How to Use a Company Calendar with Your Team and Employees for Maximum Efficiency

If you use a calendar in a workforce or company setting, you typically hear how troublesome it’s to handle and conduct several conferences with totally different individuals. You attempt to guide a meeting with multiple individual and the e-mail thread becomes actually lengthy simply to agree on the time.

When you might have back-to-back meetings you not have time to do deep work and get essential things carried out. This then leads to you being weeks behind on work and you don’t know why.

It doesn’t have to be that means. At Asian Efficiency, we consider that you should not sacrifice issues that you simply care about just to get stuff accomplished. You have to be in a position to finish all of the essential things completed with the time you might have. We’ve had our share of experimentation, setbacks, and successes when it comes to using the calendar. There was even a time when Thanh used Google Sheet as a ‘team calendar’. That was a very long time in the past!

On this weblog submit, I am going to share with you ways Asian Efficiency made the calendar work for us. We have been in a position to save five hours every week by simply utilizing a firm calendar and easy processes that we comply with as a staff. That is based mostly on our setbacks and successes and what works for us may additionally work for you.

Why Use a Calendar

An important position of the calendar is to be your go-to place to schedule your non-negotiable gadgets. This could imply a staff meeting, a physician’s appointment, your kid’s recital, a assembly with a shopper, a product launch date, or date night time with your associate. Every thing that you simply put in your calendar ought to be necessary and it’s not one thing you’ll be able to simply ‘snooze’ or ‘do later’. You might have your process manager for those things.

The calendar can also be the place to share with other individuals (your staff or staff) your availability. Are you busy? Are you within the workplace? Are you out of the workplace? It’s going to also help with planning future meetings or actions with your workforce.

How Asian Efficiency uses the calendar

At Asian Efficiency, we mainly use the calendar for the next:

  1. Team conferences
  2. One-on-one calls
  3. Coaching periods
  4. Pairing periods
  5. Shopper calls
  6. Studying leaves (seminars, conferences, workshops, masterminds outdoors of AE)
  7. Planned leaves (individuals taking day off)
  8. Launch dates
  9. Content material schedule (Podcast, Weblog, Newsletters, and so on)

Listed here are eight recommendations on how to effectively use a company calendar

1. Use a cloud-based calendar app

This can make the scheduling process so much simpler because it allows everyone to see each other’s calendar real time. Asian Efficiency makes use of two calendars: Google Calendar and Confluence Team Calendar.

We use Google Calendar to schedule meetings or actions that require anyone to be current. This can be an in-person assembly or a digital assembly (telephone calls, video calls, VoIP calls). We use it to schedule staff conferences, one-on-one calls, coaching periods, pairing periods, and shopper calls. Here’s an example of my Google Calendar for work:

Work Google Calendar

The calendar gadgets you see above all requires me to be nearly current by way of Zoom. You can’t see anything on my calendar that doesn’t need to be there. Every thing you see has been added with intention. All of the conferences that I attend–I NEED to attend. One wonderful thing about the Google Calendar is it’s free as long as you will have a Google account. It additionally syncs with your units and it’s pretty straightforward to use.

We additionally use Confluence’s Team Calendar. Confluence is an Atlassian product that we use collectively with Jira, their undertaking management software program. That is how it seems to be like (clean slate):

Confluence Team Calendar

On the appropriate aspect, you will discover all of the calendars we now have arrange for the workforce. Clicking on the Podcast calendar will show the release dates for each episode:

CF Podcast Only Calendar

Clicking on the Weblog Content choice will present:

CF Podcast and Blog Calendar

If you’d like to see Leaves and Team Events:

Leaves Events Travel Calendar

Why can we use two calendars at Asian Efficiency? We use the Google Calendar to schedule conferences that you simply want to attend and the Confluence calendar to have company-wide events that folks can see. If you separate the 2, you gained’t have a cluttered calendar and we’ve found that to the simplest answer for us.

Want to know which meetings you need to attend? Verify your work calendar. For the whole lot else that’s happening in the company, examine the company calendar.

For these of you who additionally need to sync Google Calendar and the Confluence calendar, here’s how to do this (skip this half if this is irrelevant to you):

1. Click on the three dots beside the Add Calendar textbox

Google Calendar 1

2. Click on on New Calendar

Google Calendar 2

3. Identify your calendar. On this example, let’s create your teams Challenge Launch Dates. You possibly can set the calendar’s Timezone (which you’ll be able to change anytime) and also add a description. Click on Create calendar.

Google Calendar 3

4. Now you possibly can see the newly created calendar on the left-hand aspect, under your calendar identify.

Google Calendar 4

5. Click on the new calendar you created in order that we will edit the permissions to the calendar. The objective is to ensure that your workforce can even access this calendar. You possibly can either share it with your complete organization or solely to specific individuals by clicking on +Add individuals.

Google Calendar 5

6. If you share it with specific individuals, it’s going to seem like this:

Google Calendar 6

It’s necessary that you simply choose ‘See all event details’ so that the small print are seen and it won’t only present ‘free/busy’.

7. If you create an occasion for that calendar, just remember to choose the right calendar. You can too choose the colour for your calendar. This is a private choice and your different teammates can choose to use a totally different colour.

Google Calendar 7

Once the occasion is created, this is the way it’s going to appear to be in your calendar:

Google Calendar 8

Keep in mind, you gave access to one other teammate and that is the way it’s going to appear to be on their calendar:

Google Calendar 9

You’ll be able to create other calendars to share with your group like leaves, content schedule, and a lot extra. Utilizing a cloud-based app helps be sure that you and your group are all on the same page since you’re all going to see the same calendar and calendar occasions.

Within Asian Efficiency, not everybody has the two calendars built-in like this. Thanh, the CEO and founder, doesn’t because he likes to maintain the whole lot separate whereas I do like to have it multi functional place. We’re glad that we’ve the choice to do both so it caters to totally different working types of individuals.

2. Everybody’s work/company calendar ought to be shared or viewable by your group

Now that you simply understand the infrastructure of our calendar setup, let’s speak about calendar visibility inside the firm.

We have now discovered that shared calendars improve communication and efficiency inside a staff. It additionally makes scheduling and planning easier in contrast to having to e mail again and forth simply to agree on a date. Further down we’ll share a device that can even make scheduling a breeze.

In the screenshot under, you’ll discover that I’ve entry to my group’s work calendar.

Work Google Calendar Shared

Here’s how you can share your work calendar with your group:

1. Hover over your calendar and click on the three dots.

Share Calendar 1

2. Click on on Settings and sharing.

Share Calendar 2

three. Go to Entry Permissions / Share with Specific Individuals.

Share Calendar 3

In case you belong to a G Suite Account as we’ve, then you should use access permissions for your company. Anybody inside your company or community can either:

Share Calendar 4

In the event you’d relatively be more specific with the entry to your calendar, you need to use Share with Specific Individuals and there’s an choice for you to give them edit access. You possibly can set totally different permission varieties per individual/e mail.

Share Calendar 5
We advocate that you simply share your visibility with everybody within the company.

3. Have one group member be responsible for your group calendar

At Asian Efficiency, I am this individual. I’m the one who sends out the assembly invites to the staff (doesn’t matter if I’m included or not). If I’m away, another person can do it for me because the workforce calendar is just about open for everybody on the group to edit. When you will have somebody responsible for this, you keep away from the “who’s going to send the invites” dilemma. When Thanh says “Let’s schedule a follow-up meeting for this next week” I do what wants to be executed to make that occur by checking the workforce’s availability and sending the invitations.

This is really useful especially when you’ve gotten co-workers who don’t use the calendar correctly. By having one individual in cost, it might lessen the impression of that and mannequin expected conduct. We’ve got a nice podcast episode about how to inspire change in others might be useful for you in dealing with co-workers or teammates.

4. Add your deliberate leaves in your calendar no less than two weeks prematurely

The advance notice will help your workforce plan for those days that you’ll be out. Now that they know when your staff can be sure that both another person can take over your duties or not assign you any duties for the times that you are out.

You possibly can even add this month’s prematurely. For instance, you’ve got already booked your flights for a vacation you’re going to take 5 months from now so you may as nicely add that within the calendar. It’s okay if there will probably be modifications in the future. What’s necessary is you’re giving your workforce the heads up that you are planning to be away for a few days five months from now.

This can be extremely useful when you’ve got a world workforce. Each nation has totally different holidays and getting them on as early as attainable makes planning easier.

If in case you have necessary group dates in your shared calendar, you may as well plan your leaves round it. Thanh all the time makes positive that our Team Calendar is all the time up to date with our launch dates since we made it a level to not go on depart during these dates (until it could’t be prevented).

5. Show your private calendar on your work calendar

By integrating the two you keep away from conflicts with scheduling. You may need a personal errand to run during enterprise hours. When the two calendars are disconnected, somebody might schedule a meeting with you when you’re operating your errand. That’s why it’s useful to mix the 2 calendars to avoid any potential conflicts.

However what about privateness? Fear not, you possibly can set it to ‘See only free/busy’. That approach your group will see the larger image of your day and not simply work hours. The steps on how to do this are the same as the steps in sharing your work calendar. The only distinction can be the permission.

Here’s an example of how your private calendar will seem like in your company calendar:

Work and Personal Calendar

Now that your workforce can see gadgets from your private calendar, you don’t have to worry about scheduling battle between work and your personal life.

6. All the time have your workforce calendar open throughout planning periods

A couple of years again, during our Sprint Planning Meeting, we determined to add kind of thirty tasks to our group to-do listing. It was all nicely and good till, through the middle of our Dash, we realized that I used to be going to be on depart for four days.

Did we finish all our duties? No. We didn’t have the bandwidth as a result of I used to be out for 4 full days. This might have been prevented if we took under consideration our workforce calendar throughout our planning session.

Before you even determine what the staff might be engaged on, open up your group calendar so that you’ve an concept who’s going to be round and who’s not. Now, once we do our sprint planning, we all the time verify our group calendar first. Once we all know who might be out and how lengthy they are going to be gone, we then determine what the workforce can be engaged on the subsequent two weeks.

7. Make it possible for your calendar is a true reflection of your time

You’ve now reached the purpose where your workforce can see your calendar and they will see the time slots in your calendar where you’re probably free. Why probably? It’s because not all ‘free’ time is actually free.

Think about that it’s a Thursday and you’ve got some deadlines that you’ve to end earlier than the work-week ends. Even when your whole Thursday seems to be free on your calendar, are you actually free? The reply is not any. If that does not mirror in your calendar, your staff goes to assume that they will arrange appointments with you that day. You may end up saying that you simply don’t have enough time every single day to finish your duties due to all the conferences you might have been invited to. If that’s how you are feeling proper now, you can too take our productivity quiz so that we will send you methods to have more time day by day.

So as to avoid battle or miscommunication, ensure you tag these hours as ‘not free or busy’. You don’t have to be specific as to what you’re engaged on as long as your workforce is aware of that you’re not obtainable for conferences during those hours.

eight. Use scheduling apps when you possibly can

This was how I communicated with candidates by way of e-mail:

Me: Are you out there for an interview 2PM Wednesday next week?

Applicant: Unfortunately I am not obtainable. What about 8AM Wednesday subsequent week?

Me: I have already got somebody scheduled for that day. When are you obtainable subsequent week?

Applicant: I am only obtainable on Monday.

Me: What time?

… You get the drift. This was not by way of Slack or Skype–this conversation happened over e mail and we wasted a lot time with the back-and-forth. Now think about going by way of this similar conversation with fifty extra candidates?

The answer to this time-waster is a scheduling app. These apps make scheduling even smoother. You possibly can set your out there occasions for meetings and it additionally syncs with your calendar so that folks can select the date and time that works for them based mostly in your choice. At Asian Efficiency, we use scheduling apps for conferences outdoors of our regular meeting day. You simply ship your assembly link to the opposite individual.

We’ve used both ScheduleOnce and Calendly and one wonderful thing about both apps is that they allow you to set how many meetings you want to have that day. Let’s simply say you don’t want more than two meetings (set by means of the app) per day. Although you will have 5 empty slots each day, once the 2 slots are crammed, nobody can e-book a meeting with you for that day. They might have to select a totally different day.

Right here’s an example from Calendly:

Calendly Settings

Above you’ll be able to see the choices referred to as Event Max Per day which you could set. You even have the scheduling notice which might be useful when you don’t want a shock assembly within an hour. There’s also buffers should you don’t need back-to-back conferences.

You should use Calendly for free. There can be some options that are not obtainable but the ones above are all a part of the free plan.

ScheduleOnce additionally has group scheduling that you should use should you need to plan out the time that might work for everyone.

You’ll be able to’t go fallacious with both choice. When you’re model new to scheduling apps, we advocate Calendly (it’s easier). For the advanced users who need extra highly effective options and don’t thoughts going by way of a lot of settings, then ScheduleOnce is a nice choice for you.

Motion Steps

Now that you recognize what we do at Asian Efficiency to save a whole lot of hours every year just through the use of a firm calendar successfully, which tip would you implement first?

We advise the next:

  1. Share your calendar with your staff and have them share theirs to the whole workforce.
  2. Start adding non-negotiable gadgets to your calendar if they don’t seem to be but there.
  3. Add your deliberate leaves to your shared calendar for the group to know and have them do the same.
  4. Begin using a scheduling app.

Once you grasp using your calendar, be it for private or skilled use, you’ll notice that you may be more productive. We have now a very fashionable course in The Dojo, our online productivity group, that’s all about mastering your calendar. You will get entry to this course if you be a part of The Dojo. See you there!