7 Calendar Tips to Boost Productivity at Work

How can we use our calendar app to be more productive and in control of our work days? Here’s 7 tips to boost productivity directly from your calendar.
Chadwick Carlson
Industry
May 9, 2022
8 minute read

People want to live productive and fulfilled lives, and feel in control. This means getting what needs to be done, done, and feeling satisfied with it. What people forget about is the power of the calendar app that they surely interact with daily. People often glance over their calendar and solely use it as a way to track their valuable time—but it is so much more than that. When used to its fullest, your calendar app is the most valuable tool in your toolkit.

In today’s working world where individuals are able to work from wherever and whenever, staying productive and efficient throughout the work day can do wonders for your performance and overall well being while doing so. Managing your calendar, time and meetings, and balancing your workload and tasks can be a daunting undertaking. But, with the proper mindset and a bit of organization, managing your calendar can be done effortlessly to ensure control and productivity.

So, here is a list of the top 7 calendar tips that help boost productivity at work and beyond. Let’s dive right in.

Nook calendar app - top 7 calendar tips


Calendar Tips for Productivity

1. Establish a routine

Before getting into the nitty gritty calendar tips, establishing a daily routine is key to ensuring you are set to have a productive day. Not only does it allow you to feel refreshed and in control, but implementing structure to your days enhances your productivity and focus in times of stress, uncertainty and unpredictability. Plus, it is the best way to ensure you are setting aside time for self-care.

A routine will look different for each person. It’s important to find what works best for you and iterate and tweak this routine as you see fit. It’s also important to identify what doesn’t work for you and stop trying to make it part of your routine. Unrealistic goals can set you up for disappointment and unneeded stress.

Most peoples’ schedules differ from day to day, so focusing on your morning routine can be extremely helpful in setting you up for a good day. 

This may look like waking up and getting your sweat on first thing - going for a run, getting some fresh air on a walk or stretching it out with a quick yoga session. Or, it could mean setting aside 30 minutes to drink your coffee, meditate and read your favourite book.

Many people have the most energy and focus a couple hours after waking up in the morning. For these types of people, it makes sense to do your hardest, most time-consuming or focus-intense tasks first thing in the morning. Take advantage of ultra-productive times throughout the day.

Set goals. Before each day, you should take time to reflect on what you’d like to accomplish. I start the day by writing down three things I need to do. This helps me stay on task and focused. Then, I’ll dive in even deeper and figure out what the single most important task of my day is, and I’ll pencil in specifically when and where I plan on completing it. 

2. Prioritize the meetings on your calendar 

In the life of a busy professional with constant competing priorities and tasks, organizing your time and meetings helps ensure you are always prepared. 

You should be able to easily prioritize events and meetings directly in your calendar as you review your day. For example, differentiating internal team calls from external events. There are apps like Nook Calendar that do this automatically for you. Nook prioritizes for you to assure important meetings are not overlooked. Dark-coloured event blocks indicate priority events, whereas lighter event blocks indicate lower priority.

3. Design your work day by calendar blocking

Once you’ve figured out a routine and have set your priorities, it’s time to design the rest of your day directly in your calendar app. Use calendar events to schedule time for planning, meeting prep, lunch, focus-mode, your daily afternoon walk or mid-day meditation. This will help you stay focused, on task and refreshed throughout the day. You can also make this visible through your free/busy status to your colleagues, so they know when they should avoid interrupting.

4. Colour code your calendar app

Make your calendar app as colourful as possible! Colour coding your tasks, projects and meetings is a great way to organize time in your calendar. You can colour code based on the amount of focus needed, task category (i.e. marketing-related tasks versus a sales call), group work versus individual work, events related to your personal and social life, etc. Not only is it great for organizing and staying productive, but it looks pretty too, right? I like to use darker colours for high-focus tasks, brighter colours for “me” time and neutral colours for group work.

5. Update your meeting presence in your calendar

With the rise of flex work, make sure to update your colleagues directly in your calendar with your whereabouts during the day to keep everyone in the loop and make your meetings as productive as possible. Apps like Google Calendar and Nook Calendar support the ability to update your meeting presence to in-person or remote. Sharing this information has been instrumental in my team’s meeting productivity over the last several months. If I notice that no one will be in the office for our weekly leadership meeting, I’ll avoid the commute. But, if I notice some are heading to the office for a brainstorming session, I’ll head over to collaborate and participate in-person.

This is a subtle yet powerful addition to your calendar app. It allows you to know when it makes sense to gather in person versus when staying home is the right play.

6. Schedule breaks in your calendar

Along with calendar blocking and colour-coding, you should be sure to schedule breaks throughout the day. This helps you stay focused when you need to be focused, and refreshes your brain during busy days. Simply allotting 15 minutes in your calendar to get some fresh air outside, walk around the office or chat with a friend on the phone can do wonders for your productivity. You can also create meeting-free time slots to make sure you're taking enough breaks throughout the work day. It’s a great reminder to take care of your mental health and gives you a fresh mind to tackle your work of the day.

7. Optimize your calendar

Having multiple meetings dispersed throughout the day can cause it to be difficult to focus during your “free” time. It results in too many interruptions and changes of focus, leading to sub-optimal productivity. To manage this unavoidable encounter, I like to group my meetings when possible to free up time for heads-down work. Bearing the availability of those I am meeting with, I try to group my meetings and move all (...most) of them to one time period of the day. You can use a tool like Clockwise to have your calendar optimized for you. Some days I choose to be in individual focus-mode all morning to get some heads-down work done and move my meetings to the afternoon. Other days it’s the opposite. And, on some days this isn’t possible at all because I need to be cognizant of the schedules of my colleagues. But, that’s okay because I find comfort in knowing that I optimize my calendar most days.

Your calendar can and should be your best friend. Looking for the right calendar app to boost your productivity? Download Nook Calendar for free today.

Whether you’re a sales superstar, in-demand consultant, busy recruiter, or someone who simply needs to schedule a lot of meetings, one thing’s for sure—you’ve probably booked a lot of them over the past two years.

Hybrid work has forced the majority of our meetings online, and while we appreciate being able to wear sweatpants during normal work hours, the time-consuming ballet that is sharing your availability, finding a time to meet, and adding it to your calendar isn’t quite as enjoyable. 

Speaking with everyone from solopreneurs to seasoned professionals, it seems like a lot of people find meeting scheduling software either costly, impersonal, or just plain boring. And Calendly and other alternatives don’t always cut it.

We hear you. 

Everyone is different, and so is how they work. Making good first impressions is important, and you shouldn’t have to pay a premium for them or basic customizations and integrations with your meeting booking system.

Nook Calendar’s meeting proposal feature is already used by tons of high-performing teams for selecting and proposing meeting times outside of their organization. 

Now, we’re making things even easier by letting you build personal pages with shareable calendar-booking links, right in Nook Calendar. Add them to your LinkedIn profile, email signature, website, or messages when finding a time to meet.

We think it’s the best meeting scheduling software out there, and we’re excited for you to give it a try, so let’s get started.

Here’s How to Set Up a Personal Booking Page in Nook Calendar

First off, if you’re new to Nook Calendar—hello! (If you’re already a Nook user, you can skip ahead.)

You’re going to start by syncing your calendar—either from Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook—and entering your work email address.

Once you approve any necessary permissions, you’ll set up your People Bar. Search for any connections and add the people you interact with the most when scheduling meetings.

From there, you can add any additional calendars you want to see (add your personal one, if you like, to further prevent any overlaps when scheduling meetings), integrate with Zoom (so you can launch calls straight from your calendar), and choose your preferred display setting—select Match OS, Light Mode, or Dark Mode.

Launch Nook Calendar, and you’re ready to set up your online meeting scheduler.

Now, the fun begins

You’re going to start by claiming your unique URL for sharing your meeting availability page. 

Your first name appears by default, but really, it can be anything. We recommend using your full name (e.g., /john-smith).

(You can always change your URL in the future, as long as it’s still available.)

From there, you want to complete your profile. 

Your profile pic is automatically pulled in from your Microsoft or GCal account.

But you can add your name, job title, welcome message, and links to social media profiles or professional website, so guests know a bit more about you when booking a meeting. 

Then, you can start setting your weekly availability.

Nook Calendar defaults to traditional time blocks—9–12 a.m. and 1–5 p.m. These are the hours someone can book a meeting from your personal page. Adjust them based on your availability. 

Your timezone is automatically set to your local time, but you can change it if you primarily work with people in a different timezone and it’s better to visualize that when setting your availability.

Choose which calendar you want to accept meetings in—it can only be booked in one, but Nook Calendar will automatically reference your availability in other calendars you’ve synced to prevent double-bookings when someone schedules a meeting.

Now, it’s time to set up some paramaters. 

You can set up your preferred meeting duration in either 15, 30, 45-minute or one-hour increments (or a custom time).

You can also add buffer time to give yourself a break between meetings, or set a lead time of up to 24 hours, so no one can book any last-minute meetings.

And you’re all set! You can preview what the page will look like, then share it with contacts or add it to your LinkedIn profile (we suggest adding it as a secondary URL), email signature, and anywhere else you do business.

Once someone books time in your calendar, you’ll receive an email and get a notification in the Pulse.

If you ever need to make any changes, you can access your personal meeting page in the bottom of the Magic Panel and make any adjustments—either to your weekly availability or personal information.

You can also remove your availability by simply creating events in Nook Calendar and marking them as Busy to block off time and prevent any bookings.

Nook Calendar’s new personal pages for sharing meeting availability are available on Web, iOS, and Android. 
If you have any questions or thoughts, we’d love to hear them. Hit us up in our Slack Community or contact us through Support.  
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