Time is a resource just as important as money. With only a few hours in the day dedicated to work, how you spend them can impact your overall bottom line.
Business owners and entrepreneurs should strive to find new ways of saving and managing time. A great starting point is finding a robust collaborative calendar app that encourages communication and teamwork.
Why you should use a collaborative calendar
Better time management – To-do lists aren’t enough. If you really want to get things done, block out a time during your day to work on that project or task. Seeing your task as a part of your day will motivate you to better plan the rest of your week.
Reminders – Forget to return a call? Showed up late for a meeting? Next time set an alert by scheduling it on your calendar. No matter what you’re doing, a quick notification on your phone will make sure you’re on time.
Clearer team communication – Stop worrying about time zones or conflicts- sending someone a calendar invite ensures they have the event in their calendar as well. Better yet, sharing a whole calendar with your team allows them to see your weekly agenda.
Want some tips for better managing your time? Check out our previous post on time management hacks.
Top Five Collaborative Calendar Apps
For many businesses, Google Calendar and the rest of the Google Suite has become the defacto cloud setup. It’s easy to use, has a sleek interface, and best of all, is free. No wonder it’s become so popular. Inviting others to view your calendar through a unique URL can be convenient for colleagues. Best of all, it’s already integrated into your Gmail account, so you can easily schedule meeting requests or calls.
If your organization uses Apple hardware, Apple Calendar will already be installed. Make no mistake, Apple Calendar is a sleek app. The interface is as simple as it gets, echoing the same visual design seen in other Apple apps. While Apple Calendar may lack flashy extensions and is limited to Apple and iOS devices, the company’s apps have always centered on simplicity and user experience. As some people say: “It just works.”
Apple uses Calendar, and Microsoft relies on Outlook. Many businesses with desktops continue to use Outlook for its Microsoft Office integration- allowing them to manage emails, contacts, tasks, events in a unified setup. Features include team calendar sharing, side-by-side comparisons, and sending meeting requests straight from email or the calendar. Unlike Apple Calendar, Outlook can be used on both Windows and Apple devices. Subscriptions start at $6.99/month or $69.99/year. You can also purchase Office 2016 completely at $149.99 (for the Home & Student version). Fortunately, the mobile versions are free.
Looking for a more casual, social-oriented calendar set up? Try UpTo. Unlike other calendars on this list, UpTo resembles more of an enclosed social network for planning events- allowing you to view your colleague’s activities in real time, with options for liking and commenting. The app also allows you to follow other calendars, like the schedule of your favorite TV show, or your favorite sports team. You can even set up groups for work, family, projects, and more. Best of all, UpTo integrates with your existing calendars, including Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, and Facebook Events.
Maybe you just want people to view upcoming events or projects neatly without all the trouble of setting up accounts and permissions. That’s what TeamUp is for. Designed with a colorful interface, TeamUp works to simplify team collaboration. The calendar is so dynamic and customizable, it has been used by everyone from the education industry to technology, including Harvard University, NASA, HPE, Philips, Red Bull and more. Visit their website for a deeper look into real use cases.
As with most tools, a calendar is just a means to an end. You shouldn’t expect your organization to radically change overnight. Collaborative organizational values and practices have to be instilled over time, but having a calendar is a great place to start. When businesses can internally communicate more clearly about what they’re working on, and when client meetings have reminders before they start, operations become almost automatic.
Are digital tools getting in the way of your productivity and organization? Try an analog method with the bullet journal.