Collect & review timesheets from employees

Coding level: Beginner
Duration: 15 minutes
Project type: Automation with a custom menu


  • Understand what the solution does.
  • Understand what the Apps Script services do within the solution.
  • Set up the script.
  • Run the script.

About this solution

Collect employees' weekly timesheets using a form with Google Forms. From Google Sheets, calculate employees' pay, approve or disapprove their timesheets, and send emails notifying them of their approval status.

Timesheet sample

How it works

The script creates a form and links the responses to the spreadsheet. The script adds columns to the form responses sheet that calculate employees' total hours and weekly pay. Once a timesheet is reviewed, the script emails the employee the approval status.

Apps Script services

This solution uses the following services:

  • Spreadsheet service–Receives form responses and writes columns to the sheet to manage approvals.
  • Forms service–Creates a form for employees to enter their weekly timesheets.
  • Mail service–Sends emails to employees to notify them when their timesheets have been approved or not.


To use this sample, you need the following prerequisites:

  • A Google Account (Google Workspace accounts might require administrator approval).
  • A web browser with access to the internet.

Set up the script

Create the Apps Script project

  1. Click the following button to make a copy of the Collect and review timesheets sample spreadsheet. The Apps Script project for this solution is attached to the spreadsheet.
    Make a copy
  2. In your copied spreadsheet, click Timesheets > Form setup. You might need to refresh the page for this custom menu to appear.
  3. When prompted, authorize the script. If the OAuth consent screen displays the warning, This app isn't verified, continue by selecting Advanced > Go to {Project Name} (unsafe).

  4. After you authorize the script, click Timesheets > Form setup again.

Add data

  1. Click Tools > Manage form > Go to live form.
  2. Fill out and submit the form with test data.

Run the script

  1. Switch back to the spreadsheet.
  2. From the Form Responses sheet, click Timesheets > Column setup.
  3. In the Approval column, mark your sample responses as Approved or Not Approved.
  4. Click Timesheets > Notify employees.
  5. Check your email to confirm you received an approval or rejection email.

Review the code

To review the Apps Script code for this solution, click View source code below:

View source code

// To learn how to use this script, refer to the documentation:

Copyright 2022 Google LLC

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.

// Global variables representing the index of certain columns.
  EMAIL: 2,
  CALC_PAY: 11,
  NOTIFY: 13,

// Global variables:
let APPROVED_EMAIL_MESSAGE = 'Your timesheet has been approved.';
let REJECTED_EMAIL_MESSAGE = 'Your timesheet has not been approved.';

 * Creates the menu item "Timesheets" for user to run scripts on drop-down.
function onOpen() {
  let ui = SpreadsheetApp.getUi();
      .addItem('Form setup', 'setUpForm')
      .addItem('Column setup', 'columnSetup')
      .addItem('Notify employees', 'checkApprovedStatusToNotify')

 * Adds "WEEKLY PAY" column with calculated values using array formulas. 
 * Adds an "APPROVAL" column at the end of the sheet, containing 
 * drop-down menus to either approve/disapprove employee timesheets.  
 * Adds a "NOTIFIED STATUS" column indicating whether or not an
 * employee has yet been e mailed.
function columnSetup() {
  let sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSheet();
  let lastCol = sheet.getLastColumn();
  let lastRow = sheet.getLastRow();
  let frozenRows = sheet.getFrozenRows();
  let beginningRow = frozenRows + 1;
  let numRows = lastRow - frozenRows;

  // Calls helper functions to add new columns.
  addCalculatePayColumn(sheet, beginningRow);
  addApprovalColumn(sheet, beginningRow, numRows);
  addNotifiedColumn(sheet, beginningRow, numRows);

 * Adds TOTAL HOURS and CALCULATE PAY columns and automatically calculates
 * every employee's weekly pay.
 * @param {Object} sheet Spreadsheet object of current sheet.
 * @param {Integer} beginningRow Index of beginning row.
function addCalculatePayColumn(sheet, beginningRow) {
  sheet.getRange(1, COLUMN_NUMBER.TOTAL_HOURS).setValue('TOTAL HOURS');
  sheet.getRange(1, COLUMN_NUMBER.CALC_PAY).setValue('WEEKLY PAY');

  // Calculates weekly total hours.
  sheet.getRange(beginningRow, COLUMN_NUMBER.TOTAL_HOURS)
  // Calculates weekly pay.
  sheet.getRange(beginningRow, COLUMN_NUMBER.CALC_PAY)
      .setFormula('=ArrayFormula(I2:I * J2:J)');

 * Adds an APPROVAL column allowing managers to approve/
 * disapprove of each employee's timesheet.
 * @param {Object} sheet Spreadsheet object of current sheet.
 * @param {Integer} beginningRow Index of beginning row.
 * @param {Integer} numRows Number of rows currently in use.
function addApprovalColumn(sheet, beginningRow, numRows) {
  sheet.getRange(1, COLUMN_NUMBER.APPROVAL).setValue('APPROVAL');

  // Make sure approval column is all drop-down menus.
  let approvalColumnRange = sheet.getRange(beginningRow, COLUMN_NUMBER.APPROVAL,
      numRows, 1);
  let dropdownValues = ['APPROVED', 'NOT APPROVED', 'IN PROGRESS'];
  let rule = SpreadsheetApp.newDataValidation().requireValueInList(dropdownValues)
  approvalColumnRange.setValue('IN PROGRESS');

 * Adds a NOTIFIED column allowing managers to see which employees
 * have/have not yet been notified of their approval status.
 * @param {Object} sheet Spreadsheet object of current sheet.
 * @param {Integer} beginningRow Index of beginning row.
 * @param {Integer} numRows Number of rows currently in use.
function addNotifiedColumn(sheet, beginningRow, numRows) {
  sheet.insertColumnAfter(COLUMN_NUMBER.APPROVAL); // global
  sheet.getRange(1, COLUMN_NUMBER.APPROVAL + 1).setValue('NOTIFIED STATUS');

  // Make sure notified column is all drop-down menus.
  let notifiedColumnRange = sheet.getRange(beginningRow, COLUMN_NUMBER.APPROVAL
      + 1, numRows, 1);
  dropdownValues = ['NOTIFIED', 'PENDING'];
  rule = SpreadsheetApp.newDataValidation().requireValueInList(dropdownValues)

 * Sets the notification status to NOTIFIED for employees
 * who have received a notification email.
 * @param {Object} sheet Current Spreadsheet.
 * @param {Object} notifiedValues Array of notified values.
 * @param {Integer} i Current status in the for loop.
 * @parma {Integer} beginningRow Row where iterations began.
function updateNotifiedStatus(sheet, notifiedValues, i, beginningRow) {
  // Update notification status.
  notifiedValues[i][0] = 'NOTIFIED';
  sheet.getRange(i + beginningRow, COLUMN_NUMBER.NOTIFY).setValue('NOTIFIED');

 * Checks the approval status of every employee, and calls helper functions
 * to notify employees via email & update their notification status.
function checkApprovedStatusToNotify() {
  let sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSheet();
  let lastRow = sheet.getLastRow();
  let lastCol = sheet.getLastColumn();
  // lastCol here is the NOTIFIED column.
  let frozenRows = sheet.getFrozenRows();
  let beginningRow = frozenRows + 1;
  let numRows = lastRow - frozenRows;

  // Gets ranges of email, approval, and notified values for every employee.
  let emailValues = sheet.getRange(beginningRow, COLUMN_NUMBER.EMAIL, numRows, 1).getValues();
  let approvalValues = sheet.getRange(beginningRow, COLUMN_NUMBER.APPROVAL,
      lastRow - frozenRows, 1).getValues();
  let notifiedValues = sheet.getRange(beginningRow, COLUMN_NUMBER.NOTIFY, numRows,

  // Traverses through employee's row.
  for (let i = 0; i < numRows; i++) {
    // Do not notify twice.
    if (notifiedValues[i][0] == 'NOTIFIED') {
    let emailAddress = emailValues[i][0];
    let approvalValue = approvalValues[i][0];

    // Sends notifying emails & update status.
    if (approvalValue == 'IN PROGRESS') {
    } else if (approvalValue == 'APPROVED') {
      updateNotifiedStatus(sheet, notifiedValues, i, beginningRow);
    } else if (approvalValue == 'NOT APPROVED') {
      updateNotifiedStatus(sheet, notifiedValues, i, beginningRow);

 * Set up the Timesheets Responses form, & link the form's trigger to 
 * send manager an email when a new request is submitted.
function setUpForm() {
  let sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet();
  if (sheet.getFormUrl()) {
    let msg = 'Form already exists. Unlink the form and try again.';

  // Create the form.
  let form = FormApp.create('Weekly Timesheets')
      .setDestination(FormApp.DestinationType.SPREADSHEET, sheet.getId())
  form.addTextItem().setTitle('Employee Name:').setRequired(true);
  form.addTextItem().setTitle('Monday Hours:').setRequired(true);
  form.addTextItem().setTitle('Tuesday Hours:').setRequired(true);
  form.addTextItem().setTitle('Wednesday Hours:').setRequired(true);
  form.addTextItem().setTitle('Thursday Hours:').setRequired(true);
  form.addTextItem().setTitle('Friday Hours:').setRequired(true);

  // Set up on form submit trigger.

 * Handle new form submissions to trigger the workflow.
 * @param {Object} event Form submit event
function onFormSubmit(event) {
  let response = getResponsesByName(event.response);

  // Load form responses into a new row.
  let row = ['New',
    response['Emoloyee Email:'],
    response['Employee Name:'],
    response['Monday Hours:'],
    response['Tuesday Hours:'],
    response['Wednesday Hours:'],
    response['Thursday Hours:'],
    response['Friday Hours:'],
    response['Hourly Wage:']];
  let sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet();

 * Converts a form response to an object keyed by the item titles. Allows easier
 * access to response values.
 * @param {FormResponse} response
 * @return {Object} Form values keyed by question title
function getResponsesByName(response) {
  let initialValue = {
    email: response.getRespondentEmail(),
    timestamp: response.getTimestamp(),
  return response.getItemResponses().reduce(function(obj, itemResponse) {
    let key = itemResponse.getItem().getTitle();
    obj[key] = itemResponse.getResponse();
    return obj;
  }, initialValue);


This sample is maintained by Google with the help of Google Developer Experts.

Next steps