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So we are thinking that we might want to make timesheet submission easier by having our timesheet system send out a person's timesheet via email to the employee. The employee then should fill out the timesheet and send it back via email for it to be processed. Anybody know of some write up on how other's have done this? I've googled but without luck.

Thanks for any thoughts/input.

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closed as off topic by Josh K Nov 21 '11 at 22:03

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What do you percieve as the obstacles to the timesheet being completed at the moment - how its it thought that an email is likely to be more effective (we need to know the current mechanism?) –  Murph Nov 21 '11 at 0:19
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Why not use a web based solution? Using email seems a bit Rube Goldberg.. –  Fosco Nov 21 '11 at 1:13
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Send a reminder with a link to a website. –  JeffO Nov 21 '11 at 1:51
    
All, thanks for your input. This is the idea of our CIO. So, I have to put some time into figuring this out or come up with an explanation as to why this is a bad idea. –  user39839 Nov 21 '11 at 14:16
    
You can't explain why its a bad idea before we get to an understanding of why the CIO thinks its a good idea - what are the obstacles that he thinks this will overcome. Its probable that this is not the best way but its not certain - we don't know the operational constraints and hence can't provide a meaningful answer. –  Murph Nov 21 '11 at 20:51

3 Answers 3

Timesheet submission via email makes no sense. Why go through the rigamarole of getting the form, filling it out, emailing, and processing it when there is no reason to do so?

Just set up an online form that the person fills out. It's much simpler and less error prone. If necessary create a log-in system for security.

If you don't want to hassle with developing your own system use a web based one. I don't have any first-hand experience, but I am sure there are very good, simple and cheap solutions. It would make a great question here, Stack Overflow or perhaps another Stack Exchange site.

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+1 Does not answer the question but seems like the most reasonable thing to do. –  sebastiangeiger Nov 21 '11 at 8:48
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An email reminder might make sense, but I agree doing the whole thing via email seems a little unusual. –  Dean Harding Nov 21 '11 at 9:12

You could have a look at ADOBEs interactive PDF forms:- Create Fillable PDF forms which would seem to be the Rolls Royce solution.

You could achieve the much the same thing with Microsoft EXCEL, some VBA scripts and some mail server cludges. You would need to mess around with password protecting worksheets and making sure the scripts could not be edited to achieve some sort of reliability.

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using Zoho you could send data to the database directly using email if you are using Zoho Creator database - See: Sending Data by Email

It is possible to have an excel sheet based on template exchanged via eamil.

The problem is usually what happens when there is an error in the exchanged data? The error may be skipped during filling the form, and since there is no immidiate interaction, problems could happen.

I suggest you use an on-line application instead of email.

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