What Are Attendance Lists?

An attendance depicts a situation where a group of people turns up to a scheduled meeting, class, event, or activity. The attendance sheet, a document where every attendee should register for recordkeeping, has been valued not only in the academic and business setting but also for meetings, parties, sports, and more. But sometimes, keeping track of whoever attends an event or activity can be a hassle and time-consuming. So attendance lists exist to record the data of attendees quickly and conveniently. In a list, the instructions and labels are already pre-formatted. Attendees only need to fill out their details chronologically. For example, student A is the fourth person who wrote on the list. Thus, student B shall fill in the blanks of the fifth row of the list.


A report stated that only 14% of the 82 major districts’ public policies in the US track attendance.

Also, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2015 survey reported that one out of five students missed at least three days of school or more in a month.

Meanwhile, Statista confirmed that 39% of Italian companies did not track their employees’ attendance in 2019.

Why is the Attendance List Important?

The primary purpose of an attendance list is to track attendance, as simple as that. Why so? Attendance records contain useful information for various purposes. First, the attendance works as a checklist to see who were actively participating in class or at work. Is it fair to pay an employee who was mostly absent with the same salary as those who worked on time and without absences? Second, attendance lists resolve common issues. Maybe a student complains about not getting perfect attendance since he or she did attend classes daily. However, the issue lies in how the student was late many times. Tardiness also affects these records.

Furthermore, the attendance list is a reliable tracking chart. Maybe there is a seminar inviting many visitors. Each guest will have to write down their details under the list for identification purposes. If anything happens where you must contact a specific visitor, the attendance already shows the contact info. Another popular use of attendance lists is for a reward system. Maybe a student or employee who attends without any absence would receive incentives at the end of a term. Thus, people would be driven to turn up daily. Lastly, the list works for documentation. Due to the list’s recorded details, an employer can ask why a specific worker was absent for particular days. And the employer decides if the said employee’s reason is excused or not.

Who Creates the Attendance List?

Generally, anyone assigned to track the attendance prepares the attendance list, whether it is the manager, HR, teacher, or marketer. And the designated person should make a reliable attendance list that helps fulfill his or her role in tracking attendance. Of course, others who were not assigned as the attendance tracker can create the list. But the tracker should know how to work on the prepared document. At the end of the day, the tracker is to be blamed if anything wrong occurs to the attendance tracking system.

The Present Elements in Standard Attendance Lists

While the attendance list’s meaning and purpose are clear to you, are you familiar with what a standard attendance list looks like? Although attendance sheets may differ from one application to another, there are a few common elements to notice. In this section, find out what is present or absent from the elements of attendance lists.

Title or Purpose: The “Attendance List” label already serves as the title. But it should be specified further. Is the list an attendance for a class, meeting, work, or an event? Mention it. Another tip is to recognize the purpose. That way, it will be easy to recognize if the sheet is for listing the attendance in a specific meeting agenda, school field trip, and more.Name: The attendance sheet should have a column specifically for the attendee’s name. This way, it will be easy to trace who is attending. For formality’s sake, it is vital to write every attendee’s complete and legal name to avoid mistaking one person’s identity for another.Department: Another way to identify an attendee aside from the name is by recognizing which department they belong to. Take business, for example. Is the employee from the marketing, manufacturing, distribution, or sales department? Thus, it is simple to track people based on their department. Meanwhile, departments can refer to the grade and section when it comes to school.Date: Of course, attendance and dates go hand in hand. The general rule is to input the month, day, and year in the sheet. But the dates to write in the attendance would differ if you are making a daily, weekly, quarterly, monthly, or yearly attendance. Specify it.Time in and Time Out: Aside from the date, timesheets play a crucial role in attendance lists. What time an attendee specifically arrives at a program marks as the time in. And when an attendee leaves is for time out. In business, logging in and out is important to check if employees complied with the required hours to work per day.Venue: If there are different locations used on where to get attendance, a “Venue” section is needed on the list. For example, if a business meeting is held at a particular room, indicate the venue’s room number. Or, to be more specific, write the complete address in this part.Contact Details: Attendance sheets might ask for contact lists as well. This part is crucial when the organization or business does not entirely know the attendees. Visitors of an event and applicants for employment training are common examples of who must give out their contact information. Details come from the phone or mobile number and email address.Signature: Although a “Signature” column in an attendance list is optional, it can be required. There are instances where people who are not physically present would ask their peers to write their names in the attendance, which is cheating. So, affixing signatures is a way to validate that attendees wrote their details in the form.

How to Make Excellent Attendance Lists

Now that you have familiarized the attendance list’s elements, are you ready to make the attendance list itself? Rest assured, it is not as complicated as it seems. How so? We have a collection of attendance list templates prepared just for you. There is no need to begin from scratch since templates are pre-formatted and ready to use anytime. But to make sure your attendance list is an excellent one rather than a standard example, do not forget to observe these five simple steps:

Step 1: Identify the Attendance List’s Purpose

What is the attendance list used for? A clear vision of the goal or purpose is essential for how the list should turn out. Are you making that list for employee attendance or maybe a special event? Once you identified your purpose, make sure your list does not back away from your goal. Perhaps you ended up creating a format that applies to a school attendance rather than for work. Rest assured that the purpose’s awareness leads you in the right direction of making an effective attendance list.

Step 2: Insert the Elements of an Attendance List

Can you recall those elements discussed earlier? Check if your attendance list already has them. If not, insert what is still necessary to add. But, do not just blindly include elements one after the other. There should be a sense of organization in terms of how you present them. For example, you might have placed the time out section before the time in, which should be the other way around. Thus, observe a proper arrangement to the list’s presentation of each element.

Step 3: Estimate the Number of Attendees to Accommodate

If you already have a planned layout on the whole list, then good. But, do you think your list is enough to accommodate all attendees who are supposed to log in the attendance? Review it. Maybe there were only thirty blank rows for attendees to fill out, yet there is a total of fifty attendees expected to accommodate. That is not right. How can the extra twenty attendees log their attendance? To prevent that situation, always estimate the attendee number. Or perhaps, provide more rows and columns in case more will come.

Step 4: Observe an Easy Format

Attendance lists are meant to be user-friendly. If not, then a difficult process would have attendees line up to log their attendance. And if it takes too long to finish logging, people who arrive at 7:55 AM might log in at 8:01 AM, which is one-minute tardy already. Do not let that happen. A tip is to use graphic organizers to simplify the form. Using tables and charts is how such lists are expected anyway. That means there are columns and rows to list effectively, instead of just writing details without proper format.

Step 5: Update the Lists Regularly

Always double-check the list regularly. As you review, you might notice that some people who logged in have not logged out. Or perhaps, there were inaccurate records present in the form. Wrong records must be corrected to avoid issues in the data. Never forget to take notes of some changes in the attendance records, and use a digital clock and calendar to check the date and time. And most importantly, keep all records in a safe place. You never know when you might need them for tracking.


What are the ways to track employee attendance?

Did you know that in Italy, 39% of companies did not track employee attendance in 2019? That is, according to Statista’s research survey. Learn not to apply that situation by using practical applications in tracking the attendance of every worker. Examples include the conventional attendance register, attendance spreadsheets, card-swiping, fingerprint scanning, retina scanning, and GPS tracking system.

Is attendance really necessary in school?

Based on a survey, one out of five students missed around three school days or more in a month. Absenteeism is slowly affecting the passion of students to study in class. So, lessening absences is a must. Therefore, school attendance is necessary, particularly in colleges.

What happens if you have low attendance?

Low attendance affects work and academic performance. Although standards differ in every application, it is common that the percentage lower than 75% is considered a low attendance. For example, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) even announced that students must have 75% in attendance to be eligible for the board examination.

American director Woody Allen once said, “80% of success is showing up.” It does entirely mean that attending any meeting, interview, or event guarantees you success. But, just showing up gives you many opportunities that can affect your success. Apply that to the importance of attendance, and attendees would miss a lot of things just from being absent for certain days. And wrong records from the attendance will already affect the attendees’ performance. So whether you handle classes, lead training sessions, or manage any gathering where attendance is needed, be sure you got a dependable and quick system for tracking—attendance lists.