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by VirtoSoftware

The 5 Best Shared Calendars for Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is one of the most widely used communication and collaboration platforms in the business environment. It is often used for instant messaging, virtual meetings, shared calendars and managing a document repository. Microsoft Teams allows running additional applications like Calendar Overlay Pro that help you to organize and manage daily tasks and processes both for individuals and enterprises. 

The Microsoft Teams calendar is the tool that lets employees from various teams organize and plan their interaction in an agile and efficient way. And in addition to an individual calendar, Microsoft Teams allows you to have a shared calendar in each channel where members can view, consult and edit the events. Team calendar in Microsoft Teams is one of the most popular calendar applications to use for teamwork. 

By connecting third-party calendar apps to Microsoft Teams shared calendar, you expand its capabilities. These features include integration with web calendars and productivity tools, multiple calendar overlays, rich color coding, timezone detection and others. 

In this article we will take a closer look at the best third-party calendars that extend the standard features of the Microsoft Teams shared calendar. 

  

Microsoft Teams Calendar vs Microsoft Teams Shared Calendar vs Microsoft Teams Channel Calendar 

You can easily get confused with so many calendar options in Microsoft Teams. Let’s analyze each of them and understand the difference between the three most popular ones. There are differences between the calendars themselves as well as between the purpose of their use. The role of a team calendar in Microsoft Teams can play not all of these three 

 

Microsoft Teams Calendar 

Along with an instant chat function, Microsoft Teams app has a basic built-in calendar. It does not have any sophisticated features, but still works perfectly; Microsoft Teams calendar is easy to navigate and is sufficient for many small companies. This calendar is considered a personal workspace so it is not possible to use it team-wide. 

You can see the Microsoft Teams calendar icon on the left right when you open the app. It has a day view, workweek view or weekly view. There you are able to create events, meetings, accept or decline invitations. You can also click on the meeting to enter the call right in Microsoft Teams calendar, or send a message to colleagues on a call if you are running late 

Microsoft Teams calendar has a native integration with Microsoft Outlook calendar which allows you to add and manage events directly in MS Teams without switching tabs. And since synchronization between the Microsoft Teams calendar and Outlook Calendar is two-way, you don’t have to do double workyou’ll always have the latest information in both calendars. 

Unfortunately, Microsoft Teams calendar does not have a monthly view, which for many people is the most familiar format. But many small organizations are good with this calendar and successfully cover their daily project management needs. 

Microsoft Teams Calendar

Microsoft Teams Channel Calendar 

Microsoft Teams Channel calendar allows users to add it as a separate tab in a MS Teams channel and it will be automatically shared with all the channel members. This relatively new and convenient team calendar in Microsoft Teams allows your crew to be on the same page: you can schedule events right there and choose a daily or weekly calendar view. Everyone who is invited gets notified automatically about the upcoming event. It will also appear as a post in the activity field where you can discuss the event and enclose all the necessary information about it. This type of a team calendar in Microsoft Teams is perfect for a busy schedule when you need to separate events based on teams, projects etc. so as not to get confused and miss important meetings. 

Unfortunately, this calendar doesn’t offer an Outlook or SharePoint integration, it also cannot be added into a private calendar or shared with external users 

Microsoft Teams Channel Calendar

Microsoft Teams Shared Calendar 

No wonder Microsoft Teams shared calendar is one of the most popular tools among existing for productive collaboration. With it, you can control human resources, effectively distribute the workload and be aware of all vacations and deadlines. Microsoft Teams shared calendar is rather easy to create and improve. 

Microsoft Teams shared calendar is normally created in Outlook or SharePoint and only after that added to a Microsoft Teams. The place of residence of this calendar will be Outlook, but it will be integrated automatically with a Microsoft Teams shared calendar. 

To create Microsoft Teams shared calendar, go to your Outlook Web App and find a group that you want to share a calendar with. Click on the group name and then onCalendarin the menu. You will be taken to the group’s shared calendar in the browsercopy the URL and use it in Microsoft Teams to add a shared calendar there. To do it, go to your MS Teams app, then choose a group, press + on the top menu, choose Website and add a calendar title and paste the URL there. Now your Microsoft Teams shared calendar is added as a separate tab and ready to use 

Note: You can also create a group first, if you want to have a Microsoft Teams shared calendar with another group of people, that was not created before. 

One more option is to create a Microsoft Teams shared calendar in SharePoint and then add it as a tab to your MS Teams. To do it, you will need to use Calendar Overlay Pro by Virto. With this app, you can overlay multiple calendars in one place and have everything at hand 

This option is the best for team use among the three mentioned, as it has no limitations due to third-party applications. You can remove any bottlenecks of default Microsoft calendars and enhance your Microsoft Teams shared calendar functionality until you are completely satisfied with it.
 

What is a Shared Calendar 

A shared calendar is one in which date and all the event information can be shared among team members. Thus, several people can view event data in one place. Normally, a shared calendar is a web tool like for example Google Calendar or Microsoft Teams calendar. The information there is typically synchronized between all devices and users, so that all the team members see the same shared calendar version across all devices. 

Microsoft Teams shared calendar is a web-based productivity management app. This shared calendar supports iCalendar files for users to import calendar entries into their own calendars. 

 

How is a Shared Calendar Used? 

MS Teams has a Microsoft Teams shared calendar that is assigned to the channel we are in. Each member of the channel can add meetings or events manually and it will be visible to the rest of the members in the channel. If necessary, you can also add people from the channel directly to that meeting or event in the Microsoft Teams shared calendar. If you’d like to add some guest users to the event, they will also see that event in the calendar, but will not be able to create a new one. 

Let’s have a closer look at how Microsoft Teams calendar works. 

Within your company you may be a part of several teams. Let’s assume you are familiar with the purpose of channels and are able to participate in communications and workflow in each of them. 

Microsoft Teams shared calendar allows channel members have access to events and the following features: 

Each event scheduled in a channel calendar will automatically create a publication in the channel to which it corresponds with the details of the event. 

Members who have enabled notifications for that channel will receive an alert that an event has been created. 

The user’s personal calendar is different from Microsoft Teams shared calendar, which must be accessed right in a channel to schedule a meeting with given channel members. 

 

How Can Shared Calendar Enhance Your Productivity 

Many organizations nowaday depend on teamwork and effective coordination of its members. When synchronization between team players is key to productive business development, it is necessary to provide the right tool, like a shared calendar, so that they can self-organize without any difficulties. 

Microsoft Teams calendar brings us great benefits when self-management is critical. Whatever type of business you are in, using a shared calendar will help you improve your business performance. 

Let’s see how Microsoft Teams shared calendar can increase the productivity of an entire team. 

 

With Shared Calendar You are Always Aware of What Your Colleagues are Doing 

Having an overview of each employee’s tasks or meetings improves productivity, makes it easier to distribute tasks, schedule events or plan meetings. With a shared calendar, you don’t have to ask everyone whether they are free at any given time in order to schedule a team-wide event. 

You simply have to find a slot in a team calendar in Microsoft Teams that meets the requirements and add the information you want. At that moment, all employees who have to attend the event will know that they have a new assignment on the date and time indicated. 

 

Shared Calendar Saves Your Time 

By having an opportunity to see what each colleague is doing, we save time on asking each one about their availability. We can get straight to the business when planning any type of event or meeting in Microsoft Teams shared calendar. 

You won’t have to chase after colleagues who are always busy, and they won’t have to chase after you when you’re not available. Microsoft Teams shared calendar eliminates the time required to set up a common date among several colleagues. 

 

With Shared Calendar You Won’t Forget About any Event 

Absence of a shared calendar can cause some things to be forgotten. We all have a lot on our plate every day and if we are told we have a specific event on some day we must attend, we may completely forget about it. 

When all of your work commitments are listed in a Microsoft Teams shared calendar, you will receive the alerts you need at the right time so that you never forget anything. 

 

Your Clients Can Assign You a Meeting in a Shared Calendar without Disturbing You 

You don’t have to talk to every client you have to plan a meeting with. Let’s trust them to figure it out on their own. They can be the ones who can open your availability calendar (it can even be a team calendar in Microsoft Teams) and assign you a meeting in one of your free slots. 

This greatly simplifies the process of planning an ideal time for everyone and improves productivity by allowing you to spend the time you need on other tasks. 

Although it is not always acceptable to share the information we enter in an internally-used tool like Microsoft Teams channel calendar, you will always benefit in many ways by at least sharing our availability and knowing the availability of others. 

Using shared calendars like Microsoft Teams calendar is one of the easiest ways for a team to organize their day-to-day work. They are simple, robust, user-friendly and truly time-saving apps. 

 

The Best Calendar Apps for Microsoft Teams  

There are dozens of third-party apps for productivity and improving Microsoft Teams calendar. Today we’ll take a look at five of the most popular, starting with the built-in Teams calendar, which came out a couple of years ago. 

 

Channel Calendar  

As you know in Microsoft Teams we had shared calendars for teamwork, which we could access from different places (for example, from an Outlook). 

We could also schedule our meetings in the channels, and this appointment was automatically updated in the team’s shared calendar, but there was no way to view our appointments divided by channel. But things have changed with the introduction of Microsoft Teams channel calendar. 

With the new feature added in January 2021 we can now add a Microsoft Teams channel calendar to any team’s channel as a tab, so we have a convenient view of all the events linked to that channel 

Microsoft Teams channel calendar helps to maintain a better organization between the different projects that are carried out in a team. This new feature will make it easier for members to view scheduled channel meetings in a better organized way. With this new feature, the team leader will be able to create a team calendar in Microsoft Teams with all related events and work meeting dates and share it directly in the channel. With each change in the shared calendar, a post will be automatically created in the channel so that all members can view it and no user will miss an update. 

In addition, events from Microsoft teams channel calendar are seamlessly integrated both in the Teams calendar tab and, if necessary, in the M365 user’s Outlook calendar. 

You can also sync Microsoft Teams channel calendar with external calendars from Outlook or from services such as Google Calendar and other web calendars.
 

Limitations of Microsoft Teams Channel Calendar  

First and foremost, when creating a meeting within a Microsoft Teams channel calendar, you need to specify all the participants. Yes, it’s a bit confusing: just because an event is created within a channel doesn’t mean that all channel members will automatically participate in it 

There are additional limitations that you should keep in mind when using Microsoft Teams channel calendar: 

There’s a limit of one calendar per channel 

– You can’t add guests to Microsoft Teams channel calendar, only to shared calendar 

– No integration with Outlook or SharePoint is possible without third-party apps. 

If the notifications are disabled for this channel for some members, they won’t receive alerts about the scheduling of events 

– For every scheduled event in the Microsoft Teams channel calendar, there will be an automatically created post in a channel. For some it will be convenient, but for someone else, on the contrary, it may seem unnecessary. 

All in all, for now you can’t overlay multiple calendars right in a Microsoft Teams channel calendar. Which can be inconvenient if you are working on several projects in a given channel.  

Calendar Overlay Pro  

Calendar Overlay Pro by Virto allows you to access multiple calendars in one place. With it, you can manage an infinite amount of Office 365 calendars in SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams, and add external calendars using iCal data sources. Other features of Calendar Overlay Pro include 

  • combining and overlaying multiple calendars 
  • fast and diverse color coding 
  • easy creation of recurring events 
  • adding it as a separate tab for both personal use and as a shared calendar 
  • using it on your smartphone, which gives it a clear competitive advantage 

    Calendar Overlay Pro facilitates adding events from Outlook and SharePoint to your Microsoft Teams calendar. In the future, the product plans to support integration with Microsoft Teams channel calendar. So stay tuned 

    Calendar Overlay Pro by Virto has a free trial period of one month. After trial ends, it is completely free to use for up to five users. Using this calculator you can estimate the price of a shared calendar for your company. The price starts from only $950 per year for 50 users!

    Calendar Overlay Pro by Virto

    Witivio Calendar Pro 

    This is a collaborative calendar for Microsoft Teams. You can add it to your Microsoft Teams calendar to create a shared calendar with your teammates. With Witivio, you are able to: 

    • create single or recurring events 
    • color code events  
    • print out calendars 

    This product stands out with the latter feature, which is popular among many Witivio’s clients like medical organizations, schools, etc. 

    Witivio shared calendar has a free version that offers unlimited events and a limited number of calendar sources – 3. The premium version includes all other features like recurring events, geopositioning, personalized tags, unlimited resources & tabs and printing at $0.49-$0.69 per user a month depending on the size of your team. The price for 250+ licenses is calculated individually. 

     

    CalendarHero  

    CalendarHero is a meeting scheduling platform with over 60+ integrations including Microsoft Teams calendar. With it, you can organize internal and external team meetings, book meeting rooms, sync meeting details and more. The distinctive feature is that it is an AI-powered tool that offers an intelligent meeting assistant that can speed up the meeting booking process without switching back and forth while searching for the right time in your shared calendar. 

    Two-weeks free trial is available for any plan of CalendarHero. After that, the basic plan stays free, professional costs $8 per month, and the team plan is $12 per user a month. Unlike the individual plans, the team plan has a meeting room booking feature, customizable meeting invite email and team-wide settings & usage monitoring 

     

    Cronofy Calendar Connector  

    The most important advantage is that the developer needs to set up integration with only one calendar API, through which you can connect to Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, Outlook, and all the Microsoft services including team calendar in Microsoft Teams. It’s a great time and money saver. 

    With their unified calendar API you can manage the events of the userscalendars like Microsoft Teams calendar in one place while keeping their data secure. Cronofy also offers a number of convenient UI elements for fast and easy scheduling of events

     

    They have a complex pricing system, which starts from $599/month for 50 active users if billed annually and $1899 for up to 200 users 

     

    Advantages of Third-Party Shared Calendars 

    The most important benefit of third-party apps is that they improve the overall user experience by upgrading your team calendar in Microsoft Teams, as well as offer a wide range of different integrations to enhance productivity. 

    How do they improve the user experience of a team calendar in Microsoft Teams? 

    • Offer a wealth of color coding options for events to assign in your Microsoft Teams calendar. 
    • Facilitate integration with various Microsoft products and third-party applications from Outlook to Trello 
    • Remove limits on the number of calendars you can overlap in your personal or team calendar in Microsoft Teams. 
    • Allow you to add any Office 365 and external calendars to Microsoft Teams calendar and have a single view of all your calendars in one place 

      And of course, do not limit yourself to a daily or weekly view, and choose what you want, for example convenient to many monthly grids. Which, as we all know, lacks a standard Microsoft Teams calendar. 

      In fact, we could go on and on about the benefits of third-party apps that make a powerful productivity machine out of any Microsoft Teams calendar. One thing we can say is that you can definitely cover any project management needs with third-party apps by using them with your Microsoft Teams calendar. 

      In addition, developers are constantly updating the functionality of shared calendars at the request of customers, especially if it is a calendar for an enterprise. The various ideas of features with which clients contact companies, in the end, lead to the development of convenient instruments to improve Microsoft Teams calendar usability for the entire pool of users. 

       

      Conclusion 

      In terms of value for money, the Calendar Overlay Pro by Virto is by far the best choice. It is a flagship product that integrates natively with any calendars of Microsoft services, including Microsoft Teams calendar. Calendar Overlay Pro is quite flexible and the development team constantly updates the product with new functionality 

      Start the Calendar Overlay Pro for Microsoft Teams calendar trial now and see how it can facilitate your teamwork with the most extensible and user-friendly shared calendar on market. 


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