Shifty manual

Set Up

To configure the app switch to the edit view by tapping the cog in the top right corner, from there you can add staff, duties and shifts.

The shift patterns can be set up to be different for different days. The sample data for example is for a business which is closed on Monday, has reduced opening hours on Sunday and has an extra evening shift on Saturday. Shifts can run overnight too if needed.

There's also other options to customise the app and the ability to set up more groups, which you may need to do depending on the size of your business.

  • edit view

week view


The groups feature allows you to make multiple schedules. Each group can have its own shift patterns, staff and duties.

They can be used in a multitude of ways, by another name they could be called: 'departments', 'locations', 'teams', 'zones', etc. They are very useful for organising complicated schedules. For example the sample data uses 2 groups, one for the schedule and one to keep track of staff availability.

If you use more than 6 shifts patterns per day or you have more than 25 staff then create more groups. For example, if you have 15 staff and 12 shifts per day you could create an 'AM' group and a 'PM' group. Using groups you can have 500 staff and 120 shift patterns per day!

Staff can also be shared between groups. This saves retyping staff names and email addresses more than once. But more importantly this method prevents staff being double-booked across multiple groups.

Create as many groups as you need, switching between them only takes 1 tap.

  • create groups
  • remove row
  • add row

edit view

  • share staff
  • edit group

edit staff view

Staff / Duties / Shifts

To assign a staff member, drag their name from the staff list onto a shift. To unassign staff drag their name out of the shift.

To assign a duty to a staff member, drag the duty name from the duty list onto a staff member in the staff list. This changes the default duty for that staff member. If you just want to change a staff member's duty for a shift, then drag a duty onto an assigned staff member.

In short - duties drop onto staff and staff drop onto shifts.

However! If you prefer you can assign duties by tapping on staff. Just choose "Duties Key Inline" in the options.

By default staff can't work multiple shifts at the same time. This prevents double-booking staff. However, there is an option to turn off "Staff Protection", useful if you need overlapping shifts for hand over or you need to schedule breaks.

You can change the headers "Staff" and "Duties" in the options. For example you could have "Team" & "Locations" or "Family" & "Chores".

  • staff
  • duty
  • shift
  • assigned staff
  • default duty

day view


In week view the duty counts are useful for seeing that there is enough staff performing a certain duty, for example a business might need a minimum of 4 barmen and 1 manager for a Thursday evening shift.

Instead of duty counts you can display staff names or staff initials. Choose the option best for you, e.g. using staff names for a schedule which has up to 15 staff per shift won't work, as there isn't enough screen space to display all the information.

In week view the staff total shows how many hours they are working for that week. When in day view, it shows the number of hours they are are working for that day.

If you have more than one group you will see the groups nav at the bottom of the screen. The count next to the group name is the total for the view you are looking at, so when in week view it will represent all entries for the week and in month view it will be the total for a 6 week period.

In month view the shift count shows the number of staff assigned to the shift. This can be useful when comparing weeks, e.g. Sundays might always need a minimum of 5 staff.

In the month navigation there are totals for each month that has entries. If you're using groups then there's second count which shows the total number of entries that are in other groups. The counts are useful for finding where data has been entered in the year and acts as a mini usage report.

In edit view there's an option to switch between shift counts, hour counts and cost totals. For those who use these different counts there's a short cut for switching between them, instead of going back into the options you can just do a four-finger tap to switch.

  • staff total
  • duty count
  • other group total
  • current group total

week view

  • shift count
  • month total
  • other groups month total

month view


In day or week view, if a there are entries you'll see the repeats icon in the bottom right. Tap to open, then stroke the days/weeks you want the to repeat to. Tap somewhere else on screen to close the repeats modal and your changes will be committed.

The current day or week being repeated is displayed in the middle. 17 weeks are shown in total. This allows you to repeat up to 8 weeks into the future or the past.

Deleting or moving entries from one day to another (aka 'cut and paste') can also be done with repeats feature. For example, tap the current date to unselect it and tap another date to select it. This will move all of today's entries to the other date.

The repeats modal also shows you which days and weeks are identical. This is really handy for checking your repeat patterns are exactly how you want them.

Greyed out days/weeks can't be repeated to. Either because the target day has incompatible shift patterns or it has other data that is being protected.

In edit view there are options to change the repeats behaviour. You can choose to repeat all groups or just the current group, and you can turn off 'Repeats Protection' which prevents you from replacing existing data.

  • open repeats
  • other data
  • current day
  • identical data
  • incompatible shifts

day view

  • other data
  • current week
  • identical data

week view


If you have staff paid hourly then you can set their hourly wage in the staff edit view.

Cost totals can now be displayed.
The calculation used is hourly wage multiplied by shift hours (minus breaks).

If your pay system is more complicated then use the wage adjustments feature in edit duties view. It can be used to calculate: salaried staff, tiered rates, bonuses, wage multipliers and more.

Example: Mike normally gets paid $20 but when standing in for 'Manager' gets $25. When 'On Call' he is not paid by the hour, instead he gets a $42 fixed bonus. He gets 1.5× pay when working the 'Overtime' duty. And, he is not paid when 'Unavailable'.

  • unpaid
  • special rate
  • fixed bonus
  • multiplier

edit duties view


After you have finished scheduling you can email a day, week or month schedule to your staff from the edit view.

The time range is set by the schedule view you came from. So if you were in week view before switching to edit view - the time range would be 'Week'.

The email can contains all groups or a single group or multiple groups. For example, you might want to email all groups apart from a holiday group. Groups that are greyed out don't contain any schedule data for the selected time range, so won't be included in the email.

You can change who receives the email, either all staff or just the staff that have been scheduled. In some cases it's better if a staff member receives an email regardless so that they know for sure that they are not scheduled to work. In other cases, particularly if managing a lot of staff who only work occasionally, not sending them an email if they aren't scheduled is better.

The schedule email can be structured in different ways. 'By Staff' has an individual focus and is quicker for staff to see when they are working. 'By Shift' has a relationship focus and is easier for staff to answer questions like "who is working the same shift?" and "who is scheduled to relieve me?". You can include both structures.

There's also an option to include a summary. This shows staff at a glance the days they are working. It acts as an index for the whole schedule, making it quicker for staff to find their entries and reduces the risk of staff missing when they are meant to be working.

  • compose
  • email options
  • time range
  • included group
  • empty group

edit view

  • send
  • 'By Staff'
  • 'By Shift'
  • summary

email week


You can print a day, week or month schedule. The time range is set by the schedule view you came from.

To print you will need an 'AirPrint' compatible printer. Or if you don't have this feature on your printer then you could use software such as Printopia (Mac). It works by installing an AirPrint server on your computer, so when you print from your iPad it gets sent to your computer which then sends it to the printer. It can also be used create PDFs of the print schedule. Both methods work great.

The schedule can been printed in 'Visual' or 'Tabular' format. The visual format is like how it appears onscreen and is better for seeing overall coverage. Tabular format is a traditional style of schedule and is generally quicker for staff to find their shifts.

There are other differences between the print formats: When printing multiple groups the visual format displays each group on a separate page, whereas the tabular format combines groups together. Another difference is the duty key, the visual format uses the same onscreen colors, whereas the tabular format uses a abbreviation key instead. This makes the tabular format suitable for black & white printing. It's also worth noting that the month time range in visual format displays 6 weeks of data, whereas the tabular format only displays the current month.

Within the print options you can choose to include the 'Totals'. If using tabular format then this will include the total hours for each staff, and if using visual format this will include whichever onscreen totals have been set in the options (e.g. 'Hours Counts', 'Shift Counts', 'Cost').

Shifty will print to the paper size you are using, typically US letter or A4.

Between the print formats and time ranges there are actually 6 different print layouts. Here are some example PDFs (A4) using a simple 7 day 1 group schedule so you can see the differences.

  • print
  • print options

edit view

print visual week

print tabular week


Use the database export feature to keep regular backups. To back up, tap the export button, this generates an email containing the database, send this email to yourself.

To import the database, slow tap (finger on screen for 2 seconds) on the contents of an export email to bring up the standard iOS text controls, choose 'Select All' then 'Copy'. Now within Shifty tap the import button, Shifty will analyse the database you copied. If the database is valid the 'Replace Database' button will become available, tap that to complete the import.

The database import / export feature can also be used to send the database to another Shifty user. Useful if your business has multiple iPads.

Note: As a precaution you should create a backup before upgrading Shifty or iOS.

  • export
  • import

options view


There are 2 instructional videos (with subtitles for 22 languages including English for the hard of hearing) and 1 overview video. If you're a beginner you should watch all the videos. If you're an experienced user then they're still worth watching. You'll probably learn some new tricks and you get to see my hand!

Setting Up Video

setting up video

Repeats Feature Video

repeats feature video

Taster Video

taster video

Questions & Answers

How do I copy the schedule to a spreadsheet?

The email schedule 'By Staff' table can be copied and pasted into Excel or OpenOffice.

How do I share the database between iPads?

Export the database and send the export email to a co-worker. They can then replace their database with yours. After they've finished making changes they could send the database back to you.

How do I keep track of staff availability?

Make a new group called 'Off' and set up duties like 'Holiday', 'Sick' and 'Unavailable'. Then share your staff to this group and assign them to the shifts they can't work. Now when you're in your other groups Shifty will prevent you assigning staff who are already scheduled as off.

How do I keep track of staff who arrive late or leave early?

A simple way to just add or deduct 10, 20 or 30 minutes each day, is to create another group containing 4 shifts with varying breaks: 0-1 (50min), 0-1 (1hr10), 1-3 (1hr40) and 1-3 (2hr20).
Or for more flexibility, use duty wage adjustments for deductions and bonuses.

How do I share staff between multiple groups?

In staff edit view you'll see a chain icon next to each staff member. Tap on that and choose which groups you want the staff member to be belong to.

How do I calculate staff costs?

In staff edit view add an hourly wage for each staff. Then in the options choose to display cost totals.

How do I add staff full names?

Full names drastically reduce the amount of information that can be displayed on screen. If you have multiple staff with the same first name then use their initials, for example "ScottS" and "ScottB".

How do I color code staff?

In the options set the "Duties Key" to "Inline". Then add blank duties by using the spacebar for the colors you need. Now in schedule view tap the square next to staff names to set their default color.

Why is the schedule email sent using BCC?

It's privacy best practice. Sending emails using BCC means the recipients can't see who else received the same email. Your staff may work together but they might not want their email address shared.

Can I send individual schedules to staff?

Apple's API does not allow the automation of sending emails. And sending lots of emails manually would be very error prone. Thankfully, group emails are more informative for staff and quicker for managers (especially when sending updates).

How do I keep a record of the schedules I send?

Schedule emails are automatically saved to the sent folder in your Mail app. Note: If you setup the Mail app to use another email provider such as gmail, login to the web client to view recipient information.

Is there a landscape mode?

Not all apps are set up to work in both orientations. Shifty is designed to work perfectly in portrait by fitting as much as possible on screen without the need of repetitive scrolling. Supporting landscape would in fact lose a number of efficiency features.

How do I send the schedule as it appears on screen?

You can export the database and send that to another Shifty user. If they don't have Shifty, you could send a screenshot or a print PDF of the visual schedule.

Can I use more than 20 groups?

The database import/export feature can be used to manage multiple databases. This would effectively give you multiple copies of Shifty on your iPad (each with 20 groups).

How do I remove a default duty?

Create a new duty called 'Unassigned' and set that as your staff's default duty. This suits managers who know they need staff working certain days, but don't yet know which duties will be needed.

How do I change the order which duties appear?

Duties are ordered to ensure similar colors are never next to each other. This makes the duty color key easy to read. If you want to re-position a duty you can change its color.

How do I set up a bi-weekly schedule?

Create 2 groups called "Week A" and "Week B" and switch between them. Note: Staff can be shared between multiple groups. Another solution would be to add all shifts needed to a single group.

What if my shifts change every week?

Use the same approach as a bi-weekly schedule. Alternatively, shifts can be rearranged for more flexibility. For example, dividing the day into 6 shifts each 2 hours long = 36 shift variations in 1 group.

How do I separate the weekday and weekend hours?

Create separate groups for each. But, if you need to separate staff hours for accurate cost calculation, then instead use a duty wage adjustment to create a special weekend rate.

How do I setup multiple wage rates for each staff?

Use the duty wage adjustments feature to create a series of special rates, then assign as needed. Another solution is to duplicate staff, for example: 'Kate' ($15) and 'Kate weekend' ($20).

How do I include salaried staff in monthly calculations?

Set their hourly wage to zero and create a wage adjustment set to their monthly salary, e.g. +1200. Then assign this duty every month (or assign once and repeat into future months).

How do I schedule lunch breaks?

The easiest way is to allow staff arrange lunches amongst themselves. However you could create a new group called "Lunch" and then add lunches as shifts. To allow staff to be on a lunch shift and a work shift at the same time - turn off the "Staff Protection" option.

How do I add a shift that runs overnight?

Set the finish time earlier than the start time. The shift will turn bold to indicate that it runs overnight.

How do I stop a shift contributing to staff hours?

Change the break to be the same duration as the shift. For example a 9-5 shift with a 8 hour break. These 'zero-duration' shifts are typically added to groups used for availability. Alternatively, you could assign a duty with a wage adjustment set to zero (i.e. unpaid).

What happens to feature requests?

They go into a vote system, features that get requested the most get worked on first. So it's worth asking for something even if you think someone else has asked for it because it will change development priorities.

How can I help?

Spread the word! Tell your friends, family and work colleagues about the wonders of Shifty.