- by Scott Nagy
- February 2016
Picture a world void of calendars.
Chaos rules the day, though which day is anyone’s guess. Society’s ability to conduct timekeeping, track days and record significant events becomes exceedingly difficult, if not impossible. On an individual level, managing one’s personal schedule based solely upon solar and lunar phases presents numerous challenges.
Much like the near-worldwide adoption of the Gregorian calendar achieved societal organization, implementation of a basic SharePoint calendar can work wonders for your team, department and company. Multiple employees have varying schedules and tasks they bring to the table, yet the right team calendar in SharePoint can ensure everyone stays on the same page, streamlining workflows in the process.
It’s all about removing inefficiencies from the equation. A team calendar enables each user to view multiple calenders simultaneously, accessing all relevant scheduling information from a single source. Therefore, you can book meetings with the confidence of already knowing the availability of team members and conference rooms.
A basic SharePoint calendar offers an array of workflow-enhancing advantages including:
- Transparency: Create a master schedule with information viewable and shareable by each necessary constituent.
- Customizable Organization: Highlight company-wide, departmental and team events on a corresponding calendar.
- Time Management: Streamline workflow processes by tracking project milestones and deadlines.
- Simplify your analytic analysis through improved synchronization with Excel.
Even though the Gregorian calendar took centuries to materialize, your optimized team calendar can be accomplished in mere days. Here are seven strategies for creating a better basic SharePoint calendar:
1. Sync Your SharePoint Calendar With Outlook
Provided you utilize Microsoft Outlook for your email service, there’s a natural interconnectivity at your disposal. SharePoint calendars – also a Microsoft product – boast the capability to link with Outlook and other Office applications. By opening your calendar view in SharePoint and selecting the “Connect to Outlook” option, you establish an arrangement whereby data can be easily exported between your team calendar and Outlook. You can then upload a SharePoint schedule to your personal Outlook account, or add events to your SharePoint calendar by sending an email via Outlook.
2. Tailor Your SharePoint Calendar to Your Specific Needs
The team calendar for SharePoint 2013 offers impressive functionality. Yet like vanilla ice cream without sundae toppings, it tends to feel incomplete without adequate customization. Consider seeking a technology solutions partner to assist with maximizing the utility your SharePoint team calendar affords your business. Not only should your SharePoint calendar bolster your team’s efficiency by streamlining your workflow processes, but it should also support the specific way you do work.
3. Offer SharePoint Calendar Training for Your Employees
In many respects, a team calendar in SharePoint is intuitive and user-friendly. Still, you risk underutilization or abandonment altogether by team members if they can’t grasp the functions and value of your basic SharePoint calendar. Even seemingly simple SharePoint features shouldn’t be assigned to users without proper planning and instruction. Offering a one-hour training session for all new users can chart a course for longterm success with your SharePoint team calendar. You invested in the SharePoint platform – shouldn’t you strive to maximize your ROI?
4. Merge Multiple SharePoint Calendars Under One View
Even when your needs call for juggling various schedules and projects, an effective team calendar in SharePoint can cut through the complexity. Like a house full of children, there may be chaos but you can at least keep it all under one roof. With SharePoint’s Calendars Overlay feature, users can observe data from multiple lists in one easy-to-read calendar view. Your master calendar can overlay up to 10 calendars, creating an ideal tool for teams engaged in shared project-based activities to monitor each member’s contributions.
5. Set Up Alerts for Your SharePoint Calender
With an effective team calendar in SharePoint, optimal transparency comes standard. Should you need to know when other members of your team are changing items within your shared lists, you can set up an alert notification system with ease. SharePoint affords users the ability to determine who receives alerts, the delivery method (email or text), the type of change that warrants an alert and the frequency with which alerts should be sent.
6. Color Code SharePoint Calendar Events
Readability is of essence with your basic SharePoint calendar. Thankfully, SharePoint’s built-in calendar overlays require only a small amount of upfront configuration in order to avoid a scenario where all events are displayed in the same color. Multiple colors are simply easier on the eyes. When you achieve color-coded event categories, you enhance each user’s ability to identify and prioritize information, thereby bolstering user efficiency.
7. Make Your SharePoint Calendar All-Encompassing
Ultimately, your SharePoint team calendar will better serve your organization when it streamlines your overall workflow effectively – everything from business processes to project-based activities to company events. Your calendar should function at every level of your organization, from the top down. A basic SharePoint calendar that’s truly all-encompassing succeeds at keeping everyone within your company in the loop and encourages a more collaborative working environment. You eliminate inefficiencies, driving real, bottom-line value for your business.