: Data from time tracking helps identify the most and least profitable areas within the company, leading to possible reorganization for improved efficiency.
  • Smoother Payroll management: Conventional timekeeping methods are unreliable, and you know what?  Humans make mistakes. That is why Time Tracking technology is crucial. Humans can't maintain such long-term accuracy. Automated time trackers ensure accurate timesheets and reliable payroll management.
  • Increasing employee accountability: On average, employees waste an hour or more per day. They converse with coworkers, make calls, or browse the web. This downtime costs your company a lot. Time tracking eliminates distractions and helps employees focus on work, boosting overall productivity.
  • Create a better workforce for the future: How long do employees spend? How might employee interviews or audit prep influence the company? Working time tracking can address these and other questions. Analyzing time-tracking data provides valuable insights for optimizing business processes and preparing for the future.

What is Google Sheets Time Tracking?

Google Sheets time tracking serves as a simplified timesheet for companies to record employee work hours. You may manage projects more effectively, track detailed billable hours, and accomplish other daily operations using Google Sheets time tracking. That’s how time tracking enables you to create the workforce for the future.

Using Google sheet time tracking helps you track time with the touch of a spreadsheet formula that automatically calculates the time your employees are spending behind different tasks. While the process might seem very calculative and pacy, it is not fully automated as it requires manual data entry and improvisations.

Why use Google Sheets for Tracking Time?

If you are searching for a time tracking solution that doesn’t cost almost anything at all and all your requirement is a mere time tracking with some related features, then Google Sheets can be a good way to track the employees’ work hours proficiently.

The significant benefits of timesheets are precise client invoicing, errorless time calculation if there are no human mistakes, and payroll management, but they also have additional advantages, such as the following:

  • The entire team may monitor their time in one location by hosting their timesheets on Google Sheets.
  • Management of employee workloads can be improved using a Google Sheets timesheet. For instance, an overburdened coworker could have some of their jobs redistributed to free up their time.
  • Managers from different arenas can access the Google sheet time tracking records without any hassle and can have insights into employee performance from time to time.

Who can use Google Sheets Time Tracking?

With these things in mind, let us move forward to learn who can use Google Sheets for tracking time.

  • Independent contractors: Independent contractors and Freelancers work with many clients on various projects. A timesheet template for Google Sheets allows freelancers a transparent approach to engaging with clients.
  • Project management supervisors: Having a centralized system in place via which employees can report their hours can save a busy project manager a significant amount of time. That’s why the project supervisor may need a Google sheet for tracking time to stay informed about the participation of the employees.
  • HR managers: It’s an undeniable fact that HR managers have to waste a lot of precious time just by looking into the details of the employees. These details include the daily attendance, leaves, and payroll records absolutely necessary for the HR managers.
  • Accounting department and firms: Since the amount of time their accountants spend working with each customer directly affects the businesses' bottom line, accounting firms are incentivized to maintain high productivity levels. Because of this, they require a streamlined method to keep track of the time they work and bill their customers effectively and promptly.
  • Finance department of a firm: The mistake rate is the most critical performance metric for measuring payroll effectiveness. Google Sheets time tracking enables you to communicate clearly with your clients and provide accurate invoices, fostering a sense of trust and bettering client relationships. This makes your company's financial division error-free.

How to Get Started With Google Sheets Time Tracking

The functions in Google Sheets are numerous, and you might have a hard time figuring out the formulae and functions of Google Sheets that are relevant to your operation. However, bearing the necessity of tracking employee working hours in mind, you may keep a close eye on the following functions, which will help you track time in an errorless way.

Here are some ways to track time using Google Sheets:

1.  Using Google Forms or Google Chrome Extensions to track time

This is not exactly a way to track time with Google Sheets, yet an excellent way to track time as Google Forms is one of the amenities you get from Google.

When an employee begins and ends their work, the relevant information can be recorded using a Google Form. It contains a feature that allows you to add specific notes, employee email IDs, and departments in addition to the timestamps already there.

To accomplish this, you will need to create questions in Google Forms along the lines of "Name," "Time in," "Time out," "Department," and so on. You may improvise the Google sheet to meet your needs.

Besides, several time tracking tools include a Chrome Extension to track time while working with Google Sheets. While the person is working on the spreadsheets, these tools can be running in the background.

2.  Manual time entries

In this section of a Google Sheets spreadsheet, you will input the time you clocked in and the time you clocked out. You also need to ensure that the Time data format is set for any cells in the spreadsheet that include time entries.

In order to accomplish this, you need to follow the following steps:

a.  A drop-down menu is available when you choose the time columns and click the 123 buttons on the toolbar.

b.  Select the ‘time’ format.

c.  Set the Total Hours column as Duration.

d.  Then apply the manual subtraction formula (B2-A2) to get the values in the Total Hours.

3.  Calculating the Break hours

Break hours are hours when your employees go for respites. This is related to the employee work hours as you may need to omit the hours the employees weren’t involved in the work. Let’s see how the break hours can be calculated and adjusted with the help of Google Sheets. Follow the following steps:

a.  Create Break Start and Break End columns and choose Time Format for both of them the way you have selected it earlier.

b. Now Use the manual subtraction formula (B2-A2) -(D2-C2) for the Hours Worked column.

That’s how you get the break hour adjustments from the Google sheet while creating the sheet manually.

4.  Total Hours Worked

To determine the hours worked by the employees you have to open a column named ‘Total Hours Worked’ and apply the summation formula which is =SUM (Hours Worked column).

How to make a time-tracking spreadsheet in Google Sheets (with templates)

You can easily track time in Google Sheets with our Google Sheet Time Tracking templates. Follow these steps:

  1. Click on the "Make a copy" button to make a copy of the timesheet template in your account.
Google Sheets prompt, showing the Copy document option

2. Now, in the Google Sheets, enter the time of start/stop correctly.

3. Using the formula, the spreadsheet will calculate the payable amount. You can use that to pay employees properly.

4 Types of Google Sheets Time Tracking Templates

Businesses require a lot of types of timesheets which can serve various purposes. However, four types of timesheets are pretty standard in almost all companies that emphasize employee time tracking and time record keeping.

Below are the four types of timesheets in Google Sheets that are most prevalent.

1.  Daily Timesheet Template

Using a daily time tracking Google sheet that is formatted with the hours of the workday, employees have the ability to log how much they worked on throughout each workday. The Google sheet is formatted so that each cell represents one hour.

Get an editable Daily Timesheet Template.

2.  Weekly Timesheet Template

This document takes the form of a Timesheet Template and is used to keep track of the number of hours worked each week, as well as the totals and pay for each week.

Get an editable Weekly Timesheet Template.

3.  Monthly Timesheet Template

If the monthly timesheet calculation of employee work hours is a critical concern for your business, you can use the Monthly Timesheet Template.

Get an editable Monthly Timesheet Template.

4.  Project Timesheet Template

Make use of this template to determine the number of hours needed for a client project. It can also be used in businesses that have to track billable hours to appropriately bill customers or assess the time workers spend working on projects.

Get an editable Project Timesheet Template.

Advantages of Google Sheets Time Tracking

The advantages you might get from Google Sheets can be numerous depending on the necessity you set for managerial operation. Suppose you are a company searching for a time-tracking solution with no expense and errorless data processing for primary-level administrative operation efficiency. In that case, it is an ideal solution for you.

Below are the advantages you can get from Google Sheets Time Tracking.

  • Easy to use: Almost all managers from different arenas are familiar with spreadsheet programs like Excel, Google Sheets, and others. Again, for the majority of users, using a spreadsheet poses no risk. Therefore, it is a very user-friendly application.
  • No experience is needed: Your employees can rapidly learn how to utilize Google sheet time tracking templates because it is similar to Microsoft Excel. You might need to train your employees to use Google Spreadsheets' Add-on feature. But in most circumstances, especially if the employee is familiar with Excel, you won't need to explain how it works.
  • No costs involved: You don't need to buy it or pay for a monthly subscription. After filling up your Google Drive's free storage, you might need to purchase more room to store the spreadsheets. However, since the file size is so tiny, it is improbable that you would run out of storage. So, there is no headache from extra expenses.
  • Available Integrations: For simple collaboration and quick data linking, Google Sheets integrates with Google Docs, Calendar, PowerPoint, and other Google products. Additionally, it uses an API to interface with other programs like Trello, Slack, Clockify, etc. Using App Scripts, Google Sheets can also be expanded. It allows you to customize the spreadsheet with your own menus, sidebars, dialogue boxes, and more.

Disadvantages of Google Sheets Time Tracking

All of these benefits, which were outlined before, are intriguing and important to varying degrees. However, they come with several unpleasant downsides that one must always keep in mind. Let’s have a quick look into them:

  • No inbuilt reporting system: There are no capabilities in Google Sheets that generate reports that you can evaluate. It may be challenging to spot trends or draw insightful conclusions when a lot of data is displayed in a single Excel worksheet, as with time tracking Google Sheets. So, you obviously need reports, and Google Sheets don’t produce them.
  • The fear of manipulation: Once they have entered the data into Google Sheets, your employees can manipulate the process because it is entirely under their control. You might not have the luxury of checking your employees' data daily as a manager.
  • The fear of Human error: Even if the formulas and total calculations are correct, if you forget to submit the data in a valid format or if the sum calculations leave out even necessary amounts, this could lead to significant payroll miscalculations and errors. So even if they are not manipulating, there might be a human error that can devastate you entirely.
  • Time-Consuming effort: Google Sheets Time Tracking takes more time and work than it seems initially. The method starts with starting the time clock, counting time, adding data to the spreadsheet, and annotating it. This method is so onerous that employees avoid it and update the timesheet from memory, which misses the point.
  • Managing them could be troublesome: Keeping track of a few Google sheet time tracking templates won't be hard to crack, but when there are tons of data and lots of Google sheets, things could get entangled, and keeping track of them would be highly painstaking.

These were some of the disadvantages of Google sheet time tracking and note that there are many. So, as you can see that the pros outweigh the cons; thinking of anything that can better the process and replace it would be a wise idea.

Apploye- The best alternative to Google Sheets Time Tracking

Nowadays, time tracking software has made it simpler for business owners to skip tracking time in Google Sheets and paper timesheets in favor of automated processes.

Apploye Time Tracker and other similar time tracking apps diminish the need for using Google Sheets time tracker. Owners and management of a company can maximize its growth potential by increasing productivity due to systematic monitoring and control that is carried out with the aid of Apploye.

Apploye has advanced features and an easy-to-use UI. With a PC and mobile app, you can work anywhere.  Apploye's features make it easy for customers to track and log time. These records assist a business in maintaining operational efficiency, managing payroll, and retaining the best employees based on reported time and productivity.

So, there is no doubt that Apploye can replace Google Sheets Time Tracking for good.

Time Tracking Features of Apploye

Although Apploye time tracking software is excellent, it may also be valuable for managing your workforce and monitoring your employees. Additionally, Apploye provides many tools to make your life as a manager easier.

Compared to other time-tracking tools like Google Sheets time tracking or others you may have used in the past, Apploye has advantages that are hard to uncover. These benefits include everything from Apploye's time tracking features to its cutting-edge facilities.

We'll go over some of Apploye's best features after you've gotten acquainted with how the system operates so you can decide whether or not to use it.

  • Timer - Automatic & Manual: You may use the Apploye timer to track your time by providing basic instructions such as "start" and "stop," or you can manually enter your time using the app at a later time.
  • Timesheets with customized views: You may quickly ascertain how many hours your workers have worked by seeing their timesheets daily, weekly, bimonthly, monthly, or custom basis.
  • Clock-In, Clock-out: Users on desktop computers will be immediately clocked in when the time tracker starts. They'll be clocked out on their own. Users will have to exert as much effort. Timings for clocking in and out will only be tracked via the desktop application; no manual entry will be required.
  • Track time across projects & tasks: Logging your time against various activities and projects is necessary to manage your job in the most effective way possible.
  • Timesheet Approval: In this section, you will give your employees' timesheets your approval before paying them for the services they rendered.
  • Timesheet export: You may export timesheets in pdf, CSV, or Excel format.
  • Pomodoro Timer: Set work and break times with a Pomodoro trakcer. Pomodoro timers are usually set to break every 25 minutes but can be customized. Apploye notifies you when you need a break via this feature.
  • Manual Time: Employees who accidentally forget to track time with Apploye can add manual time to gauge the calculation.

How to start tracking time with Apploye

Following the steps below, you can use Apploye to replace the Google Sheets time tracking and keep track of your valuable time.

Step 1: Create an Apploye account

Create a new organization after registering with Apploye. To do so click "Join an Existing Organization" and set your Timezone. Add a project, click "Next," and choose a plan. Invite the members or you may skip it for now. Click "Get Started."

Step 2:  Create projects and assign members

Apploye's sidebar contains "Projects." Name and describe the Project, then click "Save." Your team can track time once the Project is public. You can edit "Edit Project" under "Actions." Under "Add Billings & Hours," add an hourly rate or wage. Estimate project costs. When in Project, you can add a task. Save changes.

Step 3: Download and install the Desktop App

Click "More" then "Get" on the Apploye website to download the desktop application. Visit the Download page. Your operating system is auto-detected by Apploye. Install by clicking on the "Get Apploye for (OS)" button.

Step 4: Track time with Apploye Desktop App

Click the 'Start Tracking' button begins time tracking. Before logging time, choose a project. The Desktop software creates tasks under projects.

Step 5: Automatic data entry in timesheets

Apploye Time Tracker shows daily, weekly, monthly, and custom timesheets. Everything will be accomplished automatically.

Step 6: Export Reports (CSV, Excel)

You can download the reports from the 'Reports' area of your dashboard. There are Sub-sections like Time and Activity, Manual Time, and Apps & URL Usage.


As automation is increasingly deployed in the workplace, Google Sheets time tracking is becoming increasingly irrelevant. It is time to act and automate the workplace, removing the need for human labor entirely. Utilize the time-tracking features of Apploye to offer yourself a competitive advantage in the workplace.