Calendar Invites and Friction

pablo (8)

If you are using an electronic calendar organizer like Google Calendar and you routinely invite others to meetings using that tool, please think about how you send invites carefully and plan ahead.

Name the event something that makes sense on ALL the recipients’ calendars, not just your own

If your name is Betty and you are meeting with John next Tuesday, you don’t send an invite titled ‘Meet with John’ because, on John’s calendar, it will say that the meeting is with himself in the title. The event perhaps looks reasonable on your calendar, but it looks ridiculous on the other end. And, you don’t want him to have to do other work on his end to make it reasonable. You want to be able to just accept the invite and he is done.

Put the full location on the Where line

Furthermore, on the ‘Where’ line, put the full, exact, correct location for the meeting. If in a conference room in a building, put THE CONFERENCE ROOM NAME and THE FULL ADDRESS OF WHERE THE CONFERENCE ROOM BUILDING IS LOCATED every time. Again, just like the previous hint about the title, make the ‘Where’ right for all participants. You don’t want other participants to have to call at the last minute to figure out where the meeting is located.

One further reason to get the address right is that many times car navigation systems or phone driving directions are taken directly from the calendar entry without any typing. Get it right on the calendar so it can be used for navigation.

If a phone call, put the full phone number with area code in the title

Recently I’ve received:

  • an invite with a completely incorrect address where I’m supposed to drive to the meeting so I had to be a detective to figure it out.
  • an invite to a meeting with just the conference room name in the ‘where’ and I’m not located at that company and will be driving there.
  • an invite with a meaningless line in the title. I’m meeting someone at a restaurant for a catch-up and the title is the name of the restaurant. If I look at that entry on my phone in a week, I’ll have to open it up to see who is attending.
  • and an invite where I’m meeting with myself.

I’ve gotten into the habit of doing invite titles like these:

  • Talk – Tim/Mark,
  • Lunch – Tim/Mark,
  • Account Review – Tim/Sam/Mark
  • Call – Tim/Mark      Mark call Tim @ 1-405-555-5555

I’m surprised at how many people don’t get this right or persist in sending invites that are focused on the sender’s point of view.

 

 

 

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