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How to Manage Multiple Dimensions with a Combined Calendar Structure

The basic structure of a Teamup calendar is based on what sub-calendars represent. Sub-calendars can represent whatever you need to organize or schedule. In some scenarios, a calendar needs to organize only one dimension (e.g. individuals). In others, a calendar needs to organize multiple dimensions (e.g. individuals and resources).

One dimension or multiple dimensions

In the simplest scenarios, you may be using your calendar to organize one dimension: scheduling team members for work, for example. In this case the single dimension is individuals, and the purpose of the calendar is to schedule and manage availability of those individuals, or simply track the team’s whereabouts. You can explore this type of scenario in our Team Calendar live demo.

However, many scenarios are a bit more complicated. You may be working with multiple dimensions which all factor into scheduling: office locations and team members, fleet vehicles and drivers, project sites and equipment and crew members, and so on. If that’s your scenario, take a look at how you can set up a combined calendar structure to keep everything organized.

Managing one dimension

Sub-calendars as individuals

A set of sub-calendars which represent one dimension - individuals.
Explore this live demo calendar.

A very common calendar setup is to create sub-calendars which are assigned to or represent individuals.

This structure works well for scheduling tasks, shifts, and projects to staff members and managing team availability.

You can easily prevent double-booking, and it’s easy to set up customized access for each team member.

Sub-calendars as resources

A set of sub-calendars represent one dimension, resources which are meeting rooms.
Explore this live demo calendar.

Another calendar setup is to have sub-calendars represent resources, which could be an item, tool, or place: from musical instruments to specialized lab equipment to rental machinery, meeting rooms, a campground space, or studios.

With a resource-based structure, it’s easy to compare availability of each resource, prevent double-booking, and find open times by viewing resource schedules side-by-side.

Managing two or more dimensions

One set of sub-calendars for resources, another set for team members. Manage two dimensions.
Explore this live demo calendar.

What if your business is a bit more complicated than scheduling team members OR managing shared resources?

Many organizations need to manage both resources and individuals:

  • A small business needs to manage team availability and schedule use of shared meeting rooms (shown on the right).
  • A construction company needs to schedule crew members for each job and share use of equipment like backhoes and skid steers.
  • A company doing specialized field inspections needs to schedule team member and assign the needed equipment and vehicles for each inspection.
  • A tutoring organization needs to assign a tutor for each scheduled session and reserve a room.

Custom fields vs sub-calendars

Teamup’s custom fields are a great way to capture details and track secondary dimensions, attributes, and other factors. You can choose the type of custom field that works best for what you need to track.

  • Custom choice field: For a project or task-based workflow calendar where the status of each task or event needs to be tracked.
  • Custom numerical field: For a calendar that tracks progress or status numerically (e.g. workout done, hours worked, delivery weight). You can even get automatic sums!
  • Custom text field: For capturing keywords, notes, or clickable links. Easily include contextual references, add a Zoom link, or keep events in context with tags.

However, while we love custom fields, they might not be the best way to manage two dimensions on your calendar. Sometimes using another set of sub-calendars is the better solution.

Here’s why:

  • To avoid double-booking both dimensions (resources AND team members). Only sub-calendars can be set to disallow overlapping events.
  • To provide customized access for team members. You can’t customize access based on custom fields, only on sub-calendars.
  • To set up individual notifications for team members. If each team member has their own sub-calendar, they can receive notifications for events on that sub-calendar only.

Use a combined structure

Screen Shot 2023-08-17 at 10.36.13 AM.png Fortunately, it’s easy to set up a combined structure. If you have a set of sub-calendars which represent resources, you can add another set of sub-calendars to represent individuals. You can organize both sets in one or multiple folders, as needed.

Then just assign each event to all the relevant sub-calendars:

Screen Shot 2023-08-17 at 10.39.26 AM.png

Get all the benefits of sub-calendars

Prevent double booking: Set all sub-calendars to disallow overlapping events. You won’t accidentally schedule a team member to be in two places at once!

Provide customized access: For each team member, assign read-only access to the resource calendars they need to see and the appropriate access to their own sub-calendar. Set other sub-calendars to Not Shared. Now each team member will only see the events they need to see. 

Set up individual notifications: Each team member can subscribe to change notifications for only their own sub-calendar. They’ll get the information they need without being flooded with irrelevant notifications.

An important reminder: If you’re improving your calendar structure, it’s a great time to review and improve other aspects of your calendar as well.

For example, you can upgrade both calendar security and usefulness by switching from calendar links to user accounts. Account-based access provides more security and enables features like event reminders and a synced calendar dashboard. Account users can set up their own change notifications (otherwise a calendar admin has to set up all notifications).

Follow these steps to add each team member as an account users. Then delete or deactivate the calendar links that were being used for access.

If you were using an admin link, follow these steps to set up your own account-based access.

Updated on March 2, 2024
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