timesheet getting started

The Ultimate Guide To Timesheets: How To Get Started And What To Expect

If you work as an employee, you’ve probably had to do a time sheet before. If you work as an independent contractor, you’ve probably done one too. Either way, it’s a lot of work to track all the hours you’ve completed for a project, and it’s not always easy to know the best way to do it. I’ve compiled all the information you need in one place to make it easier to understand how to track your hours. Here’s how to set up your time sheet, what to do if you forget to track time, and how to make sure everything is accurate.

What is a time sheet?

A time sheet is a document that looks at your job as a whole. Some time sheets, like clients’ or the number of meetings you’ve had, have to be included in your business’s report to the government. Other time sheets simply show your hours of work for that week. You can include a table, an excel spreadsheet, or just your time totals. The most common format is the time sheet format I’ve listed above. I’ll show you what that looks like, but note that this is by no means the only format that’s used. If you’re in a hurry, just get it done in Excel. How to start a time sheet If you’re a person who works from home or works in a small business, you don’t have to do much to start your time sheet. All you have to do is: Open the Word or Excel spreadsheet or CSV file that shows your time for the week. You can also use a tool like ClockIt to track your hours. If you are looking for templates in Excel, Google Sheets see our time sheet templates that we have created.

What should I do with my time sheet?

Before you get started, you should make sure you have a good reason for creating a time sheet and ensuring that the amount of hours worked is accurate. If you’re just covering a project you’re working on with your partner, you don’t need to track the hours you’ve worked together. To keep the time sheet accurate, you need to take some time to record everything you do. A time sheet can be as simple as a spreadsheet or as detailed as a word document or PDF. When you create the spreadsheet, make sure that you include hours for every task you complete for your client. Automated systems will ensure that your time sheets are available to view online by your admins. This will save you the trouble of keeping track and sending it out to the respective managers.

Why is it important to track time?

So you’re busy, and you may be wondering why it’s so important to track time. It’s really just common sense. If you want to know the details of how you spend your time, then you need to know the hours you’ve completed. Your managers will always be checking your time sheets and making sure they’re accurate. If they think your time has been over- or under-reported, they might have to cut you a deal. Or they may not have as much work for you to do. To be clear, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t report everything on your time sheet. Just don’t do it half-assed.

How do I track my time?

For the most part, this is pretty straightforward. You just need to create a company-wide “custom” time sheet, which can be any sort of spreadsheet. This one is fairly basic, but you can customize it any way you want. Each team member can sign off on their time, which will be combined with everyone else’s time. If you have employees, it’s really easy to add each employee’s hours. Just make sure to assign each employee a start and end date for their time. You can use the same spreadsheet to track the hours you put into a project and the time you spent away from the office working on another task. So if you went on a sales call on Thursday, and worked 30 hours from Thursday to Sunday on another project, you would put 30 hours onto the project, and the time it took for the sales call into your records. When using an online tool, you can create job codes and track work against job codes. For example “meetings” would be a job code and “project execution” can be another job code in this case.

Why would I track time?

It’s one of the basic requirements of working as an employee and can also be done as a contractor. Here are some reasons to track time: It helps you to measure productivity. By tracking time, you’re able to get a sense of how much time was spent on the project and can keep things transparent between you and your client. It gives you better control over the project spend and also sets realistic expectations on the cost for your client. It helps to get a picture of the project execution times. It helps to better manage company resources and also helps with employee scheduling.


Setting up a time sheet can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not sure what you should be tracking. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind. Download the time sheet templates that are included in this guide. These templates will let you customize your time sheet to your exact needs. Calculate an hourly rate that accurately reflects the work you are doing. The time sheet needs to accurately reflect what you are getting paid for. Time tracking is a full-time job. You should be tracking the hours you’re working each week. Ideally, this should be done by tracking every project that you complete.

Basil Abbas

Basil is the Founder and CTO at ClockIt. With over 10 years of experience in the products space, there is no challenge that is too big in front of him be it sales, marketing, coding, etc. A people person and loves working in a startup for perfection.