Schedule template – pros and cons

If you work with scheduling, you likely already have a tool to help make your work easier. Two common tools for scheduling are the schedule template and the scheduling program. In this guide, we describe these tools, highlighting their differences and helping you decide which one to choose for your specific needs.

March 1, 2023

Basic differences

The main difference between a schedule template and a scheduling program is that the first is a computer file and the second is an entire computer program. Below we have listed some other areas where the tools differ.

Definition for a schedule template

A schedule template is a file on a computer.

Definition for a scheduling program

A scheduling program is a computer program made for scheduling with multi-user, multi-platform access.


A schedule template has no connections to users or applications and therefore needs to be either copied or printed. This makes it more difficult to send out changes and receive time reports from employees. On the other hand, an online schedule can be integrated with other computer programs, allowing for the synchronization of information between them. It can also be used by several people simultaneously, which can improve collaboration and communication within the team.


A schedule template is rarely adapted to be used in any way other than from a computer. Modern scheduling programs are accessible from both computer, tablet and mobile phone.


A schedule template can incorporate some useful functionality, such as automatic summaries and statistics. However, it cannot provide complete invoicing and payroll documentation. To manage these tasks, a scheduling program is needed. A scheduling program can manage users' time reports, match them with existing invoice and salary agreements, and then transfer the automatically generated documentation to your invoicing and payroll system.


If there are several people who are using the schedule template at the same time, several versions of the sametemplate can appear. Then no one knows which one contains all the changes. It's easy to forget to check where the file was saved when a change was made. With a scheduling program, there is only one source that all users work against. This means that you can always be sure that the schedule is up to date and that it is the latest version.


There is no way to control who can do or see a schedule template. Everyone has access to everything. In the scheduling program, you can set different permissions for employees, managers and even external users if you want. It will be possible to control which users will be allowed to make certain changes and what they will be able to see.


If your computer gets a virus, crashes or is sabotaged, you want to know that your information is still there. Backup is rarely a problem if you have your schedule template saved in the cloud, or on a server that is backed up frequently. It's worse if the template is only on your own computer, which you might not be as careful about backing up. Today, most scheduling programs are in the cloud, and are continuously backed up. The information is never thrown away. Other security benefits of online scheduling software are the authorization control we mentioned above, as well as being able to get a log of who did what and when.

For which companies is the schedule template suitable?

If you have a small company where all staff are full-time employees, a schedule template may be a perfect fit. In this case, you do not depend on receiving reports on time worked and do not need a function for that in the schedule. A template can also be sufficient if you have a schedule that does not require frequent changes and you are the only one managing the schedule.

Choose a template for your scheduling if you…

…only have full-time employees.

…are independent of time reports.

…have few schedule changes.

…do not need to cooperate regarding scheduling.

Which companies should choose a scheduling program?

If your company has a mix of employment forms, it can be challenging to create a good schedule for everyone. In such cases, a scheduling program can be a better tool. If the company has several forms of employment, you will need to receive documentation from the employees about how much they have worked so that you can pay them the correct wages and charge your customers for their time. A scheduling program can help with this. Choose a scheduling program if you have many schedule changes that need to be communicated to employees, and if several people need to be able to schedule, such as department managers.

A scheduling program is useful if you...

…have several forms of employment, such as full-time, part-time, hourly employees.

…need salary and invoice documentation based on reported working hours.

…have many schedule changes.

…have more than one person responsible for scheduling.

Whatever you choose, take the first step today

If you want to make managing your schedule easier, you've already taken the first step by reading this guide. You can take the next step by trying our free schedule template designed for Excel. It's a great starting point for getting better control over your scheduling.

If you decide to move on to a complete scheduling system, you can import your template into Timezynk. For more tips, please refer to our guide, "6 Steps to Effective Scheduling."

By using these resources, you can streamline your scheduling process, reduce errors, and save time. Whether you choose to use a template or a complete scheduling system, taking steps to improve your scheduling can have a positive impact on your business operations.

Download Timezynk's free schedule template for Excel!

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