Schedule, rota or roster

They are different words with a slightly different meaning to everyone. In North America and Canada they use schedule, in the UK uses rota and roster and in Australia roster is used.

Many people in the UK or those who work with Uk organizations find it unclear if they have to use rota or roster. A rota is a blue print of shifts to which no one is registerd and comitted to. The rota has slots open to be filled by a team or departement. Once filled and running it becomes a roster just by adding the name of someone who will be doing the shift.

ShiftPlanner is a rota as well as a roster

The coordinator makes a blue print of shifts every month or whenever time period you like. You also have the option to export the previous month and import again in the month you want without any people attachted to the shifts, Now you have open slots wich makes it a rota. When the coordinator is pleased with the blue print of shifts, he or she sends out an commitment request.

Volunteers will register for the shifts and fill the open slots, when people are comitted to the shifts it makes a roster. So mainly ShiftPlanner is a Schedule for the US and a mix of rota and roster for the UK. But we generely use roster.


Roster for volunteers

You can use or try ShiftPlanner free of charge and without obligation.

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ShiftPlanner has a range of functionalities

Calendar sync

Add shifts to your own calendar automatically.

Easy access

Log in via an access token without having to remember an awkward password.

Shift swap

Swap shifts with another persons via a special link (a.k.a. a transfer token).

Sign-up requests

Send out requests for volunteers based on an individual or group selection.

Personal profiles

Customize your profile and add details, such as your address, telephone number, age, photo, etc.

Photo album

Use ShiftPlanner as an online photo album and allow your team to get to know each other better.

Address book

View contact details for all your volunteers.

Time logs

Track shifts and online activity via the platform. This data can also be exported as an Excel or CSV file.


Create private groups that can only be viewed/accessed by certain people.

Data analysis

View data and statistics, such as the number of shifts that a person does in a given period.


Work with multiple locations and offer directions automatically via Google maps.

Custom blocks

Create and customize text blocks to suit the needs of your organization.


Send reminders to your volunteers (e.g., 1-2 days in advance of a shift).


Create or update records via an Excel or CSV import.


Export personal information or shift data to an Excel or CSV file.

Free fields

You can define extra fields in order to collect data that is relevant to your organization.