We know that a  calendar can be a  lifeline. However, most people don’t put a whole lot of thought into how they are organizing their day and allocating their time. We tend to just throw things in the calendar where they fit, especially as the days get busier and busier. How can you create a calendar that works for you instead of you working for it?


Customize your calendar so that it works for you, not the other way around. Make a list of the top elements that need to be handled and allocate time to each of these. This includes things like set times to take calls (more on this later), team meetings, and personal time management.

Set Priorities

We’re  constantly being pulled in different directions. It’s important to set priorities for your time and calendar so that you can stay focused on what is most important. This means identifying the top 3-5 things that need to be accomplished each day and allocating time accordingly.

Create Calendar Templates

One of the best ways to save time is to create calendar templates for recurring events. This could be anything from a weekly team meeting to a daily check-in with your direct reports. By creating a template, you can quickly populate your calendar without having to enter all the information each time.

Use Calendar Blocking

Calendar blocking is a great way to increase your productivity by chunking similar tasks together. For example, if you need to make several phone calls, block off an hour or two in your calendar so that you can power through them without interruption. This technique can be used for anything from writing emails to preparing presentations.

Consider your methodology

Calendar methodology is severely underrated and is rarely discussed, but it’s one of the most important things you and your team can learn. This means using the time in your day according to what works best for you. For example, some people thrive best first thing in the morning over their cup of coffee. These are the people who will set their hardest tasks first thing and will complete them best while the rooster is still crowing. Others are night owls and thrive best once the sun has gone down. Everyone is different, not everything has to be completed at the same time and in the same manner.

When are you most productive?

Being productive doesn’t mean working around the clock from the time you wake up until you go to bed. It means being effective and efficient with the time that you have. If you are a morning person, use that time wisely by completing your most important tasks first thing. The same goes for night owls. You may not be able to start working on that project at 9 pm, but you can definitely do some thinking and planning so that when you sit down to work on it the next day, you are already ahead of the game.

What time of day do you have the most energy?

Energetic times of the day should be used for more challenging tasks that require concentration and focus. For most people, this is first thing in the morning or right after lunch when they have had a chance to recharge. Use these times wisely by scheduling meetings, calls, and other important tasks during these hours.

Do you prefer to work in sprints or marathon sessions?

This one is entirely up to you. Some people prefer to work in short, intense bursts and take frequent breaks in between. This can help with focus and concentration. Others prefer to work for longer periods of time and take fewer breaks. There is no right or wrong answer here, it’s all about what works best for you.

Set Access Points and Block Personal Work

Want to improve your employee experience, invigorate your meetings, and get to know the people who work for you by their strengths and weaknesses? Pre-set your calendar for available time-slots. This is going to look a lot like what college professors do when they set their office hours. Designate an hour block every day just for this purpose. Allow your team members to reserve slots, and sit with them to answer any questions or help them where they are struggling.

Using Time Slots For One-On-One Meetings

One-on-one meetings are crucial for every leader, whether you are in a small organization or a large one. These meetings allow you to check in with your direct reports, give feedback, and provide mentorship and guidance. Allowing your employees to do the same with you.

Solo Projects

On the flip side, set time aside just for yourself, where your office door is closed and everyone knows not to interrupt you. This time is set aside solely for administrative tasks that need to get done, or some heads-down work.  This is also a great time to catch up on emails, return phone calls, or anything else that requires your undivided attention.


Don’t forget to schedule some downtime for yourself. This can be anything from taking a walk outside to grabbing a coffee with a friend. We all need time to recharge and reset, and if we don’t make time for it, we will quickly become burnt out. Calendar success isn’t just about being productive, it’s also about taking care of yourself.

Automate meeting setup

We’ve all heard of using automation tools for various tasks like email sequences, or out of office emails. They make your life easier, so why not automate your meeting set-up too? Meeting automation is like the virtual assistant you didn’t know you needed. Think about all of the back and forth involved in setting up one call. Instead of the inevitable “Can you do 2pm?…How about 1:30?…I’m not available at three…etc.” you can send your clients or employees a simple link that shows your availability and they can pick a time that works best for them, without the back-and-forth time wasting headache.

Top Plugins For Google Calendar


This is one of the most popular Calendar plugins and for good reason. It connects to your Google Calendar and allows you to share your availability with others. They can then pick a time that works best for them, without needing to coordinate with you.


This plugin is great if you need to schedule a meeting with multiple people, as it allows everyone to vote on the best time. Simply create an event and add all of the potential dates and times, then send out the link so everyone can vote. The plugin will show you which time has the most votes, making it easy to choose a time that works best for everyone.


This plugin is great if you want to automate the entire meeting set-up process. Simply cc “Amy” or “Andrew” (the artificial intelligence behind the plugin) on an email thread and they will take care of scheduling the meeting for you. All you need to do is provide them with some initial information, like what the meeting is about and who needs to be there, then they will take it from there.

Top Plugins For Apple Calendar

Fantastical 2

This plugin allows you to create events using natural language, so you don’t need to remember all of the different Calendar event fields. For example, you can simply type “Lunch with John at 1pm on Tuesday” and the plugin will create the event for you. Fantastical 2 also integrates with many different Calendar plugins, so you can view all of your events in one place.

Calendar 366 II

This plugin allows you to see your entire year at a glance, so you can easily spot open time slots for meetings or other events. It also allows you to create events directly from the Calendar, so you don’t need to switch back and forth between different Calendar plugins.


This plugin is great if you need to schedule a meeting with multiple people, as it allows everyone to vote on the best time. Simply create an event and add all of the potential dates and times, then send out the link so everyone can vote. The plugin will show you which time has the most votes, making it easy to choose a time that works best for everyone.

Give Yourself a Buffer

Have you ever accidentally double-booked yourself, or set a meeting too close to the other without giving yourself time to decompress or go to the bathroom between meetings? Yeah, so have we. This is why we can’t stress this point enough: set breathing room, ten minutes minimum, between meetings so that you have a little bit of a buffer in case a call runs over, or you need a quick break to re-focus.

Your Calendar Serves You

Never check your calendar for available slots, or feel overwhelmed when you see the day that you have ahead of you?. Take back control of your schedule by customizing your calendar to serve you, and not the other way around!