How to Use a Calendar to Capture, Organize, and Share Knowledge

Knowledge sharing is an important part of how our world functions and how work gets done. As a team leader, whether by an assigned position or natural participation, it’s a key part of your role as you manage projects and enable collaboration among stakeholders. Sometimes knowledge sharing means setting up meetings, sending reports, and matching the “big picture” with smaller goals and immediate projects. Often it’s done through informal learning, when tacit knowledge and aha moments come through in unexpected ways. A versatile, user-friendly system makes it possible to capture and organize these gems of knowledge so they can benefit the whole team. Read on to find out how a calendar can be used for this kind of knowledge-sharing system.

The benefits of knowledge sharing

You know that knowledge sharing is essential, so you make sure it happens. And you’re right to do so.

After all, the average worker spends 20% of the workweek – almost a full day – tracking down the information they need or the people who have it. Another 28% of the workweek goes to managing email, leaving only about half the week to actually do the work needed. Small wonder that people feel overwhelmed and frustrated.

But the benefits of knowledge sharing are worth the effort. Research shows that knowledge sharing is essential for innovation and competitive advantage. It leads to improved problem solving and creativity. It increases engagement and improves job satisfaction and productivity.

What hinders knowledge sharing?

However, despite the importance of knowledge sharing, many organizations struggle to make it happen. In part, that’s because you can’t just “make” knowledge sharing happen, at least not for very long. Knowledge sharing is inherently a voluntary activity. To improve knowledge sharing among your team, don’t think in terms of outcomes, pressure, or top-down directives. Instead, get to know the obstacles that prevent knowledge sharing and figure out how to remove them.

Obstacles to knowledge sharing

  1. Lack of organization: Without context and consistency, it’s difficult to find knowledge once it’s shared.
  2. Pressure: When employees feel threatened or sense a demand, they tend to hoard knowledge rather than share it.
  3. Difficulty: Siloed information and missing tools are common challenges.
  4. Frustration: Ongoing inconvenience and bottlenecks make employees want to give up.
  5. Lack of opportunity: Informal sharing is harder for remote teams, and formal methods don’t provide room for tacit knowledge sharing.

For team leaders, removing these obstacles is a priority if you want to improve knowledge sharing on your team. There are two important areas to consider: the culture and the system.

How team leaders can improve knowledge sharing

Encourage knowledge sharing through culture

Culture is about what’s expected and accepted in how people interact with each other. Dress code, working hours, and company events are obvious elements of the culture. Other elements may not be overtly stated but are just as important:

  • Is curiosity encouraged or discouraged?
  • Are team members competitive or collaborative?
  • Do team members feel safe to ask questions?
  • Is there pressure to check things off rather than do things right?
  • Is there flexibility to adjust timing or try a new approach?
  • Do team members have autonomy in their roles?

You may not have control over the culture of the whole organization. But as a team leader, you guide your team’s culture. When you’re open to new knowledge, encourage creativity, build rapport, recognize effort, reward contribution, and ensure fair processes you’re building a culture that values and enables knowledge sharing. You can also incorporate systems to make knowledge sharing an easy part of your team’s everyday work routines.

Enable knowledge sharing with a system

A system should answer the fundamental questions of knowledge sharing: What should you share? How do you share it? Where does it go? How do you find it again?

A smart, streamlined system needs to have these characteristics:

  1. Organized: Everyone knows where the knowledge is stored and how to find it.
  2. Consistent: Everyone knows how to add their own knowledge to the system. The process is the same no matter what role you have on the team.
  3. Accessible: Everyone on the team has access to the collected knowledge of the whole team. No information gatekeeping or bottlenecks.
  4. User-friendly: Everyone can use the system in the course of their daily work. It’s convenient and suitable for spontaneous sharing.

It’s frustrating to lack the information you need to do your job well. It’s also frustrating to spend time sharing insights with a colleague, only to be asked again for the next project or task. These frustrations grow over time until they become poisonous, discouraging your team from being open and available with what they know.

A thoughtful system is the antidote. There are many tools you can use to build a knowledge-sharing system. We’ll walk you through an example using Teamup.

A knowledge sharing system in action

Knowledge sharing is all about making our accumulated insights and expertise usable, both for ourselves and for others. Here’s an example of a knowledge sharing system in action.

Capture knowledge

The event editor shows fillable event fields including Contact, Where, Link, a Description, a multiple choice Category field, and Attachments .

Team member Juan is working on Project ABC. As he starts his next task, he remembers some visual templates used for a prior project that would be useful. He finds them in his computer files. Before he starts working on the task, he creates a quick entry, assigns it to his own calendar and the project sub-calendar, and links to the template files.

Share knowledge

The next day, a team member admires the visuals that Juan is creating and asks about a few specific elements. Juan tells her about the templates he’s using: “They’re on my calendar. Feel free to use them.”

Locate knowledge

Animated gif showing a calendar in Table view, then showing only one sub-calendar's events, then using the built-in filter to show only events matching the "Template" category.

Juan’s team member, Alexis, is thrilled to have the visual elements she needs. She toggles the sub-calendars to view only Juan’s and quickly finds the entry by using a filter. She also creates her own entry with a few notes about the elements she’s using and adds an event page link for Juan’s original entry.

Export knowledge

A few weeks later, as the team kicks off another project, Alexis wants to reference a few details from the original templates and how she used some of the elements. She’s working with an external contractor who doesn’t have calendar access. So she shares her own entry as an event page and sends the link to the contractor. Since she shared her own entry as an event page, and linked to Juan’s entry as an event page, the contractor is able to view both even though he doesn’t have calendar access. He can see the event details including links and attachments. But he cannot make any changes to either entry.

Reuse knowledge

The next year, Juan receives an award for his design work on Project ABC. He wants to write about his creative process but it’s been months and the details are fuzzy. He navigates back to the project date and reviews all the team entries from around that time. He finds the templates along with his other notes, reads the entries Alexis made, and remembers the whole process. In 20 minutes he’s written a few paragraphs about creative connections and how collaboration fosters better work.

How to use Teamup as a knowledge-sharing system

Organize knowledge in context

Week view of a Team Calendar showing a calendar list on the left sidebar, several meetings scheduled on multiple calendar, and knowledge sharing entries for each team member.

  • Give each team member a dedicated sub-calendar as their own knowledge repository.
  • Use custom fields to tag keywords and categorize so information has context.
  • Filter for specific knowledge on all or selected sub-calendars.
  • Adjust calendar views and date ranges to scan knowledge related to a project or event.

Set up a consistent process

A sample event for knowledge sharing with multiple event fields

  • Keep it simple and streamlined. Customize and scale as needed.
  • Make fields required to ensure that essential details are always included.
  • Tag saved knowledge with the relevant workflow status, project phase, resource, or product.
  • Add links and upload files so everything is in one place no matter where it originates.

Share knowledge securely

A calendar event shared as a webpage shows all the event details, clickable links, and uploaded files.

  • Customize how each team member can interact with the system.
  • Use links, iCal feeds, or event pages to share knowledge outside the team safely.
  • Remove a calendar user when needed without losing any of their calendar data.

Make knowledge sharing easy

Two mobile screens show the Teamup app: 1) The List view shows events from sub-calendars in a list format, 2) Event details show all the information about an event.

  • Get started quickly; everyone knows how to add a calendar event.
  • Add prompts and template events to streamline information capture.
  • Save entries, preview files, and access knowledge anywhere with the Teamup app.

Get started with Teamup so your team has a convenient, secure way to capture, organize, and share knowledge.

WordPress Cookie Plugin by Real Cookie Banner