Schedule Solutions

by crystal wilson

There are so many ways these days to keep track of your schedule – smartphones all have calendar functions, Outlook can manage our time when we are in front of our computers and of course, there is the pen and paper (gasp!) day timer. All of these things are great options for personal scheduling, but what about when you want to make plans that involve others? What is the easiest way to go about that?

FLOW has a team of five women working together. Some of us have other jobs, some of us have kids, and we all have husbands and hobbies. All of these things make scheduling time with one another a bit difficult.

Because of the way we run our business and the way we choose to interact with clients, we often need two team members at client meetings, and we do see the benefits of joining together as a team to meet every so often as well.

With all of us juggling so many things, scheduling a time that suits everyone can be a nightmare. We spent the first half of 2013 trying to set up meetings via email. This resulted in email chains so long that it was quite difficult to keep track of who had said they were available when in the first place. It was horribly inefficient, and ineffective. We are a small startup company, so investing in software that would handle this sort of schedule management and maintenance was not a feasible option.

But clearly we had to come up with a better solution than what we had that didn’t cost us anything.

Enter Google. These days they have the answer to just about every problem, don’t they?

The Calendar function that Google has come up with was a perfect fit for us, as far as money (zero dollars!) and ease of use (so easy!).
We as a team share one Google account, and we are all able to interact with the calendar from there. Each team member has their own calendar (colour coded to match our individual business cards of course) and each of those calendars feeds through to one catchall team calendar. There is also a “task” function so that we can keep track of what has been completed and what is coming up in that regard. The calendar will sync with many scheduling apps as well, so your calendar can be available while you are out and about.
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By using this Google Calendar system, I can see when another team member is available to meet with a shared client, and I can keep track of my personal deadlines as well.

We have found this to be a quick and easy solution to our scheduling difficulties, and at no cost to use, it’s just perfect for us.

Have you used Google Calendar for your business?

Pros?

Cons?

Let us know!