Top travel tip. Use the calendar. Properly

One of the things that we noticed on the roadshow was the *much* better system for getting us feedback (see here and here oh and here ) and - always looking for ways to improve our processes - a couple of us noted that there's a big document mailed out with the event information for the presenters, but when we pull out our phones the calendar appointment doesn't have the location of the event in it. Each of the presenters has to copy the information out of the document and paste it into the calendar. None does. We try not to print stuff which we can see on a laptop, and we don't want to get a laptop out to program the sat-nav. So next time hopefully we'll get two appointments, one with the Hotel and it's address, and one with the venue and it's address.

Putting data in the Calendar has two advantages. (1) It's sync'd and always with me (2) Everyone has read access to my Calendar. So anyone can find where I am in an Emergency.

In July I'm off to Seattle and I booked my flights on Friday, a year ago I wrote about the stupidity of our Travel booking process and things haven't got any better. Our Travel agent send the itinerary as a copy-protected PDF. Why on earth they can't send me flight details in ICS / VCS format beats me. So the process is print PDF to XPS, Open XPS, select, copy , paste, reformat.

Clearing out my Inbox I came to the mail marked "Save the date". Now when I meet the person who sent this I'm going to give them the verbal equivalent of a gentle Slap. For 10 years Microsoft has used outlook. For 5 years before that we had 5 years of Schedule+, I can only assume he's new and doesn't know that to save a date you send a calendar request. The sender compounds the offence by putting the date and venue details in as a bitmap - not text - so its not sync'd to a phone and not read by Outlook Voice Access. So 350 people have to take a couple of minutes each typing all their own calendar requests: that adds up to a working day wasted. Or maybe they won't bother and will be wandering round Seattle looking lost.

In all 3 cases I'm left asking - why am I the one doing this ?

Comments (3)
  1. James ONeill says:

    Hey Rick, I’ll have to give that a try, and see what it can do with the Junk that comes out of the UK tool.

    And Steve and I will both be at TR-7 for buckets of Coffee 🙂

  2. Tobie Fysh says:

    We have run training session in our comapany on using Outlook Calendar, only a hour but the feedback has been brilliant, its one of the things that people don’t get a chance to play with in thier normal working day. Once we showed them the OCS intergration the staff could understand the use, now if only I could find a way of using tasks…..

  3. Rick Claus says:

    Hey James,

    Our team has switched over to using for handling the detailed information from Travelport or Ammex Travel. Nice Web 2.0 site for inputting your travel information into an ICS feed that can be input into Outlook. Yes – it’s a Web 2.0 thingie, but you can at least secure your updates to only be visible to people you choose and not the whole world.

    Check it out.

    I look forward to having a bucket of coffee and some cakes with you and the UK team when we’re together in Seattle.


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