Make Your Calendar Event Titles Useful

Put this in the protip category. When you create a calendar event and invite someone to it, make it useful.

For example “Board Meeting” is not helpful. But “BigDoor Board Meeting” is very helpful.

Don’t invite me to a meeting that says “Meeting with Brad Feld.” Make it something like “Smith / Feld – UX for BigDoor” meeting.

For bonus points, use the “Where” field. Put the full address in it. If it says “Foundry Group – 1050 Walnut Street, Suite 210, Boulder, CO 80302” your iPhone or Android phone can automatically map the directions. If it just says “Foundry” well – that’s not really very helpful. Or put your phone number instead of “Phone”. Or your Skype handle instead of “Skype”.

At some point in the future, our calendars will be really smart. Right now they still generally suck, but a few simple things can make them a lot better.

  • Kathy Gallup Keating

    So say he…..

    One other tip [pet peeve]: If you want to put the phone/web conference number in the “Location” because it “cool” to do that, remember that people on different email services/devices are not always going to be able to read it. Always give the more detailed instructions for the conference info in the description field.

    • StevenHB

      What services / devices fail to carry over location?

  • sounds like a very well repurposed rant – get many of these to push you over the edge lately brad?

    Good tip and I had the same grief, thanks for sneezing this what should be common sense tip out there!

  • This is a pet peeve of mine as well — when people invite me to events titled “Call with Ben Casnocha.”

    • DaveJ

      It’s actually useful, though, because it helps us to identify narcissists who can’t (or don’t care to) imagine things from another person’s perspective.

      • The cylons would never make that mistake.

  • Paul Franzosa

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • StevenHB

    I’d add that for conference calls, the most commonly used dial-in number and the associated participant code should always be included in the location (in addition to any physical location description).

    • sofia pie

      And if you write the conf call details like this +1234567890×000000# (where 000000 is the conf call PIN) people on the go can just click on the number to directly access the call without having to dial the pin code separately..

    • brad dupee

      Or, for conference calls, just use the free MobileDay app and it will auto detect the conference call information no matter where it is in the meeting details of your mobile calendar. This will allow you to use the short location field for more meaningful description as Brad outlines.

      • StevenHB

        I use MobileDay but I still find it helpful to have the information in the location field. Sometimes MobileDay doesn’t detect the call information properly (one client uses WebEx with a non-WebEx audio conference provider for some reason). Other times I need to dial into a con call using a speakerphone as opposed to my mobile.

        • brad dupee

          MobileDay can fix that non-WebEx # challenge you had. If the MobileDay app ever doesn’t detect or dial properly, just send a message from that meeting via the thumbs up/down that displays after you try the call. Crowd sourcing the issue gets it fixed fast!

          • StevenHB

            Brad D: Done. I’m exchanging email with Zach Ehrhardt.

          • brad dupee

            Great Steven!

  • Tracy Singleton

    Great post!

  • tuppermd

    Seemingly obvious, but I am also finding frustration with the general public on this same issue. I am on Android with Google Calendar, which as you point out, handles this all really well when the other party is conscientious enough (or tech sophisticated enough — not my wife or parents unfortunately) to realize the operational difference for us (the more adv user) between being complete and specific vs not.

    Google’s integration looks promising with regards to the integration of the often more disparate pieces of data and their relations with things like calculating drive times and pushing alerts for meetings with the “You should leave now… XX minutes drive to Y for your next appt” type features.

    Nice Cal graphic, Brad, you take the cake with that one.

  • Craig Langenfeld

    And I also like to include the mobile phone numbers for the key participants in the body so that if someone is running late they do not have to scramble through their directory or salesforce or call a friend to get numbers.

    Simple but great post.

  • mobileraj

    Brad – this is going to come across as self-promotion but this is part of what we do w/ Tempo Smart Calendar. We attempt to disambiguate the event by improving the fact data (eg names, places etc).

    • Yup – I’ve tried Tempo. I used it for a few days – some great things but lots of stuff that I didn’t like / didn’t work well.

      • mobileraj

        If you have cycles/willing to be more specific – greatly appreciated: raj at tempo dot ai

  • Amanda Jackson

    A simple but effective idea, and well worth promoting. Sadly, I’ve ended up at the wrong meeting venue before now, when a location was just listed as “boardroom” – and I made an incorrect assumption!

  • AdvancedTranscripts

    Great idea. All info should be included in the header so you can view at a glance the most pertinent details. Also, if you need audio transcription, $1 per minute, less than 72 hour turnaround, with 200% satisfaction guarantee! Better than casting words and easy order process.