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Holiday’s All Wrapped Up With SharePoint Calendars

November 22, 2015
SharePoint Calendars

Seasonal greetings on what’s already a special time of the year for us – we just celebrated our fith birthday!

At this time of year, we that know that the holiday period and the new year are just around the corner so we thought we’d give you a few pointers on how to make calendars work for you in SharePoint just before you perhaps take time off over the holiday period. SharePoint calendars could really make your last day or two in the office much easier!

At MindPoint, we spend a lot of time advising and training clients on how to make SharePoint work for them. You’re probably already familiar with all the free best practice we regularly wrap up and give out as free gifts throughout the year (did you sign up to any of our free SharePoint Discovery Call by the way? If not click Here).  So whether you’re focused on the 12 days of Christmas or more focussed on whether Henry in Distribution has any days leave remaining; here’s some of our top tips for you on calendars in SharePoint:

(1) If you work for a global company you may need to know public holidays for different countries. SharePoint does not automatically input calendars but you can access calendars for the relevant country on-line (Wikipedia has extensive lists). Create a SharePoint calendar list and then just use the Sync to Outlook option.  Once you have opened the calendar in Outlook, you can then simply add your dates.

(2) With time so precious and a lot going on at this time of year, it can be frustrating to have to keep checking whether someone’s made changes to a calendar. Perhaps someone changed their holiday dates or rescheduled a conference?  With a calendar on a SharePoint site, you can use e-mail alerts so that you’ll be notified of changes as they occur. Make sure that your calendar is configured to receive email, and remember that calendars on SharePoint sites do not automatically send updates (so if you’re the one making the changes, e.g. if you change the venue of a meeting, you must notify all attendees).

(3) Whether your work group uses a calendar to track training days, holidays or sick leave, you can use SharePoint to create a special view that shows only holiday dates booked.

(4) One of the features of SharePoint is that it creates calendars as a list of events. So if you want to want to see every event that’s been entered into the calendar, at once, you can look at everything in it by clicking All Events in the View box in the upper-right region of the site. This changes the calendar from a grid to an easy to view list. This can be really useful if you want to scan calendar entries without having to navigate between months or weeks, for example. To switch back to Calendar view, just click Calendar in the View box.

(5) You can search for items in your calendar from the SharePoint site. But what if you’re looking at the shared calendar from Outlook? Well, you can search for items in the SharePoint calendar right from Outlook.

(6) Try using something as simple as colour coding to differentiate between annual leave, sick leave and training as it can make tracking what your team are up to a lot easier.

(7) SharePoint is all about making it easier to share information and communicate with others so don’t forget that community sites are a great way to stay in touch with and communicate about specific topics.  Once set up, newsfeeds can then be used to update members on anything relevant, such as any changes to, training dates or holidays booked.

Finally, we’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah or just a great couple of weeks if you celebrate neither. Instead of sending Christmas cards to our customers and contacts then this year we have instead bought safe drinking water for 100 people through Oxfam’s Water For All projects. This small gift helps set-up or maintain a safe water supply with pumps, tanks, taps, purification systems or pipes. It can restore supplies after an emergency and is topped with health and hygiene training. You can get involved and donate yourself here.

Oxfam Water For All

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