Throughout my past few years of experience with administrative and secretarial responsibilities in my youth group, I worked to develop a useful and concise spreadsheet to help us organize our weekly schedules and track responsibilities and assignments for teaching and leading activities.
See below for a sample spreadsheet using Google Sheets (can do the same with Microsoft Excel). In this example, we’ll use Google Sheets since it is convenient to use, and you are able to share the file and make “live” edits to it collectively with your team.
Logic Behind the Layout
The logic behind each heading for each column is simple.
Useful and necessary information to track on a weekly basis:
- Date (Weekly)
- Time Slot
- This is to important in order to keep track of how long activities will last for, which is helpful for the people responsible for leading those activities to plan ahead to make sure their activities fit within their given time slots.
- Lesson / Activity
- Activities requiring a person to lead it have colored text to make it more visible to people to see which activities need coverage.
- Person Responsible
- Attendance (SH) – stands for Sinh Hoat, the time frame of our activities)
- Attendance (Mass)
- Not everyone is guaranteed to attend both the activities time slot and mass. This is good to track to determine if there is enough coverage to supervise the youths during mass.
- Full Absence
- This is important to know so that you know the number of individuals who will be physically there with you to assist with your activities.
How to Use
To use this spreadsheet with your team, simply share the Google Spreadsheet to everyone on your team (email addresses) and allow them edit access. You can protect certain cells that only the owner can edit (in case you don’t want anyone “messing up the sheet” accidentally.
Everyone on your team would then go into the spreadsheet, and simply type their name in the empty cell next to the activities that require coverage and insert their name in the “Attendance” or “Full Absence” columns. You can give your team a deadline on when this needs to be done (Example deadline = 3 days before the day of the activities).
Any remaining empty cells can be brought up to the team, in which you would request someone to lead that remaining activity. By the time the day comes, every activity has a person assigned to it.
Our team sends out a weekly email to the team with a copy-paste of the spreadsheet for that particular week.
It is very simple to do. Simply highlight the cells you want to bring over to your email, copy, and then paste to the email and the formatting should be carried over to your email message. Very fast and efficient.
See below for an example of the highlighted cells.
To add activity schedules for each week, simply copy and paste your first schedule under the previous week. Keep adding to it for the subsequent weeks.
To keep the sheets concise, it is highly recommended to create tabs on the spreadsheet for every month so that you do not have to scroll down a long way to get to the most recent week. (The tabs are labeled by month) See below for an example.
The layout of this spreadsheet is simple, and it captures extremely important and useful information. It is easy to fill out, and is usable and can be modified to fit your needs (add / remove columns, edit activity names, etc.)
It is an extremely powerful resource that will greatly help your team if used correctly.
Things to Look Out For
- Requires consistency.
- For example, if someone places their name next to an activity to lead it, then by definition, your name must be placed in the “Attendance (SH)” column at the bare minimum.
- Make sure the entire team completely fills out the sheet
- For example, if you have a team of 10 people, it is common that only half of them fill out the sheet for a certain week on the spreadsheet. Make sure that your entire team is on board with using the sheet. Again, if not everyone is inputting their information weekly on the spreadsheet, then the spreadsheet cannot be used to its full potential.