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How to Use a Productivity Calendar to Manage Time Effectively

Posted by Anastasia Kryzhanovska on August 13, 2020

Mailbird native productivity calendar
Anastasia Kryzhanovska

Anastasia Kryzhanovska
Senior Content Manager

Published on August 13, 2020

How often do you use a calendar? At least once every day, that’s for sure. You get up and check the date, do a mental recap of the day’s agenda, or open your planner to see what tasks are scheduled. Or maybe you have a productivity calendar app where you keep notes of events and appointments and receive notifications for getting things done — and another calendar app for project management, and then another one for your social media.

Calendar apps are meant to keep your life organized, but sometimes they may work against you. Case in point: you have so many calendars that you end up spending too much time logging in, checking every single one of them, and then planning your final schedule.

In this article, you’ll find out how one calendar app can help you with time management to get things done and improve your overall productivity.

First of All, Why Do We Use a Calendar?

A calendar app (CA) helps us stay on task, be productive, and manage projects. When you have a schedule right in front of you, with meetings and major deadlines, it’s easier to arrange time for items on your to-do list and define priorities.

Imagine you start work at ten, and your calendar says you have a major meeting at 11. It’s more crucial to use that hour to prepare instead of starting a new task.

Least obvious of all, calendars help remind you when to take a break and enjoy social media. Look, they already tell you when it’s the weekend, but sometimes you need to schedule your time off in order to stay productive.

Here’s How Calendars May Hinder Productivity If Misused

How productivity calendar apps can be misused

There are a great number of nice and handy productivity CAs, both for desktop and online, but the problem is that apps from different providers don’t automatically sync together, and settings that allow that are rarely obvious. Quite often they’re nonexistent.

If you dig deeper, a lot of people have multiple email accounts with a calendar tied to each. In case all your accounts are from a single email provider, they still won’t automatically sync — although you can share one calendar app between accounts manually, somewhere in its settings.

And if you have, for example, your personal mail in Outlook and the work one in Gmail, you’ll have to switch between apps to check events.

That’s a lot of time wasted every day. You also risk growing a habit of checking every tool several times a day just to stay on top of your schedule.

How to Integrate Your Calendars into a Workflow More Effectively

Everyone uses calendars in their own way, but there are some general rules that will help you integrate a calendar into your workflow more seamlessly and save time:

1. Use different calendars — and one app.

It’s a nice idea to spread different types of events within several social media calendars to separate projects and personal life. But it’s a bad idea to waste time every day and risk missing something important by checking different apps.

So, choose the one that can easily integrate all your calendars in the same interface! This way, you’ll have the most up-to-date information about your availability, and you won’t double-book.

2. Use labels for different types of calendar entries.

Let’s call the sub-calendars you create inside a calendar app “labels” for practicality’s sake. Create separate labels for life events, work commitments, birthdays, conference events, etc., so you can switch them on and off for more convenient viewing.

3. Use colors for your labels.

Use different colors to mark different types of commitments. Your eyes will get used to which color denotes which task, and it will be easier to navigate your schedule when you need all (or just several) labels switched on.

4. Record all commitments immediately or snooze.

If you don’t note something down right away, you risk forgetting the exact time or date, or missing the appointment altogether.

Practice opening the calendar when someone’s requesting an appointment — definitely don’t try to remember what you have on schedule — and make an entry right away.

Or try using the Snooze feature when dealing with emails to get a notification later.

5. Add descriptions to events.

Let’s say you need your laptop for a meeting, there’s a social media event, or a birthday coming up and you’ve stashed a gift in a secret place — you can add a reminder to a respective calendar entry. A good calendar app will have a notes section for this kind of info.

6. Set up notifications, smartly.

In case an entry requires your physical presence, set a notification with elbow room equal to the time you need to get there. But even if it’s a Skype call, give yourself leeway to open the app and check if your Internet connection is good and your mic is working.

How to avoid being bombarded with notifications

Pro tip: Be selective in adding notifications and prioritize. For example, if you have a meeting every Monday at ten a.m. sharp, you’re bound to remember it since it is recurring. On the other hand, if you add a conference, a workshop event, or a call with a new client that is scheduled for next month, there’s a good chance you might forget the exact time and date, so you definitely need a notification in this case.

Unify and Manage Your Schedule with the Mailbird Calendar! 

Manage schedule with Mailbird Calendar

We’re eager to present one of Mailbird’s best new assets — our Calendar feature.

For quite some time, Mailbird users could integrate Google Calendar and Kin into the app. Despite its popularity, the Google Calendar has its limitations. For example, it’s tricky to add a calendar if you’re a non-Gmail user, and it’s impossible to view if you are offline. Kin has a nice design, and it’s simple, maybe even too simple, as it has a limited set of features.

We analyzed the feedback given by our social media users (yes, we read all of it carefully and implement the best ideas, so you’re always welcome to ask and request).

We examined the best productivity project management tools available on the market and their most-loved features. 

And here’s what we created for your use and convenience.

Mailbird Native Calendar Capabilities

  • A unified calendar for all your accounts. Not only can you start a new calendar in Mailbird, but you can also integrate all your existing calendar apps into one interface to keep up with the entirety of your schedule. The same as for mailboxes, you can use a unified view or switch between different accounts independently.
  • No limitations on the email source. It’s easy to import and manage your calendars and events no matter which provider you use.
  • A full set of features. Basic calendar apps are boring and inconvenient, while some advanced ones are too confusing. So we investigated the best and most-demanded features out there, such as email invitations and notifications, and integrated them in the most simple yet effective way.
  • Flexible settings. There are basic and advanced settings that help customize your experience, from adding color codes to manage a specific calendar app to configuring event notifications.
  • And… It’s just a powerful tool! It’s well-designed, lightweight, and convenient to use. It has all (or at least most) of your favorite social media features from other online calendars and some unique ones, such as a sidebar view. And what’s especially cool, you can open it even when you are offline.

There’s no endless amount of menus, checkboxes, and general settings. This calendar app helps with time management. As with the rest of the Mailbird app, it’s always there for you to make your email — and project management — straight-to-the-point and efficient.

Mailbird Calendar’s Main View and Features

The Calendar’s simple and intuitive design makes it easy to keep track of any feature or setting you need. A clear design creates an uncluttered environment that doesn’t distract you from the contents of your calendar.

Every feature was designed to make project management with the calendar app easy and save you time, whether it’s when you view your schedule, create or edit an event, or send out invitations. 

By default, the main view looks like this:

Mailbird Calendar main viewMailbird Calendar main view

Now let’s recap all the valuable features and settings that make it an awesome addition to the Mailbird email client:

Adding calendars

If you don’t have any calendars yet, you can easily add them to an account, specifying names, what they are for, their time zone, and if you’d like to receive notifications when an event in this calendar app is coming up.

Importing existing calendars

For now, the Mailbird Calendar can only synchronize with Gmail and Outlook. However, if you have a calendar in another app or email account that comes as a .ics file, you can import it to the Native Calendar.

Events & invitations

You can add details to an event, such as title, duration, location, and permission settings, and add guests to send invitations to an event. The people you invited will be able to respond to the invitation with a “Yes,” “No,” or “Maybe” from an email or use a .ics that can be manually imported into their calendars.

Different types of events

Events can be one-time, recurring, all-day, or have a specific time frame. When you specify the time of an event, you can also choose a time zone (for example, where you or your guest participant lives). Recurrent events have pre-set parameters you can select to get things done, such as daily, every weekday, or according to your custom preferences.

Notifications

Event notifications pop up in the bottom right screen, just like the email ones. You’ll also see a counter in the main calendar view — a little bell in the upper right corner that shows a number in a red circle. You can snooze or dismiss notifications by clicking on the pop-up screen or the bell icon.

Sidebar view

It’s often handy when you can see your day’s timeline alongside an email and be sure you’re available when agreeing to a deadline or for whatever other reason. And that’s why our calendar has a sidebar view:

Mailbird Native Calendar sidebar view

If you want a calendar app that is convenient, syncs to your email, and can always be at hand while you’re working — and even offline — Mailbird Calendar is one of the best and might just be the one for you.

Get Mailbird with its amazing Calendar

Try Mailbird for Free

Wrap Up

Using a nice convenient calendar is a great way to take the pressure off your mind, keep up with deadlines, and remember when you have a meeting or that your coworker’s birthday is coming up.

And Mailbird has just upgraded to offering a great native calendar. Try the Mailbird Productivity Calendar, an awesome tool to keep track of your life and work events. And if you’re not yet in the Mailbird gang, this is a great opportunity to get a free trial and explore all its features.

How do calendars aid in productivity?

Here are ten ways to make the most of your calendar for productivity:1. Write down all of your periodic activities and their dates.
2. Define clear work boundaries for yourself.
3. Highlight important dates and deadlines.
4. Add time limits on your schedules.
5. Be flexible to changes.
6. Use more productivity tools. 
7. Always be ready to record new ideas.
8. Put someone in charge. 
9. Show your team your calendar.
10. Store your productivity calendar where you can easily locate it.

How do I use Google Calendar for productivity?

Make the most out of its features. Here are a few examples of how you can do that:
1. Make new calendars for other parts of your life. 
2. Plan meetings with teams using “Find a time.”
3. Hide details of your program.
4. Add important attachments.
5. Include a Google Hangout to your program. 
6. Make use of your world clock. 
7. Set your working hours.
The best productivity apps for your everyday activities: Mailbird Calendar, Slack, Trello, Hootsuite, Toggl, LastPass, HelloSign, and Zapier.

How do you schedule your day for maximum productivity?

Start your day with a morning jog.
1. Pay more attention to the three most important tasks for the day. 
2. Set your calls and meetings for the afternoon.
3. Use a productivity calendar planner, such as the Mailbird Calendar.
4. Adopt the 52-17 rule.
5. Organize theme days.
6. Avoid unplanned decisions.
7. Batch tasks together.
8. Relax in the evening.


Anastasia Kryzhanovska

Anastasia Kryzhanovska
Senior Content Manager

Published on August 13, 2020

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