Too many calendars!
I've heard from many AFEers that they're confused about which calendars their events should go on. And who can blame them? We have too many calendars!
We have the AFE calendar, your UMCal calendar, My Programs scheduled events, individual web site calendars, your shared Google calendar to check to see if your husband is playing Dungeons and Dragons in the basement tonight and you should pick up the tot from daycare. Well, you may or may not have that last one.
So how to make sure your events show up on all the appropriate non-Dungeons and Dragons calendars? Read on.
My Programs www.extension.umn.edu/myprograms
Purpose: Extension-wide event scheduling and reporting.
How: Responsibility is with individual or team that is doing the programming.
The My Programs system has been rebuilt, although you can't tell to look at it. But you can tell to use it. No crashing! No errors! No foul smelling odors!
My Programs is good at showing your events on the Extension website and making sure they get their due in administrative circles. There are other good reasons to be using My Programs, but that is another blog entry for another day.
What My Programs is NOT good at is displaying programs in a calendar format, which is often handy for program planning.
AFE Calendar www.extension.umn.edu/capacity/afe/components/Calendar/default.asp
Purpose: Event awareness among staff and in some cases, clientele.
How: Send event info to Laurie Walker.
The AFE Calendar is laid out in a traditional calendar grid, and that makes it easy to answer the question, "What's coming up in the next few days?" It is not good at looking at what programming have we been doing in a certain topic over that last year or so--that's what My Programs is for. The two calendars aren't currently talking to each other (they are in couple therapy).
The AFE Calendar is public in a few places (more on that in a minute).
Program Website Calendars
Example: MN Crop eNews
Purpose: Show upcoming events to clientele.
How: Pulled from AFE Calendar (see above.)
If the calendar on a program website looks like the AFE Calendar format, it is pulled from the AFE Calendar database. So if you get your event info to Laurie, you are actually getting your event on these calendars too.
Purpose: Individual meeting scheduling calendar that is in a semi-shared format.
How: You enter your meetings.
UMCal isn't really related to the above event calendars, but it tends to get lumped into Calendar Confusion. UMCal is for your personal meeting scheduling, either you can schedule a meeeting, or someone else on UMCal can see when you're not busy and invite you to a meeting, which you can then accept or decline.
Except in rare cases, UMCal is not useful from a program event perspective.
IN SUMMARY (stick with me here), there are two calendars that you should be getting your events into. AFE Calendar (email info to Laurie Walker) and My Programs (team responsibility).
In the near future, we hope to have My Programs feed all of our calendars. FEED me, Seymour! But until that happens, we have the solution of two calendars.
Don't panic if you don't remember how to use the My Programs system--there will be some refresher training on it soon and I'll be demonstrating it at some staff meetings coming up.
As always, let me know if I can answer any questions.