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Create and use Schedule templates
Create and use Schedule templates

Create Schedule templates in Planday to make scheduling efficient. Apply templates and finish your schedule in minutes!

Saad Saeed avatar
Written by Saad Saeed
Updated over a week ago

🎯 For Admins and Schedule managers. Get to know the basics of Scheduling here.

What are Schedule templates?

Schedule templates are great for creating your schedule's foundation or saving recurring days and weeks for later use. Templates can be applied to multiple periods simultaneously, saving precious time and making schedule creation a breeze.

Using Schedule templates, you can create a consistent schedule for multiple or single employees, apply Shift types to specific days or ranges, and exclude Positions when they shouldn't be filled. You also have the option to create Open shifts in the template and let your employees apply for them just like you would on your normal schedule.

Schedule templates overview

You can find the Templates menu in the top right corner of the Schedule page. From here, you can do the following:

  • Create a new Schedule template.

  • Save your current schedule as a template.

  • Edit existing Schedule templates.

  • Apply an existing Template to the Schedule.

  • Copy week lets you duplicate the current week’s schedule to a future week.

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How to create a Schedule template

When creating a new Schedule template, you have two options. You can:

  • Create a new template giving you an empty schedule to work with.

    • Week template - This lets you create a week’s worth of schedule that you can replicate for more weeks.

    • Day template - This lets you create a day’s schedule that you can apply for specific days, for example, a day template for busy occasions such as New Years' eve or a ready-to-go busy day's schedule that might occasionally occur.

  • Save an existing schedule as a template for editing and re-use.

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Create your template as you would create a schedule. You can duplicate the template week into more weeks and plan for fortnightly or months’ worth of schedules. Press Save when done.

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  • The number of characters in the comment field should be a maximum of 250, including spaces.

  • Do you use automatic break rules or Punch Clock breaks? In this case, you should not enter any manual breaks in the shifts of your template because when you roll out your template, the automatic break rules will be applied, and the manual breaks entered in the template will also be applied, resulting in double breaks.

Move and copy Shifts in the template editor

If you have the same Shift on multiple days, you can copy it by holding down the Alt/Option⌥ (Mac) or Alt (Windows)key and place it wherever you need.

Note: Copying shifts works across all three views in the templates editor: Employees, Groups, and Positions. To move a Shift, simply drag and drop it to where you want it.

Duplicate and reorder weeks in the template editor

You can duplicate a completed week in the template editor by pressing the Plus (➕) icon or delete it by pressing (✖️). It is also possible to reorder the weeks by moving them in the editor window.

Apply a template to your schedule

When applying a Schedule template, it's essential to check the settings and the date you apply the template from and decide what to do about existing shifts on the schedule, if any.

First, navigate to the day or week in the Schedule where you want to apply the Template. Then press Templates > Apply template from the menu. Select from the existing templates that you have created.

Settings to consider when applying a Schedule template

When applying a Schedule template, you have three options to choose from:

  • Update existing, and add new shifts - This option will try to merge the existing Schedule with the information from the Template: if a user already has a shift in the schedule on the same day as a shift in the template, it will be replaced by the template shift.

Note: Existing open shifts are replaced only in case they have exactly the same time and the same employee group as the shift from the template. Otherwise, a new shift will be created.

  • Delete all and add new shifts - This option will delete everything currently in the Schedule, and then add the information from the template.

  • Keep existing shifts and add new shifts - This option simply adds the template shifts onto the schedule without making any changes to the existing shifts. This means nothing is lost, but the new shifts may conflict with pre-existing shifts.

When switching between the options, you should see a preview of how the end result will look. We recommend applying templates to empty days or weeks. This gives you the best overview and control.

  • Apply number of times - Choose the number of times that the template should be applied. For example, if you are using a day-based template, you can apply it up to 14 times to populate a fortnight in the schedule.
    If you are using a larger template that covers several weeks, we recommend that you limit the number of times you apply a template. For example, if your template has 2 weeks of schedule and you apply it 4 times, you will generate schedule for the next 8 weeks.

  • Use the Employee drop-down menu to limit the employee(s) that the template should apply to. By default, all employees are selected.

  • By selecting individual Shift types you can tailor which shift types will be applied to the schedule. For example, on Monday you might have a shift type for a weekly meeting, which you can then deselect when applying the day to the rest of the week.

  • As with employees and shift types, you can choose to include or exclude certain positions when applying your template. This may be useful if some of your positions are only expected to be filled during busy periods.

When you've checked the settings, select Next. Planday will check for any working time violations before you confirm by clicking Apply.

Note that any manual breaks included on the Shifts will now be preserved and copied over when you copy a week or create and use a Schedule template.

Note: If you have made a mistake and want to start over, press Tools > Delete this week to remove any created schedules. You also have the option to hide certain days or periods from the schedule.

Duplicate schedule to a future week

If you have a weekly schedule you want to reuse, you can quickly copy it by going to the Templates menu and selecting Copy week. Choose the week you want to copy your schedule to and confirm.

When you copy a week, all existing shifts that aren't already approved for payroll, or don't have Punch Clock entries, will be overwritten.

Note: The best way to use Copy week is to always copy to an empty week. This way, you don't risk overwriting anything by accident.

Schedule templates and Working time rules

When you apply a Schedule template to a week, a check against Working time rules is run. This is useful for ensuring you don't schedule employees in breach of working time regulations in your company or industry.

Checks against Working time rules are also made for every change you make to the schedule, such as moving or copying shifts, adding employees to open shifts, or modifying the shift length. Read more on How to set up Working time rules.

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