Scheduling for efficiency : designing and using annual schedules

Updated on 03/07/2024 10 min reading
  1. What is a yearly schedule?
  2. What are the benefits of a yearly schedule?
  3. What are the differences between a template and an example?
  4. What tools to make a yearly work schedule?
  5. How to make a yearly schedule in Excel?
  6. FAQ

In a nutshell

In a world where time is a precious resource, mastering scheduling has become a must-have skill. Whether managing work tasks or organizing leaves, the yearly schedule is a powerful tool for maximizing productivity. In this article, we explore the essence of a yearly schedule, its benefits, and how to create one in Excel. We also clarify the difference between a template and an example of a yearly schedule, and offers tools for creating your yearly work schedule.

What is a yearly schedule?


A yearly schedule is a time management tool that provides an overview of the upcoming year. It allows you to plan and view tasks, events, leaves and other elements relevant to an individual, a team or an organisation. The yearly schedule can include everything from important dates such as vacations and birthdays, project deadlines, and work appointments.

What are the benefits of a yearly schedule?

A yearly schedule offers many benefits, especially in both professional and personal contexts, and some of the most notable are:

  • Overview : A yearly schedule gives you a comprehensive view of the year, which can help you make decisions and anticipate future needs, and is particularly useful for identifying periods of high activity and quieter periods.
  • Organization : A yearly schedule makes it easier to organize tasks, projects and commitments, and by viewing your obligations on an annual scale, you can schedule more efficiently and avoid scheduling conflicts.
  • Time management : The yearly schedule is a powerful tool for time management, ensuring that time is appropriately allocated to different activities and objectives, including working and holiday time.
  • Productivity : A well-structured yearly schedule can increase productivity by highlighting deadlines, goals and priorities, which can contribute to focus and motivation.
  • Resource scheduling : In a business context, a yearly schedule can help schedule the use of resources, including staff, budget and equipment.
  • Stress reduction : The yearly schedule can also help reduce stress by avoiding last-minute surprises and providing a sense of control over the future.
  • In short, a yearly schedule is a valuable tool that can improve efficiency, productivity and well-being, whether in the areas of work, study or personal life management.

What are the differences between a template and an example?

A yearly schedule "template" is a predefined framework or format that is designed to be filled in or customized to the user's specific needs. It provides the basic structure, but does not include specific data. For example, a template could have a grid for each day of the year, but it is up to the user to fill in specific details, such as appointments, tasks, deadlines, etc.

On the other hand, an “example” of yearly schedule is a schedule that has already been filled in with specific data. This can give an idea of how a schedule can be structured, the types of information that could be included, and how this information can be organized. For example, a company could share an example of its yearly schedule to show how it organizes its projects, meetings and other commitments during the year.

In summary, a yearly schedule template is like a blank canvas that is ready to be filled in, while an example of a yearly schedule is an already filled-in canvas that can be used as a reference or guide.

Create a yearly schedule

What tools to make a yearly work schedule?

There are a multitude of tools for creating a yearly work schedule:

  • Microsoft Excel : Excel is a highly flexible tool that can be used to create a yearly schedule. You can customize your schedule to your specific needs, including work days, leaves, important dates and more. In addition, Excel offers the ability to print your schedule for offline use.
  • Google Sheets : Similar to Excel, Google Sheets is an online tool for creating, sharing and collaborating on schedules, as well as a print function for those who prefer a physical schedule.
  • PlanningPME : PlanningPME is a software specially designed for time and resources management, particularly suited for the creation of complex annual schedules, and allows efficient management of leaves and working time for everyone
  • Online calendars : Tools like Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook make it easy to create and share calendars online, offering features like syncing with other calendars, adding recurring events, and automatic reminders.
  • Project management software : Software such as Asana, Trello or offer scheduling features that can be used to create a yearly schedule. These tools are particularly useful for large projects that require coordination between several people or teams.
  • Each tool has its own strengths, and the best choice will depend on your specific needs, so feel free to try several options to see which one suits you best.

How to make a yearly schedule in Excel?

Excel is a powerful tool for the creation of yearly schedules with its spreadsheet features. Here is a simple way to create a yearly schedule:

  1. Create a new Excel file :
    Open Excel and create a new document.
  2. Configure the table :
    At the top of the document, create 12 columns for the 12 months of the year, so you can create rows for each day of each month. Another approach is to create columns for the days of the week and add rows for each week of the year.
  3. Fill in the dates :
    Fill in each cell with the corresponding date. Excel has a self-fill feature that makes this task easier. You can simply type both first dates (for example, "January 1" and "January 2"), select these two cells, and then click and drag the fill handle (the small square in the bottom right corner of the selection) down to fill in the rest of the table.
  4. Add events or tasks :
    Now that you have a basic calendar, you can start adding events, tasks, leaves, etc. on each corresponding date.
  5. Conditional formatting :
    Use conditional formatting to color days differently depending on their tasks or status (for example, work, leaves, public holidays, etc.).
  6. Use filters :
    If you have a large number of tasks or events, using filters can make it easier to manage your schedule, for example, you can filter to show only work days or days off.
  7. Save and print : Remember to save your work regularly – once you’ve finished your yearly schedule, you can select to print it for offline use or share it digitally with others.
  8. Regular update : A schedule is a living document that needs to be updated regularly to remain useful; be sure to review and update your yearly schedule regularly.
  9. You’ve created a yearly schedule in Excel, remember, practice makes it perfect – the more you use Excel, the more familiar you’ll be with its features and be able to create even more efficient schedules.


In Excel, you can simply copy and paste the recurring task in the appropriate days, weeks or months. In more advanced tools like Google Sheets or PlanningPME, you can often create recurring events that automatically appear at the set interval.

Most modern scheduling tools make it easy to share schedules with others; in Excel or Google Sheets, you can share the file directly or upload it for collaborative access.

Yes, many project management software packages allow you to import schedules from Excel, which may require some customization to ensure that data is imported correctly.

Absolutely! If you prefer paper, you can print a yearly schedule template and fill it out by hand, which can be a good option for those who prefer a more tactile or visual approach.