Are Calendars the reason for poor productivity?

I was just reading this post by JP and found it extremely interesting. I intend to read the concepts behind the thinking when I get some more time.

The theory is that inability to react quickly within large organisations are due to the fact that it’s so difficult to schedule meetings. Meetings are often arrange days, sometimes weeks in advance. Then when something new or urgent is required, it’s delayed as it’s too hard to either move the meetings that have been booked, or that the calendar is already full.

JP has moved to the concept of fixed and variable time. Fixed time is meetings booked 48hrs in advance and variable time allows the greater flexibility to focus on what’s really important and get things done as opposed to waiting for the slot in the calendar to appear.

I’ve seen this many times myself, your calendar is full and someone calls and ask to schedule some time to work on something urgently. The glance through the calendar fails to find a suitable slot and the urgent item is put off till next week.

The challenge then is how to resolve this agility issue within large corporations.

30 boxes

30 boxes beta is out, you can get it here, there’s a blog too

I’ve tried several of the online calendars now and I still (to qoute U2) haven’t found what I’m looking for. 30 Boxes looks nice and has had some great write ups.

But I’m still missing a key function for me, sync with Lotus Notes.

The Lotus Notes Calendar is my hard landscape; it’s where I’ve got to be and what I’ve got to be doing at that time. I enter all my meetings and calls into it, my assistant enters information into it too.

I’m sure I won’t be alone in having more than one calendar tool, ie. a work one and a private one, but one will always be trusted more than the other, so one will always be a ‘hub’ calendar, So Notes is my ‘hub’ calendar.

My smartphone then uses mNotes to sync the calendar, so I’ve got my calendar with me wherever I go, it’s a simple and as straight forward as that and it works very well.

But the problem arises when I want to collaborate with someone outside of Lotus Notes, e.g. outside of IBM, which is why online calendars such as 30 boxes could provide the solution. I want to be able to allow friends and family to see my hard landscape and be able to make decisions knowing that all the information is there.

So I need 30 boxes to allow synchronization from Lotus Notes, but I don’t want it to sync all of the information. I don’t want people to see the conf call details including password for my calls. So what I need it to be able to do is adjust the information that is synced across, maybe I can see some details but other people just see it grayed out with the words ‘work meeting’.

Therefore until 30 boxes can sync from Lotus Notes, I’m going to be staying with Notes as my Hub Calendar. So you 30 boxes guys, importing from Lotus Notes and you’ve got a killer on your hands.

Update: I missed out probably the main reason why Notes is so important, because it handles meeting invites so well. You get an invite via a mail, you accept, it goes into your calendar. I couldn’t cope with manual entry or the stress of having to manually update an entry if the time or date of a meeting changed.

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