Your time is your most precious commodity. It should be spent on things that matter to you and your business — no transferring meetings from your inbox to your calendar and ping-ponging emails to coordinate availability.
Who has time for all that? I know I don’t!
My board is pretty full as a co-founder and managing partner at a content marketing company, so I cherish every second I can save automating manual tasks to stay organized.
With remote work becoming the norm and online scheduling more important than ever, your calendar needs to stay organized – if you want to have any hope of successfully managing your tasks and growing your business.
Here are five hacks and digital tools you didn’t know you were missing.
1. Schedule Conflict-Free Group Meetings
Trying to arrange a meeting between several busy people with full schedules can be a huge headache, especially when everyone is low on availability.
Luckily, Google Calendar does the hard work for you
How does it work? Once you’ve added all potential attendees to the event, select the “Suggested times” link below the guest list. Google automatically lists times when every participant, including you, is available to meet without scheduling conflicts. Thanks, Google!
2. Automatically add meetings to your calendar
HubSpot’s meeting tool syncs with your Office 365 or Google calendar and allows prospects to schedule meetings based on your most current availability. While they reserve a time, HubSpot stores their contact information in an organized database – and you don’t have to do anything.
The tool also allows you to embed your calendar directly into your website (no coding required) to bring in more leads without any manual work.
I personally use this tool at Masthead Media to grow our business. On the face of it, prospects would never choose to schedule their own meetings – wouldn’t they prefer that I do the work to find availability? But it turns out that many contacts wanted easier access to meeting times (less back and forth), and some days my email is full of new meeting notifications from leads. Pretty cool!
3. Sync your calendar and CRM
If you’re still jumping back and forth between your Google Calendar and CRM, you’re not using your time as efficiently as you could.
Most CRM platforms, such as Salesforce and Hubspot, have existing integration options that link directly with Google Calendar – no need for third-party downloads! Check out your CRM settings to see if you can sync meetings between the two platforms so they can talk to each other and make your life easier.
4. Coordinate Meetings, Reminders, Thank You Messages and Reschedules
Calendly is a simple yet powerful tool designed to put your meeting workflow on autopilot from start to finish so you don’t have to worry about it.
Calendly lets prospects create a custom meeting in a time slot when you’re available. Then the platform automatically sends meeting reminders and thank you emails so you never have to worry about that. And reschedule is a piece of cake, which reduces the number of cancellations.
5. Use separate, color-coded calendars to organize professional and personal tasks
If you’re serious about living your life as a project manager, your calendar probably has multiple goals. But it’s not the best idea to manage your work schedule, prospect meetings, dental appointments, and kid’s birthday parties all on the same calendar.
Google Calendar gives you one calendar to start with, but for the best organization you need to create new calendars segmented for different aspects of your life. You can toggle individual calendars on and off with a single click to see only what you need to see.
Pro Tip: Color-coding your calendars makes it easy to keep track of tasks at a glance.
With these simple hacks, your schedule practically manages itself! However, you still need to attend the meeting and close the deals yourself – there’s no automation for that (yet).
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not Inc.com’s.
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