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How to use draft shifts in Planday
How to use draft shifts in Planday

Simplify your long-term schedule planning by saving shifts as drafts and publishing them when you're ready.

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

🎯 For Admins and Schedule managers.

  • 🟡 This feature is currently limited to select Planday organisations or regions, with full availability gradually extending to all.

What are draft shifts?

In the Planday Schedule, you can save a draft of your weekly or biweekly shifts and finalise them before publishing.

Draft shifts let you create and assign shifts as needed, then publish them all at once to inform your employees about their upcoming schedule.

Draft shifts also have the option to hide the week from the schedule. This means that until you or your scheduling managers publish them, draft shifts won't be visible to your employees.

How to create and use draft shifts on the schedule

In addition to making open or assigned shifts in the schedule, you can also create draft shifts.

Simply tap on the Schedule, on the time slot you want, and fill in the info needed, including:

  • Start and end time.

  • Keep the shift open or assign it to an employee.

  • Shift type if needed.

After entering all the shift details, click the Save as draft button. This action saves the shift you created as a draft and is shown as an orange-coloured shift in the schedule. screenshot.001.png

You can edit your drafts, move them or assign them, just like you would with an Open shift. The shifts won't be visible to employees except those with Admins and Schedule managers access level. When you've set up all your planning, click the Publish shifts button at the top right corner to make your rota visible.

⬆️ The above screenshot shows a series of Drafts (Wed. to Fri.) and an Open shift (Sat.), for reference along with published shifts on the same page. This allows for easier planning where you can set some open shift, have some assigned shifts and some shifts in draft in-case you need help right away.

When publishing, a confirmation message will appear, showing the number of draft shifts that will be published. You'll have the option to notify your employees:

  • By SMS: This sends a text notification to your scheduled employees' mobile numbers. (You may be charged for SMS alerts)

  • Through a Planday Message: This sends a notification on the Planday app to your scheduled employees and/or an email notification. Learn more about messaging in Planday.

When choosing to notify employees, no matter how many draft shifts you've added to your schedule, each scheduled employee will be notified only once (unlike notifications triggered for each newly assigned shift).

How to use draft shifts in Schedule templates

You can save your shifts as a template, which is useful if your schedule tends to be similar from one week to another. Read more about how to Create and use Schedule templates.

When applying a Schedule template, you have two choices:

  • Apply as draft — This option puts the shifts from the template as drafts on your schedule when you apply the template. You will have to publish those shifts to make them visible to employees.

  • Apply — This option publishes the shifts from the template and makes them visible to employees.

The same logic applies when using the Copy week feature in Schedule > Templates > Copy week.

How to use draft shifts on Planday app

For Schedule managers on the go, using the Planday app on iOS or Android, drafts will be visible in their schedules. Just like in the web version, drafts will be highlighted in orange.

You can edit and publish drafts created through the web schedule using the mobile app. Pressing Save as Draft will keep the shifts as drafts in your schedule. screenshot.001.png

Please note:

  • You can't create new draft shifts through the Planday app; you'll need to use the web version of the schedule to create draft shifts.

  • This also applies to applying Schedule templates. Any draft shift included in a template applied through the Planday app will be published automatically.

Comparison between draft shifts vs open or assigned shifts

Draft shifts are a bit different than Open or Assigned shifts in the sense that:

  • You or your employees cannot punch in/out for a draft shift. Punch Clock can be used for those shifts after they have been published.

  • Your employees cannot sell or swap drafts, as those shifts might not be visible to them before they are published.

However, they are also similar to Open or Assigned shifts in some ways:

  • To edit or create a draft shift, you would need to have a Schedule manager or a higher access level.

  • When assigning draft shifts, the contacted availability set per employee will be visible. Read more about How to use Contracted availability for employees.

  • You can notify your employees about the new schedule after the drafts are published with only one message.

  • Draft shifts can be included in Payroll reports. Select one of the options, including drafts from Payroll > Payroll export > Payroll reports > Shifts.

  • Draft shifts can be accessed through our API if you have a custom application or integration that requires access. Read more on

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