Last spring, colleges using Localist told us about the benefits they noticed when they adopted a unified calendar. As we continue to grow and work with more campuses, the positive effects of having one central calendar and the headaches from having disconnected satellite calendars become even more obvious.
With a unified calendar like Localist, each department, office, student group, and team maintain control over the calendar that appears on their respective websites via widgets.
Struggling with a decentralized calendar? Read on for the benefits you’ll see if you adopt one central calendar for your college.
1. Avoid a multiple system overload. A Google calendar here, a static webpage there, and in another corner an outdated calendar system created by a grad student who left years ago along with the know-how to fix the calendar when it breaks. Sound familiar? With a unified calendar you eliminate the too-many-working-parts problem. You won’t have to worry about multiple systems breaking at the same time or not understanding how to fix a particular calendar. One system. One fix. Easy. And if you outsource your calendar, you shouldn’t have to fix it at all.
2. Standardize training. One central calendar system lets you create a campus-wide training that departments and groups can all use. Each year you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, or rather, rewrite the training PowerPoint.
3. Eliminate duplicate entry. Rather than running around trying to load an event on the four calendars it is relevant to, simply put it on one calendar and set it to display on the right widgets.
4. Stop missing events. Ever have a big speaker come to visit campus, and the Poli Sci department puts it on their calendar but forgets to tell the home page admins? Having one unified calendar ensures all major events get the attention they deserve.
5. Focus time and resources on one upgrade. When it comes time to improve your calendar, you can concentrate on one software upgrade for your central calendar. By not having to deal with multiple types of calendar software, you will save time and money. Freeing up resources may even allow you to make improvements more often. Of course, if you go with a cloud service like Localist, your staff won’t have to deal with upgrades at all.
6. Implement advanced functionalities. Speaking of upgrades, with a unified calendar, you can spend more time actually getting the features your campus needs. We’re talking about functionalities like integrated social media, the ability to follow and track events, and automatic email newsletters that can be sent out to event attendees.
7. Encourage the discovery of new interests. If a wide-range of events from different campus areas appear on the central college calendar, students can explore interests beyond their comfortable campus corners. An engineering student who before may have only seen events emailed out by his department might just decide to check out that dance performance he saw on the college events page. What’s college if not a time to branch out and try new things? Your college’s calendar should support this ideal, rather than work against it.
8. Convey unity and organization. Nothing says, “this is a thriving, tight-knit community” like a unified calendar chock full of a variety of events. Prospective students will be impressed by rich diversity of events on the central calendar, and will feel confident that the college they’re about to choose cares about extracurricular offerings.
9. Keep it simple. No more search fatigue for students looking for an event to attend. No more confusion for staff who can never decide the best calendar to post a particular event on. Just one simple home for all the happenings on campus.
Having one central calendar can benefit everyone in the campus community. It may take an initial big push to unify all the calendars on your campus, but the effort will be worth it.