3 Free Printable Time Cards (+ A Better Method)

3 Free Printable Time Cards (+ A Better Method)

One way to track hours worked (including hourly rates, breaks, PTO, and overtime) is by using a free printable time card. The idea is that you can print these time cards out and let your employees track their hours, giving them an organized format to follow. You can also keep these time cards stored on Google Spreadsheets or Excel, so employees can access them digitally.

Either way, employees will enter their start and end times for each task or project (including their breaks or PTO days), and supervisors will then manually review and approve these time cards when it’s time to run payroll.

But before you print and hand out time cards, consider these drawbacks:

  • There’s a lot of manual time tracking involved. Printable time cards need to be updated manually. They also have to be reviewed manually. This can get frustrating and tedious. Plus, as always with manual processes, there’s a chance of human error, where someone’s time is tracked incorrectly, resulting in inaccurate record keeping and payroll.

  • There’s a lack of accountability. Printable time cards don’t help you prevent time theft. Time theft can be intentional (like an employee saying they were at work when they weren’t, whether to be paid their paycheck or avoid a tardy) or accidental (like someone taking a break and forgetting to log it). Unfortunately, printed-out time cards do nothing to stop these issues.

  • You’re using several tools to do one job. Printed time cards are just one cog in your time-tracking process. You must also write a schedule, track paid time off, handle PTO requests, update PTO balances, and issue payroll. A physical time card doesn’t help with any of these processes.

If these drawbacks aren’t a big deal for you and your business, then check out one of the 3 free, downloadable time cards below. They — or some version of them — may work out for you.

But the simple truth is that these time cards won’t work for most businesses. Most companies will save money and time by using time card software. 

This is because time card software automatically tracks and records employees’ working hours and attendance. Plus, time card software can prevent time theft, handle paid time off, and help you run payroll.

We believe that time card software is the best solution for businesses with small to large teams — no matter your industry.

In this article, we go in-depth into how our software solution, Buddy Punch, works as an upgrade to printable time cards. We make time card management simple and easy by:

  1. Keeping employees accountable and time cards accurate. Your employees will log their work hours in real-time using an app (available for iOS and Android devices). You can customize how employees can clock in and out — letting them clock in and out from their personal devices (tablets, smartphones, computers) or by designating a specific kiosk at work. 

    You can keep your team accountable by restricting punches to specific locations, restricting punches to designated devices or Wi-Fi networks, asking for a picture every time an employee punches in or out, and much more.

  2. Streamlining payroll management. Buddy Punch is full-fledged payroll software. So you don’t need to toggle back and forth between time card software and payroll software. It can all be done within Buddy Punch, including paying taxes, paying your team by direct deposit or check, setting up auto-payroll, and more.

Already have a payroll provider? You can integrate Buddy Punch with your current payroll provider. This way you get accurate time cards each pay period.

Above, we outlined some of the biggest advantages of using payroll software instead of manual time cards. To learn more, you can:

But now we will look at 3 free time cards and talk about how you and your team can use them.

3 Free Printable Time Cards

To give you an idea of the available options, we pulled 3 different free printable Excel timesheet templates. 

You can either a) keep these sheets online and have your team members log in and fill out their employee timesheets or b) print your chosen free timesheet template and hand it out.

If possible, we’d recommend you go with option a, as then you can use these pre-built Excel formulas to tally up hours worked over a pay period automatically. The only downside here is you’d need to make sure your online timesheets are only shared with management and your specific employee. If you share the sheets with everyone, there’s a major accountability and privacy issue — someone can see and potentially edit another employee’s time card.

Monthly Time Card

Microsoft Excel: Monthly Employee Timecard

Use this printable monthly timesheet template to calculate working hours on a monthly basis. As we’ve said, while you can print this project timesheet out, it’d be better to share it with your employees digitally. This way, they can track time, and get an accurate total number of hours they’ve worked at the top of their time card (in terms of regular hours and overtime hours worked).

Here’s Microsoft’s description of this template: “Track and calculate total regular and overtime hours for an employee every day of the week using this employee timecard template. The timecard template has a separate table for each month year. This is an accessible employee timecard template that breaks down into days, weeks, months, and year views.”

But there are some immediate drawbacks that we can see, in addition to the fact that you’re stuck manually inputting data. For example:

  • You’re not inputting start and end times. On this timesheet, you’re just putting in the total hours worked for each day (with a column for overtime). But you’re not putting when you started a shift, when you went for a lunch break, and when you left for the day. For a time tracker, this doesn’t give you very accurate tracking. 

  • You don’t get weekly totals. This printable timesheet template is made to give you monthly totals and yearly totals, but not weekly. Not having weekly or bi-weekly totals can be a major pain if you pay on a weekly or bi-weekly basis (common for both small businesses and enterprises).

You can download the time card here.

Automatically Calculate Overtime Timesheet

Microsoft Excel: Overtime Timesheet

Microsoft’s description: “Track hours worked with this useful timesheet. Automatically calculates overtime based on a forty-hour workweek. This is an accessible template.” 

We like that you can set Total Work Hours, and then the sheet will calculate anything over that as overtime hours. This semi-timesheet calculator function is just one way that paper timesheets have become more obsolete in favor of Microsoft or Google Docs templates. That said, one big drawback of this time card is that it’s weekly. So you’ll need to create multiple tabs or print multiple copies to use this throughout the year. It would be easier if you had all that data readily available and didn’t have to comb through it.

You can download the timesheet here.

A Basic Weekly Time Card

Microsoft Excel: Weekly Time Card Record

Use this simple timesheet if you calculate your or your employee’s hours worked and pay on a weekly basis. It comes with space for employee names, contact information, their manager, and even room to mark down sick leave used in addition to the amount of time worked.

Microsoft’s description: “This accessible time sheet can be filled out by employees each week to document their regular time worked, overtime, and sick and vacation hours used. Totals are calculated automatically.” 

You can download the time card here. 

You can find many more downloadable templates, including daily timesheet templates and biweekly timesheet templates, on Microsoft’s website.

Again, you’ll notice that you’re just inputting hours — the sheet isn’t calculating billable hours worked. An easy way to fix this annoyance is to use a time card calculator, like the one below.

Use Our Free Time Card Calculator to Fill Out Your Time Cards

Buddy Punch's Free Online Time Card Calculator

One of the above drawbacks was that time cards don’t generally help you calculate hours worked. You just use them to write down your already tallied hours as a time report.

But that can get tricky and it’s easy to make small but costly mistakes. 

To help you fill out your time card, you can use our free employee time card calculator. Simply input the start and end times, including breaks. Customize your calculation by ticking the overtime checkbox as needed. 

When you’re ready, click “Calculate” at the bottom to get the hourly totals for the pay period. For your convenience, the results are printable with just a click on the “Print” button.

The Downsides of Clock In and Clock Out PDF Sheets

As mentioned above, there are several downsides to using a PDF form, Excel template, or printed time card, including:

  • It’s time-consuming. Collecting and processing manual time cards is time-consuming for both employees and managers. Plus, there’s a storage issue. If you’re physically printing these out, you want to keep copies for your records, but that involves file management.

  • It’s easy to make mistakes. Manual time tracking is susceptible to human errors, like forgetting to put down a start time or log a lunch. Plus, it’s easy to make calculation mistakes, leading to incorrect pay for your team. 

  • You don’t get real-time info. PDF timesheets and manual time cards do not provide real-time data. For example, you can’t easily see if someone on our team is approaching overtime or if someone forgot to clock out the day before. But software will flag these issues so you can solve them ASAP.

  • There’s an increased risk of time theft. Paper-based systems make it easier for employees to lie about their hours worked. There’s really no way to confirm if someone’s hours are accurate — if they’re clocking in on time, taking their full break, not leaving early, etc.

A Better Alternative to Printable Time Cards: Buddy Punch’s Time Card App

Buddy Punch Interface

Keeping Time Cards Accurate & Employee Accountable 

One of the main issues of using a time card template is that you can’t guarantee your employee records will be accurate. 

The challenge lies in two primary issues:

  1. Human error, where employees may clock in or out inaccurately. For example, someone may go to lunch but forget to clock out. Or someone may show up to work early, forget to clock in, and then start their work day off the clock.

  2. Intentional time theft, where employees are clocking in early to get a bigger check, or they lie on their timecard to avoid getting flagged for being late to work.

Buddy Punch tackles these challenges in two ways. First, it simplifies editing anyone’s timesheet, allowing access to an employee’s timecard for punch adjustments, additions, or break modifications, which we’ll discuss in-depth below. Secondly, we offer multiple employee accountability features, such as:

  • Geofencing: You can set up geo boundaries, where your employees need to be before they can start their shift.

  • IP Address Locking: You can make sure that your employees are at their job site by restricting which IP address they can use when clocking in and out.

  • Photos on Punch: You can prevent buddy punching (where someone clocks in and out for someone else) by requiring that your employees submit a photo when using the time clock.

  • Punch Rounding: You can set up punch rounding, so employees can’t clock in every day 9 minutes early to inflate their check.

  • Overtime Tracking: Setting up alerts to monitor when employees approach specific work hour thresholds, such as reminding them not to exceed 40 hours weekly.

  • GPS Tracking: Each time an employee punches in or out, their GPS coordinates will be recorded. 

These features (which are all optional) can be used to make sure your employees are tracking their hours accurately and in line with their scheduled shifts. Compare these very active features to the more passive timecard template, where you simply have to trust that your employees are tracking time accurately and honestly and without error. It’s clear how time tracking software wins out.

Now, let’s take a more in-depth look at each feature.


Adding a New Geofencing Rule in Buddy Punch

A big concern about physical time cards is that your employees can fill them out wherever, especially if you’ve printed them out. But even if you’re using an Excel file, your employees can often log into that sheet at home. This is a problem because you don’t want someone starting their shift or making edits to their time card when they’re not at work. 

Geofencing solves this issue by letting you designate where your employees have to be before clocking in or out. For example, you can make it so employees must be within 400 feet of the job site before they can clock in or out.  This helps guarantee that an employee is at work.

Buddy Punch’s geofencing feature is very customizable. If you have more than one location, you can get up more than one geofence. You can also choose different geofences for different employees. This is great if you have team members who work at different locations or perhaps have work-from-home days.

IP Address Locking

Edit IP Address Lock in Buddy Punch

Another way you can use our timesheet app to make sure your employees are actually at work when clocking in and out is the IP Address Locking features. Basically, you’re requiring that employees only use a device that belongs to a specific IP address.

So unlike employee time cards, where everyone has their own, you’d set up a one-stop-shop, such as a tablet, computer, or phone.You can have multiple IP addresses, so you can have multiple time clock stations.

Photos on Punch

Photos on Punch feature

The features we talked about above help with making sure your employees are at work, but they don’t help make sure that the right person is clocking in or out. When someone clocks in for someone else, that’s called buddy punching. Physical timecards are really easy to buddy punch — a co-worker can easily hand their card to someone else or, if you’re using online spreadsheets, they can easily update sharing access with a coworker. 

But you can use our software to help stop buddy punching, with our Photos on Punch feature, where employees must take a photo of their face when they’re using the time clock.

Web Cam Photos on Punch Feature

This is really convenient, since your employees are clocking in and out on tablets, computers, and phones (all things with cameras).

You can quickly glance through the photos via a central dashboard, like the example below, and ensure that the right employee punched in from the right place.

Punch Rounding

Punch Rounding Settings: Round Punch Out Times (Up/Down/Time increment)

Another issue with filling out physical or manual time cards is if your employees are clocking in just a little too early every day, increasing their paycheck. Let’s say their shift starts at 7am, but they show up to work at 6:52 a.m. and write that time down. You can manually go through and round everyone’s time, but that’s tedious.

With Buddy Punch, you can customize and set up automatic punch rounding. With punch rounding, your team’s punches will be automatically rounded up or down based on an interval you’ve set. This interval can be anywhere from two minutes to 30 minutes. 

For example, if an employee punches in at 8:05 a.m., you can also have that punch automatically round down to 8:00 a.m. 

Overtime Tracking and Alerts

Overtime Alert

If you’re using physical time cards, you can’t readily see when someone is approaching overtime. Let’s say you wrote the week’s schedule with your top sales associate at their normal 40 hours, but they had to work longer than usual on Monday and Tuesday. Now as the weekend is coming up, they’re close to going overtime — which means a higher pay rate for them. If you’re using physical time cards, this info isn’t presented to you. Instead, you have to hunt for it.

But with Buddy Punch, you can get real-time overtime alerts. These alerts can be set daily or weekly to go automatically to the team member, manager, and account administrator. 

GPS Tracking

buddy punch gps tracking

If you activate GPS Tracking, their GPS coordinates will be recorded each time an employee punches in or out and also as your employee works during their shift.

You can easily view each employee’s GPS coordinates within the Buddy Punch dashboard and verify they punched in from the correct location. Like all the features we’ve mentioned, GPS tracking is optional and can easily be customized. 

GPS on Punches

As shown above, you can mark GPS on Punches as “Optional” or “Off” for different staff members, depending on the needs of your business.

Clock-in and Clock-out Notifications

Built-In Notifications Specifically For Accountants

Buddy Punch has built-in notifications for administrators, managers, and employees, such as:

  • Punch changes
  • Notification on every punch in/out
  • Time card status changes
  • PTO requests or changes
  • Employees approaching overtime.

These notifications can be customized or disabled, giving you an extra layer of control in your employee management.

This is just a small slice of Buddy Punch’s time card accountability features that can streamline your workflow. Other helpful features include:

Quickly Review, Edit, and Approve Time Cards

It isn’t just filling out manual time cards that’s a pain — it’s also reviewing, editing, and approving them. If your team is using manual time cards, you need to review and approve each one. But you also may need to make edits (such as adding a missed punch or a PTO day). This quickly becomes a pain.

But reviewing, editing, and approving time cards with Buddy Punch is simple.

If you want to review a time card in detail — which is optional — just click into whichever employee’s time card you want to see.

Time Card for John Doe: Approve/Reject

You can see an entire record of their timesheet, including when they were scheduled, whether or not they were late, their regular hours, PTO hours, overtime hours, and more.

If you need to make changes to someone’s time card, just reset it to draft, then log back into their timecard.

Now you can make edits — like adding a break or an end punch to someone’s shift.

Buddy Punch Timecards: William Bosworth

Other Benefits of Time Card Software

Above, we looked at how time card software can give you and your team an accurate record of hours worked — without relying on tedious, manual updates. We also looked at how software can prevent time theft (both accidental and international).

Another benefit of choosing software over a physical time card is that time card software can help you manage paid time off (PTO) and run payroll.

Easily Manage PTO

Because paid time off is paid, you want to make sure you track it just like you track normal hours worked. That’s because your employee expects to be paid for that PTO time. But you must also track PTO balances (i.e., deduct PTO time from an employee’s balance) to see when PTO is applicable.If you’re using manual processes, you need to create some sort of spreadsheet or doc where you keep this information broken down by employee. Then, you need to update everyone’s PTO balances throughout the year. That means making changes based on which PTO days are approved. 

And in order to approve a PTO request, you need to know an employee’s accurate balance. 

Software helps keep all these moving pieces in order.

Add a New PTO Earning Code and Request Time Off in Buddy Punch

With Buddy Punch, your team can log in from their devices and request paid time off. That request can either get automatically approved (assuming the dates are available and your employee has the available PTO balance) or the request can get sent to their managers for approval.

Request Time Off and Approve Time Off Requests within Buddy Punch

You can set up custom PTO accrual rules based on hours worked, payroll periods, or even work anniversaries. These rules can be customized by each employee, which is great when you have a variety of employee types (full-time, part-time, etc) on your team.

Run Payroll

If you’re using a printed-out or shareable time card template, you need to take that data and feed it into your payroll provider. 

This is not only time-consuming but can lead to payroll issues, like delayed paychecks or inaccurate pay amounts for your team.

To solve these issues, you can use Buddy Punch as your payroll provider or integrate our software into your current payroll system. 

Running Payroll with Buddy Punch

Buddy Punch Dashboard: Payroll > Run Payroll

From your dashboard, you can click on “Payroll” and then “Run Payroll.” Then, you just pick the pay period you want to run payroll for. You can review everyone’s time card, and easily make edits if necessary. You can also configure a custom pay rate, add additional earnings, and enter tax-free reimbursements.

Your employees are paid by either direct deposit or check. Direct deposit is by far the most common method, and it’s easy to set up — your employees can access their account via a self-service portal. Once they’re logged in, they can put in their bank account info.

Integrating Buddy Punch’s Time Card Software with Your Payroll Provider

We know switching payroll providers is a big step — and it’s not something every business wants to do. If you’re happy with how your payroll is currently being run, and just want to make sure you’re paying your team accurately, then you can use Buddy Punch as time card software and integrate our software with your payroll provider.

We have ready-to-go payroll integrations with leading accounting software:

  • Zapier
  • QuickBooks
  • ADP
  • Gusto
  • Paychex
  • And more

You can also export your payroll reports from Buddy Punch and use them as needed.

Payroll Export: CSV, Excel, PDF, Print

Real Customer Reviews of Buddy Punch

In our opinion, Buddy Punch is the best time management tool for your business, and our customers tend to agree! We have 900+ reviews on Capterra (a popular software review site) with a 4.8 out of 5 star rating. 

Here’s a selection of reviews highlighting why our customers love our time card feature:

“Buddy Punch is easy to set up and use. Once the staff is set up in Buddy Punch, they are able to manage their time cards with minimal assistance… It is pretty self-explanatory for staff to be able to put in PTO for approval and add notes if they need a time adjustment because they forgot to time in or out. There are several reports we use, including the location worked, PTO, and the location of timing in or out.”

Click here to read the full review.

“Buddy Punch was easy to use for all of our employees, and I am able to access it from my home rather than having to remember when I went into the office to make adjustments to time cards, approve PTO, or print reports. Also, even though I set specific pay periods, I am able to print reports with whatever date ranges I indicate. I find that very useful. The last feature that we have been impressed with was the ability to select different locations that employees can punch in/ out of. We have multiple locations, and it is helpful to know where people are physically. Great program!” 

Click here to read the full review.

“The ease of clocking in and out, wherever I may need to punch in. I like that employees are able to make an adjustment to their time, and then it gets approved by a manager. Which is much easier than having to make punches and delete punches.”

Click here to read the full review.

You can read all of our reviews here.

Learn More About Buddy Punch and Start a Free Trial

If you’d like to explore Buddy Punch as a timesheet software in greater depth, check out these links below:


What’s a clock in clock out sheet PDF?

A clock-in clock-out sheet is a document used by businesses to track the hours worked by employees. It typically includes columns for employees to record their clock-in time when they start their work shift and their clock-out time when they finish. The sheet may also include columns for breaks and total hours worked.

In a PDF format, the clock-in clock-out sheet can be a digital or printable document that employees fill out and submit to their supervisors. It provides a record of attendance and work hours, which is crucial for tasks such as payroll processing, monitoring overtime, and ensuring compliance with labor laws.

What’s the difference between a time card and a time sheet?

While the terms “time card” and “timesheet” are often used interchangeably, there are subtle differences between the two, and their meanings can vary depending on context. Here’s a general distinction:

Time Card

  • A time card traditionally refers to a physical card that employees use to record their work hours.
  • In the past, employees would physically “punch in” and “punch out” on a time clock, and these punches would be recorded on a paper time card.
  • Today, time cards are usually electronic, where employees use digital systems to clock in and out, and the data is recorded in a software system.


  • A timesheet is a broader term that encompasses various methods used to record and track the time an employee spends on different tasks or projects.
  • A timesheet can be a physical or digital document where employees log the hours they have worked, as well as break times.
  • Unlike a time card, which often focuses on clocking in and out, a timesheet may include additional details such as project codes, descriptions of work performed, or any other relevant information.

How do I make a timecard spreadsheet?

Creating a timecard spreadsheet involves setting up a table in a spreadsheet program (like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets) to track employee work hours. To make it easy for you, we’ve linked several free, downloadable spreadsheets above. You can also find a detailed step-by-step guide on how to create a timesheet template here.

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