Mobile Scheduling Boosts Efficiency

For most small business owners, their calendar is one of their most important tools. A variety of Web-based and mobile applications can help business owners schedule meetings, manage work schedules, and plan their days more effectively.

Web-based scheduling tools offer a number of advantages for business owners, including:

  • More efficient scheduling - It's easier to maintain your calendar online and to make adjustments via your mobile device or on the Web than erasing and rewriting a paper-based planner.
  • Sharing and collaboration with team members - By sharing your calendar with family members or colleagues, people can see when you're available and propose meeting times that work for both of you or the rest of the group.
  • Improving work/life balance - You have one life, so it makes more sense to have one calendar and display all of your commitments on one screen.
  • Mobile integration - Most Web-based scheduling platforms have mobile device apps so you can review and edit calendars remotely.

Popular calendar apps include Google Calendar, Cal, Sunrise, Tempo and other choices. Most are available for iOS and Android devices.

Automated Scheduling

One of the most powerful advantages online scheduling applications offer is the ability to set up automatically a meeting or conference call that works with every participant's calendar. Applications take different approaches, but the basic idea allows a meeting "owner" to propose acceptable times, and the invited participants can vote on what works best for them.

Scheduling applications can automatically translate time-zone differences so each invited participant can see meeting details in their local time, and some applications allow participants to schedule online meetings.

If your business revolves around appointments, you can post a schedule on your Web site that highlights available meeting slots. Customers and prospects can book their own appointments for in-person meetings or conference calls without having to call you to make arrangements.

Tracking Workers

Several online scheduling applications are designed to help business owners track their employees' work schedules. Companies can automatically schedule workers for shifts, and takes into accounts employee-specific rules (such as someone who can't cover shifts on Thursdays or before 6 p.m.).

Scheduling this kind of data via a Web application is a lot easier and more efficient than trying to track it manually, and reduces the chance of an employer being affected by employees punching each other out or similar scheduling schemes.

Popular staff scheduling apps includes When I Work, 7 Shifts (customized for restaurant management), Workbase, and others.