Like many organizations, you probably started creating your employee schedules in Excel because it was fast, easy, and inexpensive. Excel is an excellent tool for creating and printing schedules that are visually easy to read and understand. You are free to create your own schedule formats, type information directly into cells, and apply colors to shifts. But, just like using pen and paper, a spreadsheet isn’t smart enough to tell you about any employee scheduling mistakes.
For example, with Excel you can double-book an employee, or push them into mandatory overtime, without ever realizing it. The challenge is to find a scheduling tool with the visual flexibility of Excel and enough smarts to meet your needs for error-checking and business rule/labor law compliance.