Time management is essential to running a successful business. However, small and medium-sized businesses and executives lose over 16 hours a week, on average, doing administrative work.
That’s why you need a calendar planner.
But does a calendar planner actually do? And with so many online choices, how do you go about picking one and getting started with it?
In this article, we’ll dive into how to get the most out of your calendar planner, along with what you should look for in calendar planning software.
What is an online calendar planner?
It’s 2023, and you don’t need to rely on sticky notes and spreadsheets anymore to stay productive.
An online calendar planner is a tool that allows you to organize your meetings, to-do tasks, and other activities.
All the information is stored digitally in one place, giving you centralized visibility. As a result, you can see what you have to tackle for the day. You can also track your progress toward your project goals with ease.
You can also use an online calendar planner to schedule meetings with teammates and determine their availability.
All you have to do is hop on your teammate’s calendar to get a look at what their day looks like and book a time with them that suits their schedule and yours.
How an online calendar planner makes you more productive and organized
Implementing an online calendar planner as part of your workplace can do wonders. Here’s how an online calendar planner improves your performance and helps you get more done in less time while staying organized:
It’s accessible from anywhere
All you need to access your online calendar planner is an email address. This means you can access it from just about anywhere and on any device.
No matter how busy your day is, an online calendar planner makes monitoring your schedule easy. You can manage your schedule while you’re having coffee, on the subway to get to work, waiting for your flight at the airport, or at the office.
Accessibility is one of the main reasons online calendar planners are so convenient for remote teams.
It provides a clear view of top-priority tasks
With so many tasks to complete throughout the day, it can be difficult to pin down which ones are the most important. You can categorize tasks in your online calendar planner based on their priority so you get a clear view of the most pressing things to finish from day to day.
A calendar planner also allows you to assign deadlines to specific tasks so you can better plan long-term projects. That way, you can keep track of the progress you’re making toward your team goals without having to dig through a pile of documents or rearrange sticky notes.
Easily reschedule meetings
It’s much easier to reschedule meetings with an online calendar planner than with a written spreadsheet. In just a few clicks, you can ask your teammate which new time best fits their schedule and replace the updated meeting in their calendar.
Compare that to writing everything down on a spreadsheet. If you wanted to reschedule a meeting with one of your coworkers, you’d have to erase everything and start over, which isn’t very practical.
An online calendar planner also prevents you from having to send a bunch of back-and-forth emails to find a new time that best fits the other person’s schedule.
Set up reminders
With an online calendar planner, no one will forget a meeting again. You can set up a reminder notification and send it to everyone on your team before important upcoming events.
Teams can adjust their reminders a week or ten minutes before the scheduled meeting, depending on what they prefer.
What to look for in an online calendar planner tool
Not all online calendar planner tools are created equal. Here’s what to look for in a calendar planning app:
Integration with other tools
You’re likely using other workplace communication tools, such as Gmail, Slack, and Zoom, to stay in touch with your team members. You’ll want an online calendar solution that can integrate all of these tools. That way, all your information will be up-to-date and accurate, which will save you from having to switch from app to app to access information.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence
A little AI can do wonders when it comes to productivity. Be on the lookout for an online calendar planner that uses machine learning to plan the perfect schedule and automate the whole scheduling process for you.
Task delegation features
A skill that team managers must master is task delegation. You want to ensure that other team members are working on what they’re supposed to be working on.
Your online calendar planner should include features that allow you to delegate individual tasks to others and update those tasks automatically on their calendars.
The best online calendar planners will have all these features. They’ll also be intuitive, so you’re able to start realizing all those time-saving benefits right away.
9 best online calendar planners
There are lots of online calendar planner tools to choose from, each of which promises to improve your productivity.
Here’s a list of the best online calendar planners to keep your team organized:
Motion leverages the power of AI to create your team’s work schedule so you spend less time managing your schedule manually and finish your work faster. You can organize your online calendar based on different factors, such as priority, work hours, or task deadlines.
If you’re part of a remote or hybrid team, you can integrate Motion with other calendars you may already have, such as Google Calendar or Outlook. Motion’s task management features allow you to assign tasks to others seamlessly and remove them once your teammates complete them.
Our project management dashboard also helps you track how much your team can accomplish across a specific timeframe and creates a custom schedule for everyone.
Tweek is a minimalist calendar that allows you to schedule your week all in one place. You can highlight important events with colors and emojis to rank their respective priorities. The platform also lets you send reminders to your email for important events.
Tweek offers a calendar planner for teams that are looking for something simple. That said, its list of features is limited compared to other calendar planners.
ClickUp offers reminders, calendars, and other task management features to help your team stay productive and organized. You can visualize your teammates’ schedules all in one place and remove tasks once they're complete. ClickUp also includes a chat feature where you can start conversations with other team members directly.
4. Google Calendar
Google Calendar is a free tool that’s accessible to anyone with a Gmail account. You can use it to manage your calendars, set up reminders for important events, and schedule video conference meetings with Google Meet.
Asana is a workplace management platform that comes with a calendar option to give your team a full view of what they have to work on throughout the week. This tool gives you the option to organize your tasks in different ways, such as Kanban boards or project lists. It also comes with reporting dashboards to give you a clear view of your progress.
Trello is a platform that allows you to plan your week in the form of simple to-do lists. You can structure your tasks based on their statuses, such as “to do,” “in progress,” and “completed.” Trello is helpful when you’re working on small projects, but it’s not ideal for large organizations.
7. Zoho Calendar
Zoho Calendar is an online calendar tool designed to meet businesses’ needs. You can use it to send meeting invites to teammates and schedule reminders before important events.
That said, Zoho Calendar offers very few customization options. Also, it doesn’t integrate well with other calendars you may be already using, such as Outlook or Google Calendar.
8. Microsoft Outlook
Outlook is Microsoft’s own email service that includes an online calendar planner. You can use the platform to get a view of everyone’s schedules in one place and send out invites to teammates. That said, this calendar tool isn’t compatible with Mac users.
Any.do offers businesses their own calendar as part of its service offerings. You can integrate this calendar with other tools, such as Outlook and Google Calendar, in addition to setting up reminders so teammates don’t forget about meetings. However, Any.do does come at a high price compared to some of the other calendar tools on this list.
Best practices for using a calendar planner
In addition to using the right online calendar planners to manage your team members’ schedules, there are actions you can take yourself to keep everyone more organized. Here’s how you can ensure you’ll get the most out of your calendar:
Identify key priorities
Update your online calendar daily with your key priorities for that day. Also, assign clear deadlines for each task so that you have a solid idea of when you want to complete them.
Time-blocking involves blocking off hours in your work schedule to focus on important tasks. It helps ensure you stay focused and minimizes procrastination.
Your entire team will be able to view your time-blocking hours on your shared calendar, and they’ll know not to bother you during those times.
Consider different time zones
No remote employee wants to receive a notification for a meeting scheduled at 3 a.m. their time.
This is why you want to consider your team members’ respective time zones before communicating and scheduling meetings with them. Thankfully, Motion comes with a feature that automatically considers time zones when scheduling meetings.
Use color coding to organize tasks
It’s easy to get lost when you’re delegating tasks to different team members. To keep yourself organized, use color coding based on the theme of the task.
For example, you could assign yellow to any task related to reporting or red for tasks that require research. You can use color coding to assess the respective priorities of your tasks, as well.
A calendar planner helps you do your best work
Trying to stay productive the old-fashioned way with spreadsheets and Post-It notes can easily get messy. Instead, you can use a calendar planner to keep all of your tasks in one place — helping you stay productive, organized, and focused throughout your workday.
While there are many different online calendar planners to choose from, Motion has features that others don’t, including the ability to integrate with other calendar apps and keep track of how much your team members can accomplish over specific time frames.
Interested in getting more work done and keeping your team organized? Try Motion for free today.