Excel Tutorial: How To Make Excel Timesheet


Tracking work hours is essential for businesses to manage productivity and pay employees accurately. Timesheets play a crucial role in this process, providing a detailed record of each employee's hours worked. While there are various methods for creating timesheets, using Excel offers numerous benefits such as customization, ease of use, and the ability to perform calculations. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the steps to create a timesheet in Excel, so you can efficiently track work hours and manage your team's productivity.

Key Takeaways

  • Timesheets are essential for managing productivity and accurately paying employees.
  • Using Excel for creating timesheets offers benefits such as customization and ease of use.
  • Understanding Excel basics, such as navigating the interface and formatting cells, is crucial for creating a timesheet.
  • Adding formulas for calculating total hours, including overtime and deducting breaks, is important for accurate time tracking.
  • Customizing the timesheet with company branding and additional columns can provide a professional and tailored solution for time tracking.

Understanding Excel Basics

When creating an Excel timesheet, it's important to have a good understanding of the basics of using Excel. This will help you navigate the interface, understand how to input data, and format cells for time entries.

a. Navigating the Excel interface
  • Start by opening Excel on your computer or device.
  • Take some time to familiarize yourself with the different tabs and tools available in the ribbon at the top of the screen.
  • Learn how to navigate between different sheets within a workbook.

b. Understanding cells, rows, and columns
  • Cells are the individual boxes where you input data, and they are organized into rows and columns.
  • Each cell has a unique address, which is determined by its column letter and row number (e.g., A1, B2, C3, etc.).
  • Understanding how to select and manipulate cells, rows, and columns is essential for building a timesheet.

c. Formatting cells for time entries
  • Before entering time data into your timesheet, it's important to format the cells to ensure they display the time correctly.
  • Excel offers different time formats, such as "h:mm AM/PM" or "h:mm:ss", which can be applied to cells to represent hours and minutes accurately.
  • Take the time to familiarize yourself with the different formatting options available for time entries.

Setting Up the Timesheet

When creating an excel timesheet, it’s important to properly set it up for easy data entry and readability. Here are the steps to set up a timesheet in Excel:

a. Creating a table for entering work hours

To start, create a table with columns to enter work hours. This table will make it easy to enter and calculate the time worked for each day.

b. Adding columns for date, start time, end time, and total hours

Within the table, add columns for the date, start time, end time, and total hours worked for each day. This will help keep track of the hours worked for each day of the week.

c. Formatting the timesheet for easy readability

Once the table is created and the necessary columns are added, format the timesheet for easy readability. This can include adjusting the font size, adding borders, and using different colors to distinguish the different elements of the timesheet.

Adding Formulas for Calculating Total Hours

When creating an Excel timesheet, it's important to accurately calculate the total hours worked. This can be done by adding formulas to automate the process and ensure accuracy.

Using formulas to calculate total hours worked each day

  • Use the =SUM function to add up the total hours worked each day.
  • Input the start time and end time for each work period, and use the formula =End Time - Start Time to calculate the total hours worked for that period.

Summing up total hours for the week

  • Create a separate cell to input the total hours worked for each day of the week.
  • Use the =SUM function to add up the total hours worked for the week, based on the individual daily totals.

Formatting the total hours cell for clarity

  • Apply a custom number format to display the total hours in a clear, easily readable format (e.g., hh:mm format).
  • Consider using conditional formatting to highlight specific ranges of total hours (e.g., overtime hours or insufficient hours).

Inclusion of Overtime and Breaks

When creating an Excel timesheet, it's important to account for overtime hours and breaks in order to accurately calculate the total hours worked by an employee. This ensures that employees are compensated correctly for their time and that the timesheet reflects an accurate record of their work hours.

Adding a column for including overtime hours

  • Step 1: Insert a new column in the timesheet for overtime hours.
  • Step 2: Label the column clearly to indicate that it is for tracking overtime hours.
  • Step 3: Use a formula to calculate the overtime hours based on the predetermined threshold for overtime (e.g. any hours worked beyond 40 hours in a week).

Deducting breaks from total hours worked

  • Step 1: Identify the column in the timesheet that records total hours worked.
  • Step 2: Add a separate column for breaks taken by the employee.
  • Step 3: Use a formula to deduct the total break hours from the total hours worked to get the net hours worked.

Adjusting formulas for overtime and break calculations

  • Step 1: Review and adjust any existing formulas that calculate total hours worked to account for breaks and overtime hours.
  • Step 2: Use conditional formatting to highlight overtime hours for easy identification.
  • Step 3: Test the accuracy of the formulas by entering sample data and verifying that the calculated overtime and break hours match the expected results.

Customizing the Timesheet

When creating an Excel timesheet, it's important to customize it to fit the specific needs and branding of your company. This not only adds a professional touch but also makes the timesheet more functional for tracking and reporting.

Adding company logo and colors for a professional look

One way to customize your timesheet is by adding your company's logo and using branded colors. This can be done by inserting the logo image into the header section of the timesheet and using the company's color scheme for the background or font colors.

Including additional columns for project codes or notes

To make the timesheet more useful for tracking different projects or tasks, consider adding additional columns for project codes, notes, or any other relevant information. This customization allows for better organization and reporting of time spent on different activities.

Protecting the timesheet to prevent accidental edits

Once your timesheet is customized, it's important to protect it from accidental edits that could alter the data. You can do this by locking certain cells or the entire sheet, and only allowing specific users to make changes. This ensures the integrity of the timesheet and the accuracy of the time tracking data.


Accurate timesheets are essential for payroll and project management, ensuring that employees are compensated fairly and that projects are completed on schedule. In this tutorial, we have learned valuable Excel skills for creating a timesheet, including formatting cells, using formulas, and creating drop-down menus. I encourage you to utilize Excel for effective time tracking in your work or business, as it can streamline the process and provide valuable insights into how time is being utilized.

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