We often think of calendar invites as a quick throwaway activity. But they aren’t. They’re deliberate communication; treat them well!
It’s early morning! Oh, boy, I just love early morning! The sun is shining, friendly people are walking around outside, and my clock reads 10:00 am! Yes, early morning is fantastic!
I leap out of bed and turn on the coffee percolator. Intern MG got me addicted to coffee and then he quit the caffeinated dominatrix, leaving me as her sole whipping boy. While the fragrant smell begins to waft through the house—yum, artisanal Maxwell House—I look over today’s schedule to find out what horrible, demoralizing, crushing defeats the world has in store for me today. (I used to be bright and optimistic, but life’s harsh realities cured me of that in no time.)
There, at 11 am, is a calendar meeting with “Stever.” And again at 1 pm, 2 pm, and 3 pm, “Stever.” It looks like it’s an entire day scheduled just for me!!! YAY!!! Turn off the computer, turn off the cell phone, pull out the focus work, and get right down to work, designing an invention that will finally fix all the world’s problems. And when I say “finally,” I mean “finally.” There’s no problem that can’t be solved if everyone’s clothes suddenly change into flower-print mumus. Beat the rush and get yours fitted now.
Calendar invites are like any other communication: you’re writing for an audience!
Whoa! It’s 5 o’clock. Time to wrap up for the day. I happily turn on my cell phone and … there are an awful lot of voicemails. The first is from the lawyer. $25 million dollars was supposed to be wired into my bank account today, but since I wasn’t at my phone for the 11 o’clock meeting, the deposed Nigerian Prince decided to get someone else to do the transaction.
The 1 o’clock meeting was with my friend who lost their wallet while traveling, and needed me to wire them £5,000 immediately so they could pay their hotel bill. They found someone else to wire the money. Now I’ve lost the chance to demonstrate what a good friend I am.
And the 2 o’clock meeting was with Mrs. Betty Alexander, whose late husband chose my email address at random to leave his fortune of €8.3 million. Since I didn’t pick up the phone, she’s moving on to the next email address on the list. ARGH!!! Do you see? The universe has it in for me. Just look at all the income opportunities and chances to do good that I missed! Sometimes life just sucks!!!
Calendar invites show what the sender writes
It’s all because of those stupid calendar invites. You see, when someone sends you a calendar invite, whatever title they give it is what shows up in both your calendars. Let’s say Europa wants to meet with me. From her point of view, it makes total sense to write a calendar invite that simply says “Stever,” pop it in her calendar, and send me an invitation. I accept, and it shows up on both our calendars. Easy peasey, right?
Wrong. Because to me, a calendar invite of “Stever” tells me nothing. Indeed, it makes me think I’ve created a meeting with myself because I’m so awesome that I just can’t get enough time with wonderful, glorious ME.
When sending a calendar invite, name the meeting something that will be meaningful for the other attendees, not just you. Had Europa named the meeting “Stever & Europa,” I would at least have known that the meeting was with her.