Calendar scheduling, how to do this effectively

Calendar scheduling of your manager’s agenda is one of the daily tasks of a secretary. Sometimes, you do this for your other colleagues as well.

At the end of the year it’s the best time to schedule the regular meetings for the coming year. These can be external or internal meetings.

The best order of calendar scheduling

The best way to schedule meetings is to organize the meetings in the following order:

  1. Meetings with a lot of external participants with a busy schedule
  2. Meetings with a lot of external and internal participants
  3. Meetings with internal participants
  4. Bilateral meetings with participants having busy a schedule
  5. Other (bilateral) meetings

calendar scheduling

From the above you can see that it is best to start planning the meetings with participants having the most busy schedules. With an ’empty’ schedule of your manager’s agenda you are more flexible than having a schedule already filled with internal meetings, with the risk that you have to reschedule. This is something which happens more than often anyway.

Participants appreciate to receive an overview of the meeting schedule, especially those who only use a paper calendar.

How tight do you schedule the calendar?

Another important part of calendar scheduling: It is not wise to plan a week full of scheduled meetings. During the year, space is needed for intervening and ad hoc meetings. Next to this, your manager needs time for reading documents and preparing meetings. A few tips:

  1. First, block the national holidays and school vacations (depending on the type of organization you work)
  2. In case your manager works part time, block the days/moments he/she is off
  3. Ask your manager which vacation plans, study plans, planned (business) trips he/she has and block these moments, with extra time blocked just before and after a long period of absence in order to be able to finish or start up the work
  4. Keep busy periods in mind (budgets, appraisal talks, etc.)
  5. Don’t forget to plan your own meetings with your manager, as regular meetings with the secretary are a a basis for a well-functioning organization

The scheduling of the regular meetings is a yearly task and demands in most cases communication with others. This is, depending on the software which is used in your organization, possible with Microsoft Outlook or other scheduling software. Another option is using the ‘old-fashioned’ paper for calendar scheduling.

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