When you create a calendar for your group or organizational needs, there’s a lot to think about it in every scenario. You may be overseeing operations for your own business. Perhaps you’re a project manager accountable for the success of complex projects. Or you may be an agency owner, working with many contractors and serving many clients. Whether you’re a team lead, a department head, an office administrator, a scheduler, a crew chief, or an entrepreneur, your goal is to the same: to build a solution that helps your organization succeed.
There are many ways to structure a Teamup calendar and lots of configuration options. The optimal set up is unique to your situation and depends on what you want to achieve with Teamup.
Create an optimal calendar structure
Imagine your organization two or three months in the future. If you implement a perfect solution for this problem or need today, what results will you be seeing then? If you were to reverse engineer these results, what is being organized, documented, color-coded, or shared? Thinking about ideal results and working backwards from there can help you identify the structure needed to create the best case results for your organization.
What sub-calendars represent
One of the first tasks as you create a calendar is to add sub-calendars. Sub-calendars can represent different things: people, resources, projects, areas, locations, event types, and so on. Think about what makes most sense for the way this calendar will be used. Clarify the purpose of the calendar so you can identify the “main thing” that needs to be organized.
- People: crew members assigned to construction jobs, field technicians dispatched individually to client sites, team members sharing travel plans and availability.
- Resources: computer carts and devices shared by teachers and students, specialized equipment used by researchers, vehicles used by volunteers.
- Spaces: conference rooms booked by sales reps, recording studios reserved by musicians, meeting halls used by community members.
- Shifts or appointments: staff members scheduled to shifts, volunteers signing up for open slots, clients booking appointments or sessions.
- Content: content planned by type or campaign, stories being assigned to editorial staff and freelancers, tracking performance of individual content pieces.
- Locations: smaller areas organized in regional folders, events happening in global communities, business operations organized by regional coverage.
- Themes or topics: tracks that participants can choose for a conference, topical coverage of sessions or meetings, events or information categorized by topic.
- Phases: phases of a production line, sprints for a development team, timelines and milestones for managing a project.
- Groups: target customer groups for marketing materials, prospects at different levels of the sales cycle, students with different areas of study.
Organize for needed results
Before you jump into creating sub-calendars, think about the results that happen with that specific type of organization. Here are a few examples:
- The result of organizing by people: Each person has all the information needed to do their job and can easily share updates with others. Details of jobs to be done and documentation of work completed are all in one place. Office staff are more efficient because they don’t have to relay information manually or chase down details.
- The result of organizing by resource or space: Each resource or room has its own assigned calendar, so everyone can see availability and make reservations or adjust their plans. No need to call in and check, or make a booking that will have to be adjusted later.
- The result of organizing by phases: Team leads and project managers can see an overview of the whole process and zoom into each phase to identify potential obstacles to staying on track. Team members can update task status and share progress visibly with each other.
Once you’ve nailed down how to assign sub-calendars, use folders to organize them in a familiar way. What are the big categories? Organize staff members in Departmental folders, for example. Put bookable resources in folders for different resource types (computer carts, audio/visual), or in folders for where those resources are located (library, conference room, etc.).
Tip: Name calendars and folders in a way that makes sense for the most calendar users. For example, don’t use internal acronyms for a public-facing calendar, or departmental nicknames for a company-wide calendar.
For each sub-calendar, you can decide whether to allow overlapping events or not. By disallowing overlapping events, you can prevent double-booking. This is particularly important if you’ve assigned resources or people to individual sub-calendars.
Customize sub-calendar access
You’ll also configure user access for your team members at the sub-calendar level. There are two important parts:
- You choose which sub-calendars each person has access to. You don’t have to include all sub-calendars in anyone’s access. So if someone only needs to see 5 sub-calendars out of 20, you can give that person access to only those 5 sub-calendars. Or if
- You choose what permission level to assign for each sub-calendar. When you give someone access to a sub-calendar, you’ll grant one of the nine permission levels for that particular sub-calendar.
This customizable user access gives you granular control over what people can see and what people can do on the calendar.
Set defaults for organizational goals
As a calendar administrator, you can control the default settings for various parts of the calendar. For example, you’ll choose the default calendar view, the start date, calendar resolution, and other options.
Think of default settings as an automated way to help everyone stay focused on the organizational goal you have for the calendar. How can you customize defaults to make it seamless for that original need to be met? If the calendar’s primarily used for managing the day-to-day schedules of a field crew, then multi-day or week view will show a time frame that makes sense. Make it the default view so when users access the calendar, they’re already seeing events in the most logical and helpful view.
Here are some options to review and optimize:
- Calendar views: Set the best default calendar view and hide calendar views that are not relevant (e.g., you may not need both List and Agenda views, so you can keep only one visible), and set the defaults for customizable calendar views.
- Calendar resolution: Set the calendar resolution and the default event duration for the most common type of events added which will help minimize keystrokes and allow users to be more efficient.
- Dates: Set the start date and date range appropriately for how the calendar will most often be used. You can also choose to hide weekends if only weekdays are relevant.
- Event fields: Are they in the most logical order for how the calendar will be used? You can rename and rearrange the built-in event fields, and disable any that won’t be used to reduce visual clutter.
Provide guidelines and reminders
When you introduce a new tool or system, don’t assume that people will know how to use it in the way you expect. Be proactive and provide clear instructions for all employees. You could even create an intro document or record a video for onboarding.
In the left sidebar of the calendar, there’s an About box which can be edited with your own text. You can add guidelines, reminders, contact information, links, and more. Keep it simple and focused; the idea isn’t to provide every potential link or detail here. Instead, list the most important reminders and the most commonly used links or other pieces of information.
Review and adjust as you go
Managing a calendar for an organization is a process of continual learning.
As you learn more about Teamup, you’ll find new possibilities and features to incorporate. You can learn from what other Teamup users are finding helpful. And you’ll get feedback and find out what’s working and what could be improved. Over time, you can make small tweaks that add up to big improvements. Think of your Teamup calendar as a living tool, one that can be honed through use to make work more satisfying and help support organizational success.