When we help move organisation’s IT systems to G Suite (Google Apps for Work), we often hear that people are excited to have perfectly working email or be able to collaborate together in real time using Docs. When planning a company’s move Google Calendar is seldom discussed as a tool that will transform the way that a team works – but the reality is often that it’s the surprise package.
First of all, shared calendars are an invaluable resource when working in a team and one of the most helpful capabilities of Google Calendar. An ability to see the individual schedules of your team members allows you to plan much more efficiently by seeing when everyone is available without having to organise things via email or phone calls. Creating dedicated calendars for holidays or specific projects can also prove useful when multiple people are involved. Calendar ‘resources’ are a less widely known feature that allows you to create bookable slots for things such as meeting rooms. Furthermore, you can also allow others to manage your calendar allowing other team members to help organise your schedule.
Another great feature of Google Calendar is the ability to add calendars from outwith your organisation. When clicking the drop down menu of “Other Calendars” there is an option to browse “Interesting Calendars”. Here you will find a vast array of calendars from holidays in different countries to different sports calendars. This functionality can be particularly useful when working internationally – a quick check of the holiday’s calendar will ensure that you don’t suggest a meeting time on an important holiday. On a more simple level, being able to add calendars from other organisations can smooth out inter-company scheduling in a way that wouldn’t have been possible before.
Google Calendars also allows you to share calendars publicly including the ability to embed in a website. This could be useful for a sports club for example who wish to display a fixtures calendar on their website. However, be assured that all calendars are set by default to private, so you’ll never disclose any private data in the public domain unless you choose to.
Calendar can often be the most overlooked tool in G Suite but our experience shows that it can be a valuable asset in any organisation due to its ability to coordinate work within a team and improve efficiency and collaboration. Also, some of the more niche features let you tailor calendar to fit the specific needs of your team or organisation (eg. resource calendars and public sharing). Once you add in the value of the flawless syncing to mobile devices this surprise package may not be such a secret for long.
If you’d like any more information about Google Apps for Work or how Cobry could help your organisation please get in touch.