If it seems like life is pulling you in all directions and you never have a free moment to breathe, then you are not alone. Busy lives seem to be commonplace these days. When keeping track of everything going on in your life starts to feel like a full-time job, it may be time to take a look at a group calendar.
Group calendars can take some of the work off your shoulders while giving you more information to help you schedule your life. If you are unfamiliar with this type of calendar, then now is the time to learn about it and find out how it can simplify things for you.
What Is a Group?
Before getting into what a group calendar is and how it works, you need to define what a group is. At its most basic, a group is three or more people. For application in a calendar, a group is multiple people who all have something in common and need to know each other’s schedules. Your group could include the people who live in your household, your best friends, your coworkers, parents of children on your child’s sports team or people you volunteer with.
How Does a Group Calendar Work?
A group calendar allows you and the other members of your group to add events and personal availability to the same calendar that every group member can see. The calendar becomes property of the group. Each person only shares the information they want to with the group in the calendar.
You may hear about a shared calendar, which is similar but also quite different from a group calendar. A shared calendar belongs to one person who chooses to let other people view it. For example, you have a personal calendar where you keep track of all your different commitments. You want your family to know what you are doing, so you share your calendar with each of them. They can then access and look at your calendar to see what you are doing each day.
In a shared calendar, the other people cannot change things or make additions to it like they can in a group calendar. Only you have control over it whereas in a group calendar, everyone has equal control.
Sometimes you can create a group calendar by putting together each group members individual calendars. This would allow everyone in the group to see everyone else’s schedules, but only gives them the ability to change their own events on the calendar. However, doing this may also bring in extra details of people’s schedules that everyone does not need to know about.
For example, next Monday, you have a doctor’s appointment. You don’t really want everyone to know you are going to the doctor’s office. If you share your calendar to the group calendar and have that appointment marked on your calendar, then it will show up on the group calendar as a doctor’s appointment.
To avoid this, instead of sharing your calendar to the group calendar, you can input your availability each day on the group calendar. So, on Monday, you would mark yourself as being busy for the time of your doctor’s appointment. The other group members would know you are busy, but they would not know what you are doing.
When implementing a group calendar, you need to make sure that you decide on the needs of the group. Identify the main reason for the calendar first. You also need to decide how much detail you need from each person.
For example, a group calendar for your family may need to have a lot of details about everyone’s schedule so that you can coordinate transportation, plan meals, set appointments and know where everyone is at any given time. However, if it is a calendar for work, you may only need to know when each member is busy or free so that you can schedule meetings and plan work assignments.
Finally, you need to pick the right calendar program. There are many options from which to choose, but you should choose one that will work for everyone. Typically, what will happen is every group member will have his or her own favorite calendar. They already have their schedules in their calendar. Your best option is to choose a calendar program that will let everyone import from their existing calendar and sync to the group calendar. This allows everyone to continue using whatever program they like the best.
Reasons To Use a Group Calendar
It is probably clear that using a group calendar has many benefits. If you use one for your family, you can finally stay on top of who is going where and when. It can really make those evening shuffles a lot more coordinated. Not to mention how it will simplify making appointments or setting dates for other family events.
Beyond your family, it can be so helpful for scheduling for an organization, such as your volunteer club. You can see when everyone is free to schedule outings and events. You can put group events on there to let everyone know to save the date.
For work, a group calendar can save time, increase efficiency and make everyone better at their jobs. You can use it to schedule meetings, set up assignments, make announcements and track work hours. It can enable you to see everyone’s workload, check out who will be out of the office each day and manage deadlines. It is also ideal if you work in a position where you are out of the office often or where you work remotely because you can access the calendar anywhere at any time to stay on top of things.
In all these situations, you can use the group calendar to avoid having to call, text or email everyone in the group to get schedule information and updates. It allows everyone to respond when they can, so you are not wasting time waiting around. You can better plan out your own schedule by using the group calendar to see what is going on each day. It streamlines your life into one place where you can see what is going on and what will be going on.
Find the Right Calendar
If you are not sure which calendar program you want to use, then consider Woven Calendar. This collaborative calendar is ideal for use as a group calendar. Plus, it has a laundry list of powerful features, such as templates and scheduling links, that allow you to make your group calendar even more beneficial.