Calendars have been a staple tool for keeping us organized and on-track for centuries.
Whether it’s a cat-themed calendar pinned to your fridge or a calendar app on your phone, you probably use one in your personal life already. It’s something you can refer to when you need to remember a birthday, schedule a lunch date, or jot down an important project hand-in date.
You already know how multiple calendars work (which isn’t so difficult), but do you know how to choose the best team calendar for your business? Whether you’re working in-office or remotely, you’ll need a calendar to keep track of meeting times, team projects, webinars, social occasions, and other calendar events. It’s an easy way to let your entire team know without sending individual email invites to every employee!
However, business teams can benefit from a robust calendar app that offers more than simple calendaring functionality. You’ll want a calendar app that’s jam-packed with extra features to improve project planning, collaboration, and productivity across teams. Luckily, there are plenty of options on the market today to cater to the needs of dynamic business teams.
Here, we’ll examine the key features of a shared calendar and share some tips to help you choose the right one for your business.
Essential group calendar features
With so many business calendar solutions on the market, you’ll want to choose one that does more than just calendaring! It’s important to know what you’ll need to look for to best empower and organize your teams.
Below we’ve outlined five essential features that any team calendar should offer.
1. Simple user interface
Nobody has time for complicated digital tools these days. Ease of use is an important decision-making factor for any business choosing the best shared calendar app for their team.
A shared calendar app should have an easy-to-navigate user interface and require minimal maintenance. It should be easy for your team members to track individual tasks and team projects, find meeting times and due dates, and update milestones to stay on top of their work.
Most calendar apps recognize the importance of offering a birds-eye-calendar-view where users can easily track team project progress. You should be able to toggle your calendar view to see your daily tasks or an overview of the upcoming month to track team progress. Whether you’re part of a sales team, a marketing team, or a product team, a great shared calendar app should allow you to visualize your upcoming tasks and events in a straight-forward manner.
Team calendaring tools like Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook are renowned for their simplicity and ease of use. But there’s another contender on the market: RingCentral Video by RingCentral.
RingCentral Video not only offers an easy to use calendar app that integrates with all of your other business and collaboration tools, but it will also simplify things so you won’t even have to leave the RingCentral Video interface!
2. Robust scheduling tools
What’s a team calendar without the ability to schedule meetings with a simple click?
A team calendaring app should make scheduling easy and accessible. Team calendars should allow you to check the availability of your co-workers, to find meeting times that suit everyone. This way, you can avoid sending unnecessary emails or having to reschedule over and over.
You should also check for other great tools, multiple calendar availability, calendar customization features, and time and location-based reminders. This last one is particularly salient for remote teams. When teams are operating across different time zones, it’s important that your calendar automatically reminds team members where they need to be and when.
Some calendar apps with integrated voice and video calls will allow you to start meetings immediately or schedule them in the future. If you’re working on a team project remotely, sometimes it’s easier to collaborate with your team via face to face conversations or live demos rather than through back-and-forth messaging.
RingCentral Video allows you to start a meeting from a chat window with a single click. Not only can you plan meetings for the future, but you can initiate impromptu ones without a problem.
After your meeting, RingCentral Video’s built-in task management feature allows you to create, assign, color-code, and track tasks, and add them to RingCentral Video’s own calendar or sync with Google or Outlook. RingCentral Video, after all, integrates with Google Calendar to ensure it’s your one-stop-shop for team collaboration. Moreover, users can visualize all of their daily tasks and meetings right from their team conversations. That’s right, you don’t even have to leave the app.
3. Team collaboration and sharing tools
As with most digital tools these days, team calendars have integrated with other business apps to streamline collaboration and enhance productivity. In other words, a calendar isn’t just a calendar anymore.
One of the most important things your group calendar app should offer is integrated collaboration and sharing tools. You should be able to share group availability calendar, send event invitations with useful links to associated video calls, and share and collaborate on files and documents from within the app.
This way, you don’t have to switch between all of the business tools you use when working on a team project—it’s all right there in front of you.
RingCentral Video offers all of this and more. With RingCentral Video, you can visualize your tasks, deadlines, and scheduled meetings from within the messaging app. This way, you can stay on track, update team progress, and create and share tasks without switching back and forth between calendar and project management apps.
Moreover, RingCentral Video allows you to upload files along with a task so that your team members have all the information they need to get started immediately. With all of your calendaring, communication, and collaboration needs available on one platform, you’re guaranteed to enhance productivity and streamline how your employees work together to complete team projects.
4. Automatic syncing and integrations with other business apps.
This calendar feature is essential for better team productivity. Moreover, it’s crucial for remote teams working across different time zones, especially marketing teams or others in fast-paced environments who can’t afford to wait for answers to critical questions.
When someone updates an event, task, or due date on the calendar, it should immediately update for the entire team (or everyone involved in that particular task) as well. Not only does this improve team accountability, but it also ensures that businesses operating with remote teams across the globe can stay connected and on the same page, despite distance and time differences.
Nowadays, most calendar tools understand the importance of integrating with other business apps and collaboration tools for teams. We’re referring to the ability of calendars to integrate with email platforms, project management tools, and communication platforms to ensure team members can track team projects, stay accountable, and never miss a meeting wherever they are online.
As part of a robust communication and collaboration solution, RingCentral Video’s own calendar function will automatically sync your tasks and meetings when they’re added by another team member. What’s more, RingCentral Video can integrate with a variety of business apps.
If your team is used to using another project management tool, you can integrate it with RingCentral Video and sync the calendar to schedule, organize, and track tasks and events. RingCentral Video integrates with Google Calendar, so it’s convenient if some of your team—or other stakeholders—are used to that tool as their online shared calendar app.
5. Cross-platform availability
In today’s digitally diverse world, this calendar feature is a must-have. Nowadays, several different platforms can be used to access calendar tools. For this reason, the app you choose must allow calendar access across platforms.
Calendars for teams must be available for users across Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. Not everyone uses the same platform, and the app you choose must be functional for your entire team. This level of cross-platform availability eliminates the need for multiple calendars and streamlines team collaboration by ensuring co-workers can use the same platform.
Moreover, a calendar app must provide an equally great browsing experience on a mobile device as on a desktop. As the remote workforce grows, team members need to connect from wherever, whenever. That means even if they’re mid-commute on the train, they can check in with their daily tasks and meetings for the day ahead.
A calendar that’s available across a variety of different platforms ensures that your team members can enjoy easy access no matter what device or location they’re working from.
With RingCentral Video, you can—of course—access your team calendar from any platform to stay on top of team projects, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
RingCentral Video’s team calendar is just one feature of this integrated communications platform. With RingCentral Video, you can access everything you need from any platform or device. You can send messages in the chat app, join a video call, access file storage, share and annotate documents in real-time, and much more. All of that’s possible from the smartphone device you have in your pocket!
Tips for choosing the best team calendar to suit your business
1. Outline what you need from team calendaring software
Before you even start checking out paid versions of multiple calendars for team collaboration, it’s important to outline exactly what you need from a team calendar tool.
Okay, you probably know that you need a shared calendar app for scheduling events, assigning tasks, and inviting your team. Depending on the size and goals of your business, you might benefit from added features and capabilities.
When choosing the right team calendaring app for your business, ask yourself whether or not you’ll benefit from the following:
- The ability for multiple team members to schedule, modify, and share the calendar for team projects.
- Scheduling appointments or sharing resources and schedules that clients have access to.
- A feature that allows employees to input their daily, weekly, or monthly availability (visible to everyone) for team meetings, social events, and more.
- Tracking information visibility (particularly useful for sales, customer service, and product teams) that team members can search and use for managing and reporting.
- Integrations with video conferencing and team messaging software for streamlined communications. For instance, you can schedule an event as a “video meeting” so that it starts immediately, and everyone in the team knows what kind of event they’ll be participating in.
Think about the purpose of your shared calendar app, who needs to be able to access it, and how you’ll be using the data it yields. Consider whether you need it for simple scheduling, project planning, or whether your team might benefit from productivity-enhancing features.
Once you know what you expect from your calendar app, you can begin looking into the features offered by the top market solutions. You’ll also be able to consider pricing models (free plans and paid plans) in more detail, to find out whether a free team calendar app will serve you just fine, or whether you’ll benefit from extra features offered by paid versions.
This goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. When choosing the best calendar solution for your team, you need to think about your team. It sounds simple, but many businesses won’t think about how their team members will experience the calendar.
For instance, if your team is temporarily or permanently working remotely, they’ll benefit from a calendar solution that’s integrated with other business apps. It can be frustrating having to switch between platforms when you’re working for a company that has several project management tools, scheduling tools, and communication tools in its tech stack.
When working with remote teams you’ll want to choose a solution that offers:
- Automatic syncing to ensure employees are always kept up to date about important meetings, deadlines, and other scheduled events.
- Time and location-based reminders that ensure team members know when tasks are due or meetings are scheduled, no matter where they are.
- The ability to access the calendar on any internet-enabled device.
Finally, you’ll want to think about how the calendar app would function as part of your team. Imagine how you could incorporate the calendar into your daily business activities.
- Who needs to access the calendar?
- Who needs to be able to add, modify, and delete items from the calendar?
- How should the tasks appear? Do you need color coding or file sharing features to better explain tasks?
- Should it be integrated with other business apps for increased productivity?
- How secure does it need to be?
Once you understand the function you want the business calendar to play in your daily business operations, you’ll be able to narrow down your search and choose the solution that best suits your needs.
Boost your team’s productivity with RingCentral Video by RingCentral
Looking for a collaborative calendar app that’s fully integrated with group video, messaging, and task management tools? We’ve got just the thing: RingCentral Video.
Yes, you can schedule video meetings, add tasks and deadlines, and keep track of team project progress. You can even color-code and attach files to tasks to add context and ensure your team understands exactly what they need to do and when. But RingCentral Video is so much more than a shared calendar app.
RingCentral Video’s calendar is integrated into its team messaging platform, so users won’t have to waste time toggling between apps when working together on a team project or communicating.
Instead, you can do it all from a single unified interface. Track tasks and events while collaborating and communicating with team members for a seamless user experience. Empower your team with RingCentral Video’s integrated approach to calendaring and—trust us—they’ll thank you!
With team calendaring, unlimited messaging, and HD video and voice calls, your team can work together anytime, anywhere. With RingCentral Video’s free plan, users can enjoy all the benefits of a great calendar app along with voice and video meetings, task management, and much more.
Want to know more about how RingCentral Video’s integrated team calendar could improve your team collaboration? Get started by viewing a live demo of RingCentral Video in action, to better understand whether it’s the right app for your business.