Shifts lets you manage your crazy work schedule

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Dave Caolo
January 22nd, 2015
Shifts lets you manage your crazy work schedule
Snowman Shifts
Years ago, I worked for a residential school. Since the students lived there, employees worked in several shifts: 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM, 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM and an overnight shift that started at 11:00 PM and ended at 7:00 the next morning. There was also a "split" shift that started at 11:00 AM and ended at 7:00 PM.

I typically worked 7-3, but would pick up overtime in any and all of the other slots. So, my schedule got crazy. If only I had Stewie's time machine, I would have used it to travel to 2015 and grab Shifts by Snowman (and an iPhone to run it... but let's not get technical). Shifts, which is currently on sale for US$1.99, lets you track your work hours and earnings. Let's take a look.

Shift types

Begin by creating shift types. While testing the app I pretended it was 1994 (Stewie's time machine again) and entered my old work shifts. Creating a shift type is easy. Tap the "+" at the bottom of the screen to enter the edit screen, and then tap the "+" again.

Next, give your shift a name ("AM Shift" for example) as well as a start and stop time. By default, Shifts assumes you're going to work eight hours, and fills the "end" field with a time eight hours after what you enter as the starting time. Next, choose your hourly rate for that shift as well as an icon and a color to represent that type on the calendar.

I like the icon/color options a lot. There are 10 icons to choose from, three of which are a sun rising, a sun high in the sky and a sun setting. Perfect for my AM/PM/overnight shifts. There are also 40 colors to choose from, so employ whatever scheme you want there ("Job A" vs. "Job B"; overtime vs. straight time, etc.).

Adding shifts to your calendar

This is easy, too. Tap the "+" at the bottom of a screen to reveal the list of shift types you've created. Tap the one you'd like to use, and then tap every day that you'll work that type of shift. For example, let say I work The AM shift -- 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM -- Monday - Friday. To note that on my calendar, I tap the bottom "+", select AM Shift and then tap each weekday. The AM shift icon appears with each tap. Likewise, if I've picked up two PM shifts as overtime on Wednesday and Thursday, I switch to the PM shift type and then tap Wednesday and Thursday. By the way, that's called "pulling a double" and it's no fun.

You might be thinking, why did you work so many doubles, Dave? Because of the money, honey. Shifts has that covered, too. When you create a shift type, you can note the associated hourly rate. Then, enable earnings calculations in settings, and Shifts will list your potential monthly income at the top of the screen. Cool!

Other preferences let you receive alerts around your work schedule, like 15 minutes, an hour or even 24 hours before your shift begins. The app also handles rotations beautifully, if you work a job with rotating schedules. Shifts integrates with your existing calendars, pulling in dates so you can catch any work/life conflicts that may arise. Finally, there's an ample share sheet, so you can keep others abreast of your schedule.

I absolutely recommend Shifts to shift workers. It's certainly a lot better than the piece of paper I kept pinned to a bulletin board in 1994. And, on sale! Grab it now, shift workers.
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