Looking for a way to simplify tracking your employees’ time off? Find free employee PTO tracker templates along with an even better solution to easily manage any type of employee leave right here!

Table of contents
  1. How to Choose a Digital PTO Tracker
  2. Connecteam as a PTO Tracker (The Best Option)
  3. 5 Excel PTO Trackers 
  4. The Downsides of Manual PTO Tracking 
  5. Bottom Line on PTO Tracking Templates vs PTO Tracking Software

We’re always looking for ways to handle our day-to-day quicker and better. And tracking your staff’s time off is no exception.

If you’re relying on Excel to get the job done, a free employee PTO tracker template will definitely help you one step in the right direction. But that doesn’t take away that manually tracking time off in Excel is downright time-consuming (at least according to 93% of Excel users) and prone to mistakes (with around 88% of Excel spreadsheets having errors).

Luckily using Excel isn’t your only option. The right digital employee time off management app will truly make tracking your team’s PTO and vacation days simple, quick, and integrated with your day-to-day business operations.

How to Choose a Digital PTO Tracker

When creating a PTO policy, it’s important to choose the best PTO tracker for your business. 

Undoubtedly, digital PTO and vacation trackers have a huge advantage over any manual method. But with many different options and feature sets out there, how do you choose the right one?

When looking for one that will best streamline and simplify your day-to-day, keep an eye out for the following three features:

  • Employee accountability: This motivates your staff to manage their time more effectively while on the job, reducing the impact of PTO on the bottom line.
  • Payroll streamlining: This allows you to automatically record accurate data onto digital timesheets, including overtime and time off calculations, ready for processing payroll.
  • Employee scheduling: This allows you to easily create better work schedules for your employees, enabling them to get enough rest without using PTO.

Connecteam as a PTO Tracker (The Best Option)

Connecteam is an all-in-one employee PTO and vacation tracker that gives you everything you need to receive, manage, and document your team’s absences with complete ease and efficiency, even while on the go. 

Its powerful features include time off management, time tracking, automated timesheets, and payroll integrations. Connecteam offers excellent customer support, an intuitive user experience, and high customizability, allowing you to tailor the platform to your exact business needs.

Let’s take a closer look at Connecteam’s time off management capabilities and how you can use them to streamline your day-to-day.

Time off management


Connecteam is a time off app that allows you to set up and manage your company time off policies for any type of absence – paid or unpaid – by choosing from various policy templates or creating your own. 

Your employees can submit absence requests right from the mobile app. Based on your preferred settings, you can either manually accept or decline requests or have the system do this for you automatically. 

The app will then calculate and process the absence according to your defined policies, notify the employee of the status of their request, and record the process. This relieves you from any back-and-forth, complex manual calculations, or scattered operations. 

As an admin, you can oversee and manage everything from one centralized dashboard. And, of course, you can always quickly connect to your employee timesheets, employee scheduler, and any other employee management feature within the Connecteam app to fully streamline your workflow.

Time tracking


Beyond tracking time off, Connecteam’s employee time clock allows your employees to clock in and out from shifts or jobs with one simple tap right from the app. This feature allows you to track time from any job site and ensure your employees are exactly where they need to be while on the clock using GPS tracking capabilities.

Automated timesheets


All tracked hours are automatically recorded onto digital timesheets for payroll. You can easily view and review all logged data, including total work hours per day and payroll period, time off, overtime, and employee wages. The app also flags any irregularities, allowing you to easily spot and correct potentially costly payroll mistakes. 

From the app, your employees can access their timesheets, request edits, and send in their approval before you process payroll. 

Payroll integrations


When ready, you can simply export timesheets directly to your payroll software or use one of Connecteam’s payroll integrations: QuickBook, Gusto, Paychex, and Xero. This allows you to skip the entire manual process, saving you valuable time and effort.

📚 This Might Interest You:

Learn more about how to track time off accurately, maintain accurate PTO records, pay your workers accordingly, and ensure compliance with FMLA and company policies.

PTO & Vacation Management Made Easy

Have all the tools to track, manage, and document your team’s time off from anywhere with one all-in-one app.

5 Excel PTO Trackers 

Connecteam’s Free Leave Management Template


With this free template, you can easily keep track of all employees’ days off, including vacation days, sick days, maternity and paternity days, mourning days, and personal days. It will flag in red if someone goes into negative and will immediately mark how many negative days they have in a separate column. The template also totals everyone’s absences in a single column so you have a clear overview at all times. 

The spreadsheet is color-coded nicely and easy to navigate, too. 

Click here to download and make a copy of this free template. Then, customize it however you need.

Leave Monitor’s Free Vacation Tracker Excel Template


LeaveMonitor’s free template makes tracking vacations more manageable. The spreadsheet gives you an overview of when employees are off, which helps you better manage vacation requests and ensure that not too many people take time off simultaneously.

Download the template here.

Connecteam’s Pro Tip 🧠

Connecteam’s management solution is the smart choice to replace Excel PTO and vacation trackers because it offers a platform that simplifies time off management. You can customize PTO policies and vacation rules, set accrual rates, and track employee balances in real-time.

Try Connecteam today!

Vacation Tracker’s Free Excel Vacation Tracker Template


This free Excel template helps you track and manage leave for up to 20 employees manually. Leave is divided into deductible and non-deductable leave to give you a more transparent overview.

Download the template here.

ClockIt’s Free PTO Tracking Template


ClockIt’s free Excel template allows you to mark days for different types of leaves, such as sick days, vacation time, or maternity leave. This template shows public holidays and can be adjusted based on your company’s PTO policy.

Download the template here

Indzara’s Leave Tracker & Vacation Tracker Excel Template


With Indzara’s Excel template, you can track partial and whole days of sick leave and vacation for multiple employees in a calendar view. It also allows you to calculate their attendance and print an annual report.

Download the template here

The Downsides of Manual PTO Tracking 

While tracking time off is key to managing your workforce effectively, many businesses still use time-consuming and error-prone manual methods to get the job done. 

Using Excel PTO tracker templates is one step toward making this task easier. However, ultimately, it is highly recommended to use a digital PTO tracking method, and here’s why:

  • Handling PTO digitally is faster than any manual method, with or without templates. This way, users can submit time off with just a click, which you can approve or deny, process, and document just as quickly and easily.
  • Digital PTO management methods help ensure precision. The whole PTO management process is handled through and recorded on a digital database without room for human error.
  • Digital PTO systems typically offer additional features and advantages. PTO trackers are often part of an employee management app that allows you to streamline your daily operations, such as employee scheduling, employee time tracking, and calculating payroll.
  • Digital PTO tracking software gives you more transparency and oversight. As you manage more employees, the ability to view their PTO at a glance becomes more important. While the impact of Excel templates is small, digital PTO trackers make a massive difference by allowing you to quickly sort data, review previous pay periods, filter by employee, and more.  

Bottom Line on PTO Tracking Templates vs PTO Tracking Software

While free employee PTO tracker templates can be a familiar go-to solution for some business owners who rely on Excel in their day-to-day operations, this manual method is nevertheless time-consuming, error-prone, and difficult to manage. 

On the other hand, PTO tracking software makes leave management easy, quick, and precise, freeing you from unnecessary back-and-forth, complicated manual calculations, or scattered processes. Connecteam’s employee leave management app, for instance, offers exceptional leave management features, an intuitive user experience, fair pricing, and excellent customer support to back you up at any time.

The #1 Employee Leave Management App

Set up time off policies, handle employee absence requests, calculate time off automatically, and more – all with one easy-to-use app.

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