Teams around the world are facing similar challenges when it comes to planning their team’s schedule. Creating a project plan is difficult on its own, and keeping it up to date and reacting to changes is more complicated. The situation becomes even more demanding when many employees work remotely.

What will you learn from this article:

Online calendar planner and its family

Before you will get a pretty nice insight into how an online calendar planner works, you need to know what does market looks like.

First of all, an online calendar planner, calendar planner software, project planning tool, project planning calendar, calendar planning tool, online schedule planner, or resource scheduling software – have the same role. They are to help you organize your and your team member’s work.

Calendar planning tool and calendar software save time of many project managers

Online calendar planner or traditional calendar?

Second, always is a need for taking into account project management processes and the diversity of challenges and expectations related to them. When managers are using some kind of project management solution or just an online schedule planner, they pay attention to functions such as:

The third, an online calendar planner is just a slice of a big family of project management tools. According to Wrike’s article – our competitor in the online calendar planners market – the software for project management proposes 4 types of online calendar planners.

1. To-do lists

To-do list app is better than schedule templates for many PM's

2. Online calendar planners

An online calendar planner, online schedule maker, or online schedule planner – however you name it, what they have in common is a board, tasks, and people assigned to them. These planners often feature drag and drop functionality, allowing users to easily assign tasks and rearrange schedules.

Online calendar planner solves many project management challenges

[Source: Teamdeck – resource management software based on calendar planner online]

3. Gantt Charts

A Gantt chart is a chart with two axes. A horizontal one shows a timeline of a project. A vertical one shows all tasks that look like bars.

4. Kanban Boards

A visual board separates tasks/projects into different categories, and each category illustrates the different stages of a project. The most typical setup is “to do,” “in progress” and “complete” supplemented by others.

[Source: Trello – team management solution with calendar view]

What is an online calendar planner

Despite the differences, the goal is the same. An online calendar planner or – as we prefer – online schedule planner is a software tool that allows you to plan and add tasks, projects, and events on a calendar view/calendar board. 

Sounds simple, until we use another term – just “calendar planner”. And it should be an impulse that starts a new question: is there any difference? How is a planner different from an online calendar (e.g., Google Calendar)?

These two types of apps have different purposes:

You can say that online calendar tools can also help you to plan your work. And that’s true, at least for personal use. However, when you have to make deadlines or create a schedule for your team (or multiple teams), you will need more features than most calendars offer.

What a project manager avoids when using an online calendar planner

Let’s talk about benefits: what are the tangible gains of using online calendar planners? We’ve decided to break them down into a couple of categories:

1. Waste of time & costs 

Have you ever wondered how many hours your team spends on unnecessary back-and-forths regarding their current assignments or upcoming tasks? Apptension, a 50-person software development company has calculated that they used to lose over $11k every month on questions like “what should I work on today?”, “was my vacation request approved?”. With an online calendar planner, they’ve managed to cut this number by almost $10k! 

2. Lack of transparency

When you decide to implement an online planner at your organization/team, it becomes the single source of truth regarding schedules, projects, progress, responsibilities etc. In many planners, the left side of the interface includes an assignee column for tracking work progress and scheduling tasks. It’s essential, especially for distributed teams, to have a transparent overview of work happening in a team.

Online schedule planner during its work

Employee’s assigning (booking) based on skills and availability. Each week view and assignment appears in the online calendar planner. [Source: Teamdeck]

3. Projects under insufficient control

We strongly recommend using online planners instead of planning the work in Excel or on paper. The reason is that, when change happens—and it will almost inevitably happen, you can quickly react and easily edit the plan using an interactive tool. Spreadsheets and text documents can get outdated quickly unless you regularly update them.

4. Rough collaboration

Imagine that your company runs several projects at a time. Each project manager needs to assemble a team and schedule the start date a project around their availability. With a calendar planner, they can also see what other PMs are planning and avoid project scheduling conflicts.

5. Overutilization, underutilization

Project and resource planning apps are tools for building a happy team. Employees want to be in the know as to what their upcoming assignments are. They also feel better when managers can see and plan around their availability or workload. Chances for overtime or underutilization are much lower when you use a robust online planner. Read how to measure resource utilization and its role in project management processes. 

Schedule professionally designed templates or create a new schedule and stay organised with not free schedule maker

How to plan your team’s work with Teamdeck and its online calendar planner for team scheduling?

Now that you know the main advantages of planning work with online calendar tools, we want to show you how you can do it in practice, using Teamdeck.

Teamdeck is a online calendar planner (or – resource management software, if you will) that combines the functionalities of an online calendar planner with other powerful features such as time tracking, absence management, and project reporting.

Here’s how planning the week for your team can be easier with Teamdeck:

1. See who’s available and who’s busy

Before you start building your week plan, you need to get an overview of your team’s availability. It’s simple: all you need to do is check out the resource calendar.

You can also use custom fields to capture and organize additional information such as roles, responsibilities, and specific project attributes.

Here, you can keep track of details of your team’s availability on two different levels:

You can also check people’s current assignments and see if they’re assigned to any projects and for how long. When people already have many tasks on their plates, you might want not to overwhelm them with more work.

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2. Assign your employees to different projects

Once you identified the employees that could get involved in your project, you can easily assign it to them. You can also add tags and notes to your booking: use them to notify other managers that this assignment is tentative or, on the contrary, very urgent.  

Monthly calendar and insight into team member in just a few clicks

3. Keep track of your team’s workload and performance

As a project manager or a team leader, you need to keep your finger on the pulse and monitor your project’s progress every day. Looking at just the planned work won’t give you all of the answers. This is why Teamdeck’s users can record the time they spent on a given project. With easy access to this information, it’s simple to compare the estimates with actuals and overview both:

  • your team’s planned workload (bookings),
  • their actual workload (timesheets).
Monthly planner with multiple calendars of team members

Use project status reports like this one to make better team-related decisions.

4. Integrate our online calendar planner with other tools your team loves

Your employees likely use a lot of different apps to simplify their work: chats, calendars, PM tools to keep track of their work hours and tasks. You can easily integrate Teamdeck with many popular tools and make the planning and project resource management processes more efficient, for example:

  • receive a Slack message when someone requests a vacation day,
  • sync your schedule with your Google Calendar,
  • or integrate with Podio, Sage HR, or whatever you need via Zapier.

Try Teamdeck online schedule maker for free 30 days

Do you think Teamdeck might be the right online calendar planner for your team? Join over 3500 customers that use our app every day. Start your free 30-day trial here. You can stay on the free plan forever if your team consists of up to 6 people. We encourage bigger teams to participate in our personalized onboarding process: schedule a call with Aniela, our customer success expert.

Teamdeck online calendar planner

Looking for an online calendar planner for a reasonable price?

Stormind Games, Wunderman Thompson, Hill-Knowlton have selected Teamdeck online schedule planner

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