The modern calendar has been around since at least 1582. And ever since then, organized minds have devised ingenious ways to help us plan our agendas, and schedule events and appointments.
Today, the digital calendar allows for much more flexibility than the original paper versions.
We can receive smartphone reminders for our appointments and plan efficient daily agendas. For the business user, a shareable digital calendar helps foster teamwork and encourages collective efforts toward shared business goals.
We’ll walk you through what a business calendar is, how it helps you and your team, and how you can implement one smart enough to be worth using in 2021.
What is a business calendar?
Everyone knows what a calendar is. You probably have at least 3 of them around you right now — 1 on the wall, 1 on your phone home screen, 1 in your email app… and so on.
What’s the difference between a business calendar and a personal calendar?
Well, a business calendar is used for business… Obviously. But, wait: that’s not the only difference.
Business calendars serve a different need, so they tend to have different features and functions. For example, business calendars are often cloud-based digital calendars, that enable sharing, automated notifications, task management, and more.
Imagine tracking your business meetings and deadlines on a wall calendar in your office. It’d be a disaster.
That’s why business calendars are flexible, digital tools that let us set quick reminders for meetings and keep track of multiple events while on the go.
They typically have the ability to store endless information you couldn’t squeeze down on paper, offer a bundle of scheduling and customization options, and let you separate events and reminders by group — so you can quickly see what’s scheduled by project or team.
In short, a business calendar is a scheduling and communication tool that helps to keep everybody organized and drive team efficiency.
Why your team needs a shared business calendar, like now…
The saying “get everyone on the same page” is thought to have originated at choir rehearsals. If you want your team to work toward business goals harmoniously, you can achieve this by using a shared business calendar.
Surprisingly, even today, with all the technology available at our fingertips, businesses are still failing to plan and organize effectively.
When the PMI Group surveyed project managers in 2020, 26% of respondents claimed inadequate or poor planning contributed to the failure of a project.
But how can a simple business calendar help?
With a digital business calendar, you can foster teamwork by using all the templates and features found in today’s modern software. You can use color-coding to organize events into logical groupings.
You’ll also be able to cut out the noise with filter-and-sort functionality that helps you focus solely on elements that require a team’s immediate attention. Plus, there’s an option to zoom in to just see the calendar entry for one day or pull back and view the entire week or month.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the key features found in a business calendar.
What features should you look for in a business calendar?
Here are 5 features we think are essential for an effective business calendar that will drive increased team efficiency.
1. Schedule appointments
OK, yes, it’s a calendar, after all.
The fundamental must-have function of any business calendar is the ability to schedule upcoming appointments.
Whether it’s a team meeting to talk about your goals or a client appointment with the promise of new business, a business calendar must show you when you’re available or booked up.The most popular calendar solutions used by businesses are Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, and iCalendar. All of them — plus many others — integrate seamlessly with monday.com.
When you integrate an existing business calendar with monday.com, you can show all of your monday.com tasks and items directly in your external calendar app. Meaning you have everything you need in one place.
Check out how to set it up here.
2. Show reminders
A central benefit of digital calendar solutions is the ability to remind a user when an appointment or deadline is near.
The paper-based calendars of old needed you to check periodically to see what you had scheduled for upcoming dates. That meant it was possible to miss or forget an appointment if you neglected to check regularly.
Today, digital calendars come with all manner of beeps and buzzes to remind you of upcoming events and deadlines. You can also quickly check a daily schedule on phone widgets or smartwatches.
If you use a shared business calendar, you can set team deadlines and appointments to keep everyone organized. With monday.com, you can set alert reminders to keep you on track.
The idea is that you set due dates for your teams’ tasks, and monday.com can alert you when they draw near. We call them deadline notifications. With external calendar integration, they’ll display on a shared business calendar, too.
3. Balance out work
Sharing the workload evenly among your team is easier when you use a business calendar. Color codes are a handy feature that helps organize all your teams’ work.
You can assign an individual team member a color code so that you can see their upcoming appointments and deadlines at-a-glance.
To go one step further, you can also use color-coding to distinguish work ownership by individuals and subgroups in your team.
Color-coding helps people quickly sort through information visually, rather than going over a page all in black-and-white.
You can make a team more efficient when using a color contrast scheme. It lets you see a holistic overview of everything that you and your team needs to do.
Plan your business calendar using monday.com and set deadlines or work duration using a Timeline or Date column.
4. Be shareable for team productivity
When you share your business calendar with your team, it helps them focus on shared deadlines and upcoming events.
Like the choir analogy previously mentioned, getting team members on the same page will benefit everyone.
A recent study on team autonomy — working toward shared goals — found that management created a significant barrier to team success when the overall direction was poorly defined.
You can use a shareable business calendar to help team direction and efficiency by displaying all your work items and deadlines in the same place.
5. Be mobile
Sadly, work doesn’t begin and end at the office. More and more of us are expected to be available outside work hours, and the pandemic has impacted old work patterns, probably for good.
Of course, for some, the majority of their work is out on the road anyway. So, a business calendar isn’t effective without on-the-go features. Whichever calendar solution a business owner chooses to use, it must have an Android and iOS mobile app.
Fortunately, most digital business calendars have a mobile version, and monday.com is no different.
When you use monday.com as your business calendar app, you can see work and appointments wherever you are. Find out more about the mobile app calendar view here.
How to use monday.com to set up a business calendar
Planning your team’s work using a color-coded business calendar is a recommended practice in today’s busy world. It helps everyone focus on upcoming deadlines and provides a simple way to visualize work.
At monday.com, we love calendars, and we have plenty of ways you can use one.
How about integrating your team’s Google, Outlook, or iCalendar with monday.com?
It’s effortless to do, and once you have, you can view your projects and other work deadlines in your external calendar app or within our platform.
Another way to benefit from the productivity boost you get when using a business calendar is to view your existing monday.com boards using our calendar view.
If you have an existing board containing all the tasks your team’s currently working on, add a column containing date, week, or timeline information to the board.
Input any deadlines or estimate timelines, then augment with a calendar view using the views menu.
You can now see your work visually organized by date in a calendar format. It’s easy to further streamline your calendar data using filters for people, duration, and team groups to focus your view.
Now go forward and schedule with ease
Business calendars are a powerful and useful tool for managing work deadlines and appointments for you and your team. You can see your entire team’s duties in one central space, and color-coding helps you view it quickly to see who’s doing what.
Business calendars today are all about usability. Expect to be able to integrate them with other platforms you use and access them while you’re out and about.
See what you can achieve with a business calendar and monday.com. Start now with our calendar view template.