All posts by Hunter Meine

Calendar Analytics Tell How You Use Your Time

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Calendar Analytics Tell How You Use Your Time

How are you using your time at work? How are you using your time at home? If you don’t measure these analytics on yourself — you really don’t know! Did you make your to-do list for today? Is a to-do list the way you measure your success — a checked-off list? But what if you really took ten times longer to do — or accomplish that to-do list than you really wanted to take? You won’t know the answers to these questions in your life and work unless you use Calendar Analytics to tell you the truth about yourself.

Calendar Analytics Tell How You Use Your Time

Did you know that businesses waste an estimated $37 billion on ineffective meetings annually? Yes, that’s billions, not millions, of dollars lost simply due to inefficiency. You can keep yourself and your business out of the equation by using Calendar to master your time management.

Every time you use your Calendar to plan meetings, track hours, or organize your day, it’s working behind the scenes to make time management easier for you. The secret is Calendar Analytics, part of your dashboard that calculates how you’re using your time. With this insight, you can better tell how your time should be spent to be more productive and efficient:

Meeting Distribution

Start by looking at the distribution of your meetings. When you plan a meeting in your Calendar, it gets archived into an analytics bank. With enough data, you will be able to see where you’re spending the most time and will be able to make adjustments accordingly.

For example, you might look at your time analytics and see that half of your meetings are set up with your sales team. You might not have noticed the attention you’ve been giving one department over the others and can take the steps necessary to plan more meetings with your other teams.

Your Calendar will also keep track of meeting size as well as the rate at which invitees accept or reject your meeting invitations. These numbers will help you organize more effective meetings and save time doing so.

Location Recommendations

You can waste up to 30 minutes a day simply looking for a place to hold a meeting. While picking the right location is rewarding, all that lost time will hurt you in the long run. With Calendar Analytics, you can save that time and put it to better use.

When you plan a meeting in your Calendar, include the location where it takes place.  Your Calendar will track where your meetings occur most frequently and will make recommendations to you based on when and where your next meetings are located.

After a short time, Calendar Analytics will develop a system that will save you plenty of time when it comes to planning meetings — and executing on your plan. The time you would spend looking for the perfect restaurant to meet a client can instead be used to prepare your sales pitch or respond to the last of your emails.

People Analytics

Just as important as how you’re spending your time is who you’re spending it with. People analytics show who you’re meeting with the most by analyzing the people invited to your Calendar events. As an example, you might realize that you haven’t scheduled a one-to-one meeting with one of your employees in a while, and they’re due for a meeting with you.

People analytics, like all time management tools, extends beyond the office. How much time are you spending with your spouse and family? If you see their ranking drop on your list of people you’ve been meeting with, it’s time to plan some more family activities to improve your work-life balance.

Time Balance

Speaking of balance, there’s nothing time analytics do better than help you get your life on track. Anywhere you feel like your efforts need to be focused better can use the help of time analytics to tighten up. Whether that’s spending more time with family or getting more exercise, your Calendar can help you.

Keep track of when you complete certain activities and their duration. The more you’re able to track, the better. For example, tracking the hours you spend watching Netflix will give you concrete evidence that you’re spending more time on the couch than you’d like. Use the information you find from evidence to change your life by scheduling your time differently. Lower your binge-watching time by adding time to read or go on a walk in your Calendar to replace it.

Your Calendar will display your time usage in percentages at first glance, but you can look at the hours and minutes you spend in particular meetings and activities as well. Set goals on what you want to accomplish, like a certain number of hours spent at the park with your kids a week, and use your analytics to gauge your progress.

Team Analytics

Calendar analytics work so much better when your whole team is on board. Everyone’s Calendars will work together to make team meetings a breeze and office productivity reach all-time highs. As a leader, you’ll be able to direct your employees so much better with personalized time analytics for each person.

Make sure you’re scheduling those one-on-one meetings with your employees with regularity. Have them come prepared with their Calendar analytics. An overview is fine if they have personal family information included in their Calendar. Talk with them about how their time is being used and how they can improve. Perhaps they need a better morning schedule or to pick a closer restaurant for their next lunch break.

In addition, you can share your Calendar as an example of how time analytics helps you use your time more effectively. For this to be an effective teaching moment, you need to be using your Calendar diligently; otherwise, you won’t make much of an impact. Strive to set the example with time management as the leader of your organization.

You’ll be amazed by everything you’re able to accomplish by using Calendar analytics to structure your everyday life. Not only will you be able to fit so much more into your schedule, but you’ll also feel less stressed as you plan things out and create the perfect balance.

Calendar Analytics Tell How You Use Your Time was originally published on Calendar by Hunter Meine.

Why You Still Need an Online Calendar Even When You Use a Physical One

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Why You Still Need an Online Calendar Even When You Use a Physical One

If you already rely on a physical calendar, you might not see the need to add an online calendar to your arsenal. Your current time management system might seem to work just fine, but you’re missing out on a lot of potential by shirking additional technology.

Using a paper and digital Calendar, map, or any other hard copy is entirely up to you and beneficial in many cases. If you still need some convincing, check out the ways your daily life will benefit from implementing an online calendar to your existing system:

Online Calendars are Portable

As great as a physical calendar might be at home or in your office, you can’t expect to carry it with you everywhere. Even pocket calendars and portable planners can be burdensome at times. Worst of all, a physical calendar can be easily left behind, leaving you in the dark.

You can access your online calendar on any electronic device. All you need is a cell phone and a connection to the internet and you’ll have your calendar easily accessible. You can even adjust the settings in your Calendar to be able to view it offline.

Sharing is Caring

A lot of the events on your calendar will involve others. You’ll need to coordinate with coworkers and family members regularly, which is more difficult to do when trying to sync paper calendars. Sharing an online calendar keeps everyone on the same page with real-time updates and notifications.

You don’t have to share every detail of your online calendar with others. Choose to share individual events, or create a separate calendar that keeps your private events hidden. You can also decide if those you share with can edit events or simply view them, depending on what you’re trying to organize.

Last-Minute Changes Happen

Life is full of unexpected events. Making last-minute changes on paper calendars is messy, and sometimes impossible if you don’t have it on your person. It’s much easier to go with the flow and adjust to unforeseen circumstances when you also have an online calendar handy.

Let’s say you have a meeting with a client scheduled for 3 P.M. You come into the office and see an email in your inbox asking if the meeting can be bumped up to 2 P.M. With your online Calendar, you can adjust right then and there.

If you have your paper calendar handy, this is also possible, but lacks a certain detail. Your online calendar can also send you reminders of upcoming events. A digital reminder that your meeting was moved from 3:00 PM to 2:00 PM will help you remember the change even on a busy day when your attention is divided.

Different Calendars Have Different Uses

Physical calendars get crowded really quickly. There’s only so much room to add events and details, and the more you add, the more difficult it is to read. A better strategy is to designate your paper Calendar for one use, and your online calendar for another.

Your paper calendar, which is likely hanging on the fridge, can be reserved for family events. Your online calendar will contain your work responsibilities, daily routines, and personal events. The ability to create multiple calendars online allows for even greater organization than keeping a stack of paper calendars lying about.

Physical Calendars Can Get Lost or Damaged

No matter how careful you are, there’s a chance your physical calendar can get lost or damaged. This is especially true if you have one in reach of kids who can grab, smudge, and rip the pages from your calendar. If your paper calendar is lost or damaged, there’s no way to get back the information you lost.

Online calendars store all their information online. Some online calendars even offer cloud storage options for maximum accessibility and protection. Even if your cell phone gets lost or damaged, your Calendar information can be accessed from a different device, retaining all the details you need.

Online Calendars Have More Features

Simply put, physical calendars just don’t have the bells and whistles you can find in online calendars. You can’t drag and drop events or change color-coding on demand. One of the best features of an online Calendar is tracking your time to the minute. Time analytics really unlocks your productivity levels on a day-to-day basis.

Physical calendars have their merits, especially for those who prefer to write things down and add some calligraphy flair. However, not everyone has a legible chicken scratch, so being able to type out your event details is a helpful bonus to your online Calendar.

For frequent fliers, an online Calendar is a necessity. Thanks to the power of the internet, your Calendar will automatically adjust to changing time zones. This ensures you don’t miss that important business meeting because your paper calendar is still on Eastern Standard Time.

Both Calendars Allow for Different Time Management Techniques

For those using a Calendar to try and optimize their time, an online Calendar blows paper ones out of the water. You can implement more complex time management techniques than you could with pen and paper alone, which allows you to make more use of your time. In addition to time analytics, you can also try:

  • Timeboxing: Separate your day into blocks of time dedicated to specific tasks and activities.
  • Pomodoro method: Work in stretches of 25 minutes with a five-minute break to encourage focus and prevent burnout.
  • Eisenhower Matrix: Prioritize your tasks to get the most important stuff done, set aside nonsense, and delegate when possible.

These techniques are much more difficult to pull off with just a paper Calendar, but might work well with both. For example, drawing out your Eisenhower Matrix might help you visualize it better so you can type it out into your online calendar with more precision.

There’s nothing wrong with preferring one type of calendar over the other. Just be aware that you might be selling yourself short by not giving them both a chance to thrive together.

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