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I work in an organisation that is comprised of several teams, and we all need to know who is doing what and when.

We currently use a spreadsheet, that has names running down one column, dates across the top (separate sheets for each month).

  • So an individual can look along their name row, and see what they have planned for the month.
  • Team Leaders/Managers can see what their team is up too, and see if there are any resourcing issues in the upcoming months.
  • Use it to put in leave for staff.

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It works ok.

We moved from a cumbersome setup of Lotus Notes to MS Outlook 2007. We are now going to be getting Sharepoint 2007 in the near future.

The issues:

  • We use Outlook to set up meetings e.g. Someone invites me to a meeting in Outlook. I say YES. On the day, I realise that according to the spreadsheet, I am actually not in the office, and doing something with a client (not in the office).

So, I want to propose to my company that, with the move to Outlook, we should also be moving away from using 1 spreadsheet for visualising what the organisation is up too, and visualise it within Outlook.

The current system works.

The main advantage the XLS has, is that it is very easy to open, and VISUALISE what other individuals/teams are up too.

Can Outlook or Sharepoint offer similar functionality? Some quick Googling informed me of Team Calendar, which looks ok.

A key thing we need is to be able to easily see what other colleagues are up to, broken down by teams.

I would like to gather as much ammunition as possible to propose moving away from a spreadsheet model, and moving to something that can be integrated within Outlook/Sharepoint.

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More for my reference, but might benefit others. Saw this useful video on Team Calendar/Sharepoint - youtube.com/watch?v=gsRNJEnLLC8 –  Simon Oct 31 '10 at 1:25

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted
+25

If you have Sharepoint and Outlook, then you can use SharePoint calendars within Outlook.

From View and update a SharePoint calendar :

You can view and update a SharePoint calendar, just as you do your Outlook calendar.

You can view a calendar from a SharePoint site side-by-side with an Outlook calendar, view an overlay of the calendars as if they were one single calendar, and even copy events among the calendars.

When you connect a SharePoint calendar to Outlook 2007, it appears under Other Calendars with your calendar folders. You can connect multiple calendars at the same time, such as a team vacation calendar and a project schedule. Depending on your needs, you can choose which calendars you want to work with: a single calendar from a SharePoint site, multiple SharePoint calendars (if you have them), or Outlook calendars.

image

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good to know Is there anything that can enhance how they can be visualised? i.e. IMO how they look in Outlook Calendar wont look as good as the Excel screenshot, right? –  Simon Jan 24 '11 at 11:42
    
You may see how this works via a demo here. A simple discussion with screenshots is here. –  harrymc Jan 24 '11 at 13:08

I think that Team Calendar thing is old and deprecated, but I may be wrong.

In Outlook 2010, with...

Calendar > Home Tab > Share > Publish Online > Publish to Office.com

...you can publish a calendar which you can share with anybody else with a Live ID.

Better than that, just use SharePoint, which is made exactly for this sort of thing.

I recommend you do not get Exchange and SharePoint servers and use BPOS instead, as you do not need dedicated IT staff to administrate it.and it most likely would be a lot cheaper. There is a free trial.

BPOS will be upgraded to Office 365 some time early next year. The upgrade is seamless to the end-user.

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