26 April 2013

Shared Calendars Make Work Run Smoothly

Calendar Resource calendar iconWhen all members of a team or workgroup share each others Outlook calendars everyone will benefit and work will be more efficient.

 Personal Outlook calendars can be shared and viewed with the Outlook add-on Calendar Browser.

When are people free?
The obvious advantage of using shared calendars is that you can easily see what everyone is doing. With shared calendars managers will get a better idea of what employees are planning and when they are available, so that they can arrange events and tasks accordingly.

Shared calendars work in the same way for the team members, of course ‒ they can see when the managers are available. All members of the staff can also more easily determine when most people are free for a group meeting.

Calendar Browser logoAdd shared calendars to Calendar Browser
Calendar Browser was first created for resource booking in Outlook, but I soon saw the need for sharing not only resources but also personal calendars. Now personal Outlook calendars can be added to Calendar Browser via the settings, either by browsing to it or by writing the name of the shared calendar.

As the calendars can be grouped organizations can use Calendar Browser for many different work teams. Each employee will add only the needed calendar groups to his or her Outlook calendar view.
Calendar Browser in Outlook
Overview of all calendars
The Calendar Browser Overview displays all the shared calendars, and by using the different views and the search feature you can easily find the calendar or appointment you are looking for.

If you want to change something while you are looking at the Overview, you don't have to go back to the Outlook calendar. Changes and new appointments can be made directly in the Calendar Browser Overview.
Calendar Browser Overview
Booking gives additional value
As I mentioned, the Calendar Browser application was first meant for booking shared corporate resources, and if you decide to use Calendar Browser to share calendars you may of course use it for booking too. Once again the possibility to group calendars will come handy. You don't have to mix personal calendars and resource calendars!

Please have a look at Calendar Browser if you are thinking about sharing Outlook calendars within your organization. Even if the documentation is mostly focused on resource booking, I am sure you will understand the benefit of using Calendar Browser to show and work with shared Outlook calendars.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

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