When to Add Separate Master Calendars (Instead of Using More Sub-Calendars)

Learn whether you need a separate new master calendar or more sub-calendars.

When setting up calendars for multiple teams, departments, or uses, do you need more sub-calendars or separate master calendars? Consider these factors to make the best decision.

When you create a Teamup Calendar, what you create is a master calendar. In many cases, one master calendar is sufficient for managing your organization which may have multiple teams, properties, projects, or events. You can add many sub-calendars (individual calendars that are contained within your master calendar), organize them in folder hierarchies, and use color-coding, custom event fields, and other features to customize your calendar for what you need.

Sometimes a single master calendar, even with many sub-calendars, is not the right fit. Multiple master calendars work better, for example, when an organization has separate locations, and each location needs a separate, independently managed calendar. If you’re not sure whether your use case will benefit from more sub-calendars or an additional master calendar, here are the main factors to consider.

Limited calendar access

Remember unique calendar links provide a simple way to access Teamup Calendars and give the calendar administrator a good deal of control. For each unique calendar link, you as the administrator can decide which sub-calendars to include and set a level of access permission for each sub-calendar include. Even if your master calendar has 50 sub-calendars in it, you can create a unique calendar link which allows access to only 1, or 5, or 12 of those sub-calendars. And since you can set the access permission for each sub-calendar, you could set some of those included sub-calendars as read-only and others as modify or add-only.

If you need to create limited calendar access for users, employees, or team members, you can do that with unique calendar links; you do not need an additional master calendar. If you want to provide calendar access for a period of time, then revoke it, you can do so by creating and then deleting a unique calendar link.

Read more about calendar links and access permissions to understand how they can work for you.

Access to calendar settings

To access the Settings for a Teamup calendar, a user must have an administrator link. Sharing multiple administrator links can be a security problem, as administrator links give full access to all sub-calendars, events, and calendar settings. In some scenarios, however, it’s very inefficient to require all changes that require access to Settings to go through a single calendar administrator:

  • Team leaders need to create unique calendar links for their team members, contractors, clients, etc., and these links may need to be updated frequently.
  • A project leader or department manager needs to add, organize, and modify sub-calendars and folders depending on seasons, projects, and other factors.
  • An overseer for an event or space needs to import data from .csv files regularly and create and use custom event fields for different time periods.

To prevent accidental deletion or changes to other sets of sub-calendars or events, you may want to create a separate master calendar for each team or department that needs to have administrator access. This way, changes to the Settings only affect the sub-calendars and events for that specific team or department.

Customized calendar branding

You can customize the look of your Teamup Calendar for your business or organization by setting the background color, calendar title, logo, and other features. Customization keeps business identity clear and your branding consistent.

If your organization or business has separate departments with their own brand identities, you may want to use separate master calendars. If each department has its own master calendar, they can customize the look and feel to keep departmental branding consistent.

Differing time zones

Many scenarios, such as managing locations, corporate projects, or events, necessitate working in multiple time zones. For example, you may work in one time zone, but oversee a conference that will take place in another location with a differing time zone.

When sharing event calendars, such as conference agendas and trade show schedules, it’s most appropriate–and easiest for attendees–to set the default time zone of the shared event calendar to the event location. You can disable the Time Zone option for the calendar, to remove any chance that events are scheduled in the wrong time zone. To manage another conference or event in a different location, it’s best to set up a new master calendar and time zone accordingly, to avoid errors and confusion.

Differing use habits

How you use your calendar on a daily basis will definitely affect how you want to have it set up. For example, if you use an editorial calendar to schedule content weeks and months in advance, you probably want to have the default calendar view as Monthly or Multi-weekly. On the other hand, if you use a team calendar as your daily to-do list and to keep tabs on task completion and progress for various projects, you may want to always see your calendar in Day, Week, or Agenda view.

If you’re splitting a master calendar between two separate functions, and your use habits for each function are very different, you may prefer to create separate master calendars. That way, you can set up each separate master calendar with the default views and customizations that work best for those particular work habits.

There is an alternative to using separate master calendars, however: you can create separate, customized calendar links for yourself, and use them in different browser windows or tabs. With calendar link parameters, you can customize various aspects of how each calendar link opens. For example, you can create a calendar link for your task management that a) includes only your project sub-calendars and b) opens with the side panel hidden and c) opens in the Agenda view by default. Bookmark it in your browser, and you can open your calendar easily in that view, anytime. Then you could create another calendar link for a big-picture view of your work, which a) includes all team sub-calendars and b) opens in the Multi-week view by default.

Read more about using calendar link parameters here.

Operational independence

In general, the more independence a particular department, group, project, or team has from the others, the more separation there is between scheduling and planning needs. More separation of planning and scheduling often means that separate master calendars are the more efficient option.

Sometimes the best thing to do is try it out: if you’ve been using multiple sub-calendars and you’re encountering obstacles, try a separate master calendar and see if the issues are resolved. Alternately, if you’ve been using separate master calendars and are having issues with communication, connection, and team collaboration, try merging into a single master calendar. You can move data from one Teamup Calendar to another, if needed. You can also set up iCalendar feeds from one Teamup Calendar to another: this allows teams or departments with separate master calendars to still have a feed of other departmental calendars and stay up-to-date.

If you’re a manager or overseer who needs to keep a big-picture view of multiple master calendars, see how to manage multiple master calendars.

If you’re still not sure which calendar set-up is right for your use, get in touch. Our support team is happy to help you think through the options and choose what works best for you and your needs.

Header photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash.