This past Sunday, I went to my niece’s birthday. Her brother stole a toy that she was playing with at one point. I instinctively blurted out, “sharing is caring.” Since he’s just a little guy, he gave me a perplexed look before replying, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Apparently, that phrase was trademarked by the Salvation in 1950. And, for good reason. Sharing, after all, builds trust, invokes gratitude, and increases feelings of well-being due to the release of oxycontin.
But, when you think of sharing, what springs to mind? Is it letting someone try the meal you ordered? Donating to your favorite cause? Or your Disney Plus password with friends and family?
While all every day sharing experiences we probably experience daily, have you ever share your Calendar?
The Benefits of Sharing Your Availability on Calendar
Stop if you’ve been here bere.
You open your inbox, and there’s a message from someone requesting yours. Whether it’s a co-worker, client, or friend from college, their famous last words in the message are, “Let me know your availability.”
What follows next is a series of unfortunate events.
You reply, “Hey, Wednesday at 2 pm works for me!” Unforentatley, they respond with, “Sorry. I’m not free at that time. What about next Monday at 10 am?”
The next thing you know, you have an obviously long email thread because you’ve been going back and forth. But, ultimately, you’ve spent days trying to pinpoint a day and time for a brief 15-minute video call. Heck, 40% of workers spend up to 30 minutes just looking for collaborative space.
Or, even worse? You book an appointment only to be horrified that you’re actually unavailable. It’s one of the more embarrassing moments asking someone to reschedule a meeting after you’ve already agreed to it.
As you’ve guessed, there’s a straightforward solution here. And that’s by sharing your Calendar.
Besides keeping your inbox in check, sharing your availability on Calendar will;
- Improve communication and efficiency by making planning a snap.
- Eliminating the back and forth protects everyone’s valuable time. And it lets everyone focus on their priorities instead of planning.
- If you have a team calendar, you can view everyone’s availability to balance out assignments.
- A shared calendar can keep both your personal and professional lives organized and conflict-free.
How Do You Share Your Availability on Calendar?
With most digital calendars or appssharing your availability is about as painless as it gets.
Calendar searches your connected calendars to find all available times to schedule a meeting. You can customize the options by removing or adding meeting times and choosing the meeting length. Additionally, you can enter a physical address, a phone number, or a Zoom link to indicate a meeting location.
Your availability can be emailed to meeting attendees once you have set your preferences. Calendar notifies meeting attendees and puts the meeting on your Calendar as soon as they click on a time.
With these smart, customizable scheduling links, people can schedule meetings with you in seconds and avoid double bookings.
No. Dr. Strange isn’t using his magical powers here like in the MCU. Rather, Calendar uses machine learning instead of human judgment to suggest how your next meeting should be scheduled.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Calendar also leverages machine learning to make adding new events easy. How? By making smart suggestions on when and where a meeting should take place and who to invite. It also adjusts time zones for you, meaning it handles your availability instead of you having to figure it out when traveling or scheduling meetings.
Lastly, Calendar can integrate with your Apple, Google, and Office 365 calendars so you can view your life in real-time.
When Should You Use Calendar Links?
This question should be when you shouldn’t use calendar links? After all, sharing your availability can come in handy for the following situations;
- Team schedules
- Sales meetings
- Networking opportunities
- Follow-up meetings
- Brainstorming sessions
- Sprint reviews
- Introductory calls
- Coordinating your family’s schedule
What’s more, you may want to drop your calendar link on your website. The reason? Visitors can see your availability without asking for it.
Of course, this isn’t an option for everyone. However, this might be beneficial for those in industries where appointments are a necessity, like doctors or hairstylists.
The Do’s and Don’t of Sharing Your Availability on Calendar
Ready to share your availability on Calendar? Here are some pointers to keep in mind before you start sharing your Calendar willy-nilly.
Choose a calendar that is compatible with multiple platforms.
Sometimes, tech doesn’t like to play nice with each other. Yes. It’s possible to toggle between Apple, Google, or Microsoft; that can get messy. You want to make sure that the Calendar can be accessed across multiple platforms. Now, you do not have to worry about synching and sharing issues.
Don’t share too much information.
“Certainly, privacy could be an issue for successful calendar sharing,” writes Kayla Sloan in an article for Calendar. “But many people merge work and personal calendars without issue.”
Most online Calendars “have settings that let you make some entries private and others shared.” Unfortunately, doing so prevents others from seeing sensitive data they are not supposed to see.
“However, not all calendars have the same capabilities,” adds Sloan. “Therefore, you can permit everyone to see personal appointments, make vague entries, or not put them on work calendars.”
Use customization to your advantage.
Regardless of which calendar tool you use, you can customize it to a certain extent. Therefore, you can customize it for your specific requirements. The view of a Google Calendar can be changed between week, month, and agenda, for example. As well as changing the colors and title, you can choose which items appear on the screen.
One of the most problematic aspects of Calendar invites is the subject lines. So. be sure to have a clear subject line for each invite.
Be careful who you share your Calendar with.
There’s no reason for everyone to access your calendar unless you wish to do so. Here’s how you can share your Calendar if you choose to. You’ll usually want to share your Calendar with certain people, like your spouse or someone you’re meeting with.
Furthermore, only certain people should have access to the Calendar. There is nothing worse than an overcrowded kitchen. It would be best to have just one person in charge of the Calendar if possible.
Add times to the email.
Regardless of the email client you use, allow your invitees to choose a meeting time right from an email. As a preview, your invitee will see the first three-time slots available for each day you selected as buttons. Of course, if those times aren’t convenient, they can always find another time using the included Calendar link.
Keep your Calendar updated regularly.
There will be times when your schedule must change, no matter how organized or prepared you are. For example, you may need to rearrange a meeting in some cases due to an emergency dentist visit. However, the other participants will still arrive at the original meeting time if you didn’t update your Calendar.
You can avoid potential conflicts with the help of Calendar, for instance, which automatically reschedules canceled meetings.
Avoid making last-minute changes.
What would you think if your day went according to the plan and then you were notified that a meeting had been moved up an hour or canceled? Then, the Hulk-like rage you experience in your tightly fit life is entirely understandable.
You should be respectful of others and avoid last-minute schedule changes. Ideally, this would be as quickly as possible.
Because we work with people worldwide, enabling time zones makes sense. In addition, due to the Calendar’s ability to detect time zone differences, you will no longer have to worry about scheduling events at the wrong time.
Don’t over-or-under-detail events.
You need to find the right balance regarding how many details you provide in a shared calendar for an upcoming event. However, it is usually sufficient to tell them the date, time, location, and who is attending the meeting at the very least.
A simple way to avoid too many details you can send attachments like the meeting agenda and location so that they can get directions on their phone.
Likewise, you don’t want to be too vague. Do not simply block out the afternoon for “meetings.” More information is required so that everyone is prepared.
Set your availability and your inaccessibility.
Calendars are set to display the whole day by default. Even so, you’re not available 24 hours a day, especially in the morning and evening. It is possible to hide these blocks of time in online calendars, so clutter is avoided – and no one will try to book an event during these blocks of time. Also, this protects your time and prevents conflicts.
Don’t automatically add invitations.
In the past, spam has invaded Google Calendars. To prevent this, you can stop Google Calendar from automatically adding invitations you received. To learn how to do this, you can take a look at The Verge’s tutorial.
Besides avoiding spam, this also averts confusion and clutter. For example, it would be almost impossible to remain organized when items are added to your Calendar without your knowledge or permission.
A buffer is simply a gap between two events. Say, for instance, a meeting ends at 3:00 pm, then the next meeting would not be scheduled at the same time. As an alternative, you would take a break of about 30 minutes between each event so that everyone can grab a snack, use the restroom, and recharge before the next event.
More importantly, this prevents the possibility of anyone running late to the event.
Integrate events from other apps.
Additionally, synchronize your shared Calendar with Facebook, Eventbrite, Evernote, Slack, or even your project management software if there are events scheduled there. These tools typically integrate with leading online calendar services. By doing so, you can access all relevant dates in one place and not on different platforms.
Image Credit: Mart Production; Pexels; Thank you!
The post Share Your Availability on Calendar for All Occasions appeared first on Calendar.