This guide will cover all the reasons you should use Google Sheets to track your attendance and what you should include when building an attendance spreadsheet. We’ll also provide you with a Google Sheets attendance template and explain exactly how to use it. Read on to learn more.
Table of Contents
What Is an Attendance Tracker?
An attendance spreadsheet, also known as an attendance tracker in Google Sheets, is a grid where information regarding a group of people’s attendance is saved. It’s equivalent to a roll call sheet in a school. Yet here, the individuals could be attendees at an event, company staff, or classroom students.
The attendance sheet may additionally include other information, such as the name of the class, group, or department, as well as, the time and date, reasons for absences, and so on.
As many corporate and governmental bodies have switched to expensive pay-as-you-go software, using Google Sheets is a great free alternative. Let’s look at some more reasons why you should use Google Sheets.
Why Use Google Sheets for an Online Attendance Sheet?
You should use Google Sheets to create attendance tracking sheets for several reasons. Some of these are:
This is one of the biggest reasons you should use a Google Sheets attendance spreadsheet rather than different software. As Google Sheets is a spreadsheet software, it allows you complete control of how you want your attendance template to be formatted. You can create one from scratch that suits your school or office.
If things change or your wish to add or remove a column, you can do it with just a few simple clicks. Most teachers already use Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel to store their student’s data, so using an attendance sheet Google Sheets template won’t require them to learn new software.
Google Sheets saves the data to its cloud servers in real-time, meaning all your data is synced online. This means that you can use Google Sheets anywhere in the world if you have a device with an internet browser and an internet connection.
Online data storage means you won’t have to worry about taking the attendance Google Sheets file with you on an external storage device or your laptop. This can be very useful in scenarios where your laptop’s battery runs out in the middle of a class, and you can use Google Sheets on your smartphone to mark attendance.
An amazing part about using a Google Sheets attendance template is that Google Sheets has built-in integration that allows you to connect the spreadsheet to other software. You can integrate Classroom with Sheets using other Google services like Google Classroom. You can also automate it so students can mark their attendance in Classroom.
Ease of Use
Spreadsheets are used by almost all professionals at some time during their careers. This means you probably have a basic knowledge of spreadsheet software, whether you used Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel.
Google Sheets is a simple and user-friendly solution, even for people with little experience using spreadsheets. As a result, maintenance and training are more accessible, and your sheet is guaranteed to be future-proof.
Google Sheets has built-in collaboration features which allow you to share your spreadsheet with anyone. This can be great when you wish to have several teachers mark attendance on a single attendance template in Google Sheets. Sheets also allow you set the permissions you wish to grant to the person joining the spreadsheet.
You can allow the person to either edit, comment, or view the spreadsheet. This makes it extremely easy in many situations as you can simply allow access to the spreadsheet to the manager instead of emailing the spreadsheet file every time.
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Tips for Creating an Attendance Sheet Template Google Sheets
Tracking attendance is important whether you’re a multinational company or an educational institution, as it helps determine an employee’s or student’s productivity and track their progress.
The first thing to do when creating an attendance tracker spreadsheet is to create a basic skeleton of the spreadsheet. Add slots for the month or week and other details like the starting date and the department. Then, you should list all of your requirements. Then, aim to create a template that fulfills those listed requirements.
If you don’t know where to start, here are a few tips to help you get started:
Create With a Purpose
Whether you’re creating an attendance tracker in Google Sheets for your school or a workplace, you will essentially be following the same structure. Before you start working on the attendance template, define your purpose first. If you’re making a restaurant employee attendance template, then ensure you add all crew members. If you make a student attendance spreadsheet, ensure you add all the students’ names and roll numbers. You may also like to add customized fields, such as whether students are in uniform or not.
Define the Intervals
This parameter is entirely defined by you. You can have monthly, weekly, or even daily attendance spreadsheets. Select the option that suits you the best. If you are required to submit the attendance at the end of the day, then making a daily attendance sheet is a great idea. However, if you’re required to upload the spreadsheet every month, it makes sense to divide it into weeks and track the attendance on one large spreadsheet.
Choose Distinct Indicators
You can leave the cells empty and type anything you want to mark the attendance. However, to keep your Google Sheets attendance template free of clutter, it’s a good idea to define a few keywords. Commonly, P is used for Present, L is used for Late, and A is used for absent. You don’t have to follow this format but making sure your spreadsheet is consistent is always a great idea.
List the Names
Listing the names in your attendance name is one of the most critical tasks. The way you add the names to your spreadsheet entirely depends on you. Some may prefer to have the names sorted alphabetically, while some may want to sort them by their serial or roll number. Having a properly formatted name list allows you to find the names and keep track of them consistently.
Leave Space for Signatures (Optional)
Many companies and schools still use the traditional attendance system, where pages contain a list of names. Some institutions require every student or employee to sign in front of their name, while some require the instructor or manager to sign the sheet after they are done taking attendance. Make sure to add a larger cell if you need to add space for signatures in your Google Sheets attendance template.
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How to Use the Free Attendance Template, Google Sheets
If you don’t want to spend time making a new template, you can simply download our free attendance template for Google Sheets. Here is how you can use this template.
Rename Cells and Add Data
The first thing you should aim to do when you use this template is to change the name and edit the starting date. This template was created with a school environment in mind, so we added elements like Teacher Name, Class Name, and Student Name.
Feel free to change this to reflect your use case better. For example, if you are going to use this template to mark the employees’ attendance in a shop, then you can change the parameters to Manager Name, Shop Name, and Employee Name, respectively.
Once you do that, make sure to add the Week Starting date. This will change the days to reflect the week. Also, make sure to add the names of the individual in your class or team.
Edit the Attendance Codes
By default, our attendance tracker spreadsheet has five attendance codes. Only the first attendance code, “Present” in the spreadsheet, will count as a present. All other codes will be counted toward an absence.
To make sure that marking the attendance is more manageable, you can press on the arrow icon towards the right side of the cell where you wish to mark the attendance. This will open a drop-down menu where you can select one of the five attendance codes. If you want to change whether a specific attendance code marks an absent, click on the box under Total Days Absent and edit the ARRAYFORMULA so that it won’t include the cell for the attendance code you don’t wish to count.
Add Extra Sheets
Our template has set it up so that every sheet represents a week starting from the date you set in the first week. Depending on the number of weeks you have to take attendance, feel free to duplicate and rename the first sheet.
To do this:
- Right-click on the sheet’s name in the bottom left corner, which will open a pop-up menu.
- Click on the Duplicate option. You will now be taken to the duplicated sheet’s tab.
- Right-click on the copied sheet’s name and click on the Rename option.
- Enter the new name for the sheet and press Enter.
- Keep repeating this process untill you have the desired number of sheets.
Make sure to make a copy of the spreadsheet once you are done making all the changes, so you won’t have to make the changes all over again.
Mark the Attendance
Our template uses drop-down boxes to mark attendance rather than the user having to write in the cells. Whichever option you choose will be conditionally formatted to show one of the three predefined colors, which allows you to gauge a person’s attendance at a glance.
- Green for Present
- Yellow for Partially absent (Early Leaver or Late)
- Red for Absent (Explained Absence or Unexplained Absence)
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The easiest way to create a Google Sheets attendance template is to simply use a premade one and alter it to match your specifications, and then navigate to File > Make a Copy to save it permanently. Our Google Sheets template for attendance is a good place to start, or you could do a simple Google search to find more.
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