In a complex business world, managing teams can be a difficult task. The world is changing, and with that, so is the way we do business. A few decades ago, running a company meant having a stand-alone office with employees sharing the same working space from 9:00-5:00. Organizing and delegating responsibilities within a company was easy, the main project management tools being the GANTT chart and the print paper calendars. Also, communication amongst the members of the same team or among the members of different teams and fulfillment of their tasks were easy to track, because all of them shared the same space.
When “mobility” is the watchword, an online shared calendar app is a great way to keep everyone on the same page.
Nowadays, the situation is completely different. “Mobility” is the watchword. The development of technology has made it possible for employees to work efficiently without always being at their desks. In fact, studies have shown that properly managed telecommuters are more efficient than full-time, in-office workers. Therefore, more and more people work remotely or do their jobs on the road. Besides, globalization has made it possible for many modern businesses not to have a constant address and has allowed people from all over the world to work from their homes.
In these circumstances, more and more companies are embracing project management organization. It’s easier to delegate responsibilities, assign different tasks and track the fulfillment of them. Project management is important. Not just for small and mid-size companies, where all the work is based on a few people who usually wear many hats and have to communicate and develop the workflow, but also for the large companies, where team managers must coordinate a larger number of people and bring them on the same page. Therefore, project management and collaboration skills play a major role in every business, and often the outcomes of projects are highly affected by the initial planning and monitoring stages.
Fortunately, many online project management tools enable companies and team leaders to efficiently manage remote workers and coordinate different team projects; shareable calendars being one of the most important and efficient tools. An online shared calendar app is a great way to keep everyone on the same page. For delegating tasks, scheduling meetings or setting deadlines, calendar apps can help managers to coordinate activities while maximizing efficiency and can be viewed 24/7 from any web-enabled device. Project managers, consultants, salespeople, and other employees can access their team calendar when they are out of the office, visiting clients or tending to other matters.
[bctt tweet=”Do you work efficiently…without being chained to your desk? Run free and stay in touch with your #team by using a shareable #calendar.” username=”toggl plan”]
There are so many reasons why a manager, project manager or team leader and his team should choose to switch from a classic calendar to an integrated and shared calendar. You can find below nine of them:
1. You can access your shared calendar from anywhere and from any device – it doesn’t matter if you have your own laptop with you or not; you can access your online calendar by simply logging in from another laptop, tablet or your smartphone to check your appointments, add or remove tasks and manage your team.
2. You can create more than a calendar – if you run several businesses, projects or have several clients, a shared calendar like Toggl Plan allows you to create a calendar for each one and manage them on an independent basis.
3. You can share calendars with your team – it’s a great and easy way for managing workload, tasks, deadlines and milestones. You can add or remove a member of your team, assign different tasks to them and manage the unassigned tasks. In addition, you can give the correct access right to each user according to his competence, so some people may just open the calendar and the assigned tasks in order to see the specific information, while other team members can edit and add tasks. Not only can your employees view their own schedules, but they can also get an overview of their colleagues’ calendars. Also, you can receive notifications when a task is assigned or when somebody edits a task.
4. You can have short and long-term vision – Planning a month at a time is standard when it comes to mapping out a calendar. But there are many times when you need to zoom in and focus on a day or a week, and other times when you need to zoom out and consider the larger picture. Toggl Plan, for example, enables you to have five different calendar views – daily agendas, weekly, monthly, every 3 months and a timeline for you and for your team members. So, you can see your team member’s workload on a daily basis and also, you can switch between these view options so that you can have an overview of the entire project.
5. You can set appointments with RSVP’s – when you invite multiple people to a meeting, some online calendar apps allow you to ask for a response to ensure all parties can attend.
6. Set recurring meetings or appointments – set the time and date once and then simply choose when you want it to recur.
7. You can integrate it with other online shareable calendars and project management tools – Since many people use different cloud project management tools and online shareable calendars, the option for integration among them is a very important feature. Toggl Plan online shareable calendar allows integration with Basecamp, GitHub, Trello, Slack and other external calendars like iCal and Outlook. The integration may vary depending on specific features and the functionality of each application.
8. Putting all of your team members on the same calendar, you avoid surprises – with all of your scheduling in one place, it’s easy to spot conflicts ahead of time and plan accordingly. It can be super stressful when all hands are on deck for a certain project and suddenly, you find out that one of your team members decide it’s the perfect time to take a long vacation or they suddenly have other priorities. Having a clear foresight really matters when it comes to ensure projects ship on time.
9. Intelligence – Most online calendars not only provide a faster and safer way to organize and manage the team members and to schedule jobs, but they also help you be more efficient by automatically routing the time/distance between locations, predicting the amount of time it will take for a team to finish a job or a project, and so on.
Using an online shareable calendar is a great and convenient way to keep you and your team as organized and efficient as possible. And by having multiple ways to view the online calendars – through mobile devices, tablets, smartwatches or computers – makes them very accessible. With many free and reputable online calendar apps available, it cuts your cost down and brings your accessibility up. There is no longer the need to buy expensive software that will only keep your calendar on one computer. Having an easy-to-use online shareable app helps you and your team members remain organized and informed with minimal effort required.
Andrei is a Growth Hacker on Teamweek's marketing team. He is the person behind most of Teamweek's SEO-driven projects, including the budget calculator and the worst productivity tips generator. He enjoys writing about project management, graphic design, and anything tech.