Entrepreneurs and growing businesses often need help organizing events and appointments. A quality calendar app helps business owners juggle their professional and personal responsibilities—as long as they're using a calendar app with the right features.
These days, there are a dizzying number of available calendar apps offering businesses a range of functions. It can be tough to sift through all your options. To help you identify the best fit for your business, we’ve made a list of the most useful features to look for. Read on for the six best calendar app features to help you manage your business better.
1. Event scheduling
If you’re like many working professionals (especially those working remotely), you know that scheduling meetings isn’t always easy. It’s handy to use a calendar app with a dedicated event-scheduling feature that team members can access no matter where they’re located.
Sometimes, the hardest part of scheduling an event/activity is planning it in the first place. Certain smart calendar apps include event-scheduling features that automatically pull details from the sentences you type to plan events. Smart meeting schedulers like this cut down on time spent chalking out an event plan and setting a date and time.
When it comes to more important events and appointments, planning a meeting around attendees’ availability can be a nightmare. Imagine you’re working on a high-priority sales deal and need to hold a meeting with your sales team. The best smart calendar apps include features that show when your invitees are busy or free before you plan an event.
Features that make scheduling meetings easy are the bread and butter of any decent calendar app, so begin narrowing down your search by focusing on event scheduling. Also, make sure you have an option to set recurring events so that you can stick to your daily routine.
2. Embedding and sharing
You’re a busy professional with a lot on your plate. It’s hard to chat with every one of your colleagues to let them know when and how long you’ll be available. You need a calendar app that keeps everyone in the loop about the activities on your schedule.
Calendar apps with dedicated sharing and embedding features help you personalize your calendar before you share it publicly. The best apps offer a variety of templates you can customize to create your desired look. These apps let you embed your team calendars too. Create and publicly embed group calendars to keep your organization in the loop on your team's activity.
Don’t want to share calendars publicly? Choose a calendar app that lets you share a calendar in multiple ways with specific individuals. Select the people who should have permission to see your calendar and give them a special link to let them know about your upcoming events and appointments.
3. Cross-platform synchronization
With so many things to do, it helps to have a calendar app that facilitates efficiency. Calendar apps with cross-platform synchronization put all your calendars from different service providers in one place.
For example, you may already use Google Calendar or Outlook. Apps like Zoho Calendar sync calendars from your Google and Microsoft accounts so you can update your schedules from a centralized location. Zoho offers a range of plugins that help you quickly sync and access your favorite platforms.
While cross-platform synchronization is important for any small business, it’s particularly important for individuals who are directly responsible for more than one organization. Critical events such as shareholder meetings, M&As, and selling a business are easier for entrepreneurs to manage if they use calendar apps with cross-platform synchronization. Without this feature, you'll waste time switching back and forth between platforms from different providers.
4. Team calendars
As a small business owner, you probably wish you had more ways to keep your teammates in the loop about upcoming activities. Thankfully, certain calendar apps give you the power to manage team activities in one place and with one interface. Are you managing a team of multiple employees remotely? Team calendar features keep you abreast of your employees’ schedules with a single group calendar.
We’re only human, and no matter how good we think we are at staying focused, it can take us some time to refocus our attention after sifting through our mailboxes—approximately 23 minutes, to be more precise. So, why wouldn’t you use a calendar app with a team calendar feature to save more of your precious time and increase your productivity?
A sometimes-overlooked benefit team calendars offer is stronger social media monitoring. If you want to take your social media marketing efforts up a notch, you’ll need a good content calendar. Calendar apps that provide team calendars are the perfect solution to streamline your social post plans and timelines. You can give your marketing departments their own calendar to use so they can schedule and discuss plans for upcoming posts.
5. Mobile access
No matter your industry, you may need to conduct part or all of your business remotely. And if you’re a business owner constantly on the go, you’re probably conducting a lot of your business from your mobile device. You’ll want a calendar app with strong mobile support and an app that's easy to use on your smartphone or tablet.
We recommend using a calendar app that syncs with your mobile device to seamlessly manage upcoming activities anywhere and anytime. Zoho Calendar lets users schedule and manage their events right from their mobile device with the help of Exchange ActiveSync. Are you frustrated with waiting until you’re back at your computer to create and handle important events? Then, it’s time to begin using a calendar app with mobile access.
6. Importing and exporting
It’s important you’re able to easily move events between your calendar platforms by importing and exporting them. With a calendar app that helps you move events from various calendars, you can effortlessly manage all your events with a single app.
With importing and exporting, you can rest assured that whatever is on the web also goes into your schedule. See a public calendar you'd like to add to your itinerary? Simply use your importing and exporting feature to snag that calendar’s public address and add it to your personal calendar.
Most calendar apps that let you import and export from calendars also let you subscribe to certain calendars. Subscribe to the calendar of a close colleague so you can get notifications about their upcoming activities. You can even import and export events from calendars you’re subscribed to. Simply import your selected calendars as files, sit back, and start getting notifications about their events.
It’s no secret that using calendar apps for your business can help you manage it better. What’s tricky, of course, is figuring out which features are most important to focus on when you're searching for a calendar app.
Without a doubt, the single most important thing to look for in a calendar app is its ability to handle event scheduling, even if you work as virtual teams. Scheduling your meetings should be as simple as possible, so you need to use a smart calendar app that lets you cut down on time spent planning events and appointments.
As someone with a lot of tasks and responsibilities to juggle at once, it’s also crucial that you use a calendar app with features like embedding and sharing, cross-platform synchronization, team calendars, mobile access, and importing and exporting. Zoho Calendar offers all these features and more for business owners and entrepreneurs that could use a helping hand when it comes to organization.
Gary Stevens is the CTO of Hosting Canada, a website that provides expert reviews on hosting services and helps readers build online businesses and blogs.