Creating a single view of your world
I find myself managing multiple calendars on a daily basis. Not only my business meetings stored in our corporate Exchange server, but also my online calendars in Hotmail (Outlook.com) that I use for reminders of friend’s birthdays, and a shared family calendar stored in Gmail, to help manage those events too.
Like many of you who have switched to using online calendars to stay organized, I like to have access to all of these appointments in a single view in my preferred calendar application on my mobile phone, so I have access to them anywhere. In response to these advancements, we've recently released an integration between Timemaster and Outlook calendars, mobile phone calendars and web calendars like Hotmail or Gmail, through the use of iCalendar subscriptions that publish absence and resourcing information.
There are plenty of internet Calendar Subscriptions across the internet to keep you informed, such as public holidays published by organizations or fixture lists for special sporting events like the World Cup. iCalShare is one of the more popular sources of iCalendar subscriptions.
Moving to modern
This modern way of working means project managers want to see quickly who’s on vacation and which team members are resourced to which projects in their favorite calendar application. This keeps them better informed as staff absences and other relevant information is displayed in a single calendar view alongside their other appointments, all without having to leave their calendar and log in to Timemaster.
Keeping it standard
The beauty of using a standard format like iCalendar to share calendar information securely over the internet is that we are more likely to work with your particular setup, even if that means using indirection in some cases to achieve that single view of your world with your choice of apps.
We have simple instructions on how to subscribe to your Timemaster calendar in Outlook, Gmail and on iOS, Android and Windows devices.
I won’t go into how to setup each variable here, but I will show you the results you can achieve with this integration.
My outlook updated
If you are like me and use Outlook in the office, then the process could not be simpler, as you can subscribe to any Internet Calendar Subscriptions, including Timemaster, directly. Simply use the Open Calendar > From Internet option in Outlook and type in your unique iCalendar URL provided to you on your Timemaster options page. Once subscribed to Timemaster, an additional calendar is created in Outlook. Outlook then periodically checks your Timemaster calendar for updates, and if any are found, they are shown alongside your other appointments in Outlook.
Overlay or side-by-side
Once you are setup, you can then use many of the calendar features in Outlook, such as the side-by-side view or Calendar Overlay to achieve a joined up view, similar to this:
Outlook Calendar showing my personal resourcing and my team members’ whereabouts side-by-side and overlaid onto my daily view
This setup may sound familiar to some of you, but for others, you may be using other email systems and online calendars like Outlook.com/Gmail web calendars to achieve a similar single view of life.
Google Calendar and Outlook.com calendar showing my personal resourcing overlaid with my team’s whereabouts
Because on Windows 8 I've taken my work log in to the cloud by linking it with my Microsoft account (Hotmail), when I’m out of the office I also get my Timemaster calendar subscriptions on my Windows Phone 8 calendar app to keep me updated during the day.
You may not all be lucky enough to have a Windows Phone :-), so if you have an Android or an iPhone it’s just as simple to subscribe using the straightforward instructions we've provided online.
Windows Phone 8, Android and iOS Calendars showing my personal resourcing and my team members’ whereabouts
A single view
I now have a single view of my day-to-day appointments, any future team member absences, and any projects in Timemaster that I’m personally resourced to. Alongside this I can see which projects the members of my team are resourced to, and have this all show up automatically in my calendars across all my devices.
Try it today
Hopefully the information above helps highlight some of the benefits of achieving that single calendar view and demonstrate that it’s pretty easy to setup.
Timemaster’s iCalendar enhancements are available at no extra cost to all customers on an active support plan and can be downloaded by registered users now – why not try it today?