Calendar planner

Use an online calendar planner to schedule appointments

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Find out everything you need to know about the benefits of online calendar planners and how to best use their features in this quick guide.

We can’t control time and we don’t have superpowers, so we can’t time travel. Nor can we (literally) make up for lost time. Once the time is up, we can never get it back.

But all is not gloomy. We can make sure that we make the most of our time each day so that we don’t have that familiar feeling of time having passed with no idea what we’ve done with it.

To do this effectively, you need an online calendar planner.

5 benefits of using an online calendar planner

Using an online calendar planner can help you improve collaboration, communication, and data entry while increasing productivity and helping you stay on track.

1. Increase collaboration and visibility

If you’re running multiple projects, scheduling multiple meetings, or leading a large team, you need to see what each team member and project manager is doing.

This allows you to avoid any scheduling conflicts and schedule appointments only when people are free.

If team members are working on multiple projects, you should work with other project managers to schedule work when they are available.

To do that, you need an online calendar app so you can see their schedule and make sure you’re working with the most up-to-date data. This is crucial now that more companies are working remotely, making it harder to easily track what everyone is working on and when.

2. Better version control

If you’re emailing spreadsheets rather than working with an online calendar, it’s hard to keep up with the latest version. You need a centralized location where all updates are reflected immediately. Otherwise, you will constantly be faced with a planning nightmare.

You need to spend more time scheduling appointments and then rescheduling them when you have access to the correct data. This is a disaster for customer service.

You may also end up maxing out your budget because the team member has been assigned to another task and is unavailable. You’re wasting time entering data while introducing more opportunity for error because you’re constantly updating the master copy yourself with the latest data.

3. Improve agility and productivity

Schedules can change in the blink of an eye. An interactive online calendar helps you stay on top of these. You can quickly log in and update the calendar to make sure you can adapt to the new situation. You have all the information you need to check if the new requirements are feasible and to accurately project the time, effort and money needed for any changes.

4. Keep employees informed

If you don’t have a central place where employees can quickly check the tasks they need to work on, it’s more likely that they won’t be able to keep track of their work or miss a key piece of the project.

If you use an online planner, you make their life much easier and help them allocate the time needed for each part of the project. You can also reduce project delays and lessen the need for overtime.

5. More predictable planning

Knowing how long it takes to complete common tasks means you can better plan those tasks and appointments.

By using an online planner, you can track time spent on each task and by project. If some employees are spending significantly more time on specific appointments or tasks than other team members, you can investigate, find out why, and work to fix the problem. This will help speed up future projects and allocate the right time for each task.

You can use a free calendar maker and calendar software like TimeCamp to record time spent on tasks or project planning. The tool automatically logs the URLs and apps you’ve visited and provides a detailed report so you can review how long jobs took and what needs to be adjusted.

TimeCamp time tracking reports dashboard.

TimeCamp’s reports will help you break down how you spent your time. Image source: author

How to Use an Online Calendar Planner to Plan Time

We’ve created a step-by-step guide to using an online calendar planner to easily schedule time and appointments.

1. Check available resources

With a virtual calendar you can check who is available and when. You can also see who is the best person to assign to tasks and appointments by looking at their skills and the team they work for.

If you see that some members of your team have a lot of tasks to complete soon, think about the other team members. They can prioritize tasks better and complete the job within the given time.

You can also request additional resources if you find that no one with the required skills is available when you need them.

2. Assign tasks to employees

Once you have determined who is best suited to take on the work, you need to assign the appointment or task to them in the calendar. This will let other managers know that the employee is working on your job and block their availability.

You can also leave notes to make sure your employee has all the information they need to complete the task or best manage the appointment. Podio project management and scheduling software lets you quickly and easily assign work to team members, adding comments and related tasks, while keeping track of activity on the task.

Podio's task assignment feature.

Podio lets you assign tasks to team members. Image source: author

3. Set deadlines

Using previous information on how long it will take to complete tasks or estimates from employees familiar with the job at hand, you now need to set a realistic deadline. Consider what other tasks employees have on their plate and what tasks they need to prioritize.

Make sure that the work deadline you set matches the project schedule and doesn’t have a negative ripple effect on tasks that can’t be started until that work is complete.

4. Update the calendar

Once you’ve assigned a task and set a deadline, you need to make sure your online calendar planner is up to date with all the work details so you don’t end up double booking someone. This includes:

  • Update of the overall project schedule
  • Enabling time tracking options
  • Inform other team members involved in the project

Appointment scheduling software can help

You might be tempted to use a free solution like the Google Calendar planning tool as your online agenda, but it lacks the key features you need to make sure you’re using time wisely.

Appointment scheduling software can help, as it includes additional features for tracking time, analyzing how you spend time, and collaborating with co-workers. Read our reviews of the best appointment scheduling software on the market, so you can make an informed choice.