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Produce8 Integrates with Google Calendar and Outlook to Measure Focused Hours and Time in Meetings

Ryan McGinnis, VP Marketing & Product5 min read

How much time does everyone in your business or team spend in meetings? How many of these meetings were internal vs. external?

You and your team schedule meetings and tasks in calendar apps like Google Calendar and Outlook every day, and that makes you think you’re on top of things. But have you ever wondered if the workday is really going as planned?

Were you and your team able to focus on work during the time blocked off? Are your client calls running longer than you anticipated? These are all questions the new Produce8 Calendar Integration tool can help you answer.

What are Calendars in Produce8?

You can now add the calendar apps you use to Produce8 using our Calendar Integration. This feature captures past and planned calendar entries, displaying them in personal timelines, shared timelines, and daily reports.

This new feature offers insights into calendar events, including internal and external meetings as well as focused blocks. It uses calendar data to introduce enhanced meeting metrics, providing a brand new layer of organization-wide reporting, personal user insights, and goal-setting capabilities .

Understanding calendar events

Produce8 provides three types of calendar events:

  1. Focus Sessions: Calendar entries with no other attendees are designated as focus sessions. This is a common use for calendars, and no distinction is made between personal time (such as lunch) and work-focused blocks.
  2. Internal Meetings: Any calendar entry that includes more than one person is categorized as a meeting. If all the participants are under the same email domain, it will be classified as “internal.”
  3. External Meetings: Meetings that include invitees from external email domains are classified as "external."
Calendar entries that are ignored or discarded include all-day or multi-day events, out-of-office blocks, and unaccepted meeting invitations.

The inclusion of internal and external meetings, focused time blocks, and tasks (individual calendar entries) integrates offline work hours into the application. This enhancement enriches your call data and accounts for meetings that lack call data, such as in-person and offline calendar events.

Additionally, distinguishing between internal and external meetings aids teams by highlighting their impact. This distinction is beneficial for roles like sales, where meetings drive results, and potentially disruptive for roles requiring concentrated work time, such as those involving large internal gatherings.

Are internal meetings costing your team?

Internal meetings are pivotal for collaboration and decision-making. However, they must be well-managed to prevent them from consuming excessive time and undermining productivity. Using a calendar app to schedule your meetings is an essential step, but what you and your team plan is not always a reflection of reality. For instance, consider the following questions:

Now you can find out.

By analyzing Produce8’s "view data" feature to track your focus on the meeting apps, you and your team can assess whether the meetings attended align with priorities. Based on this insight, you may choose to either skip similar future meetings or work to make them more engaging and relevant.

We also help both workers and leaders delve deeper into their time spent in meetings by providing access to data that measures that metric. If you and your employees are making progress, this is one area where it will show.

Is your team scheduling and running external meetings effectively?

The daily timeline also offers an interesting comparison between a scheduled event and what happened in it. For example, examining a scheduled internal meeting on Zoom will show your team if they are on the call for longer or shorter than expected.

Analyzing the schedule of external meetings and their historical patterns enables the workers on your team to optimize their day effectively. This approach allows them to adjust the frequency of these meetings, perhaps scheduling fewer of them to accommodate breaks or allowing extra time for those that may extend beyond their planned duration.

If the job role (like one in sales or customer support) demands a certain number of daily external meetings, then having a comprehensive view of the day can help your employees meet their targets while also improving collaboration and the ability to share insights with the whole team.

Was your team able to concentrate during focused blocks?

In the calendar, your team members schedule blocks of time for essential tasks. That could mean catching up on emails or focusing on writing.

With Produce8, they can now verify if they accomplished what they intended. For instance, if they blocked out time to work on a blog post but found themselves frequently switching to Microsoft Teams or another app instead of staying in Google Docs, it's clear that their focus block was less effective than they’d hoped it would be. Conversely, if they allocated time for batch emailing and spent that entire period in Outlook, they can confidently say that their session was successful.

If your team finds themselves constantly distracted while working, this feature can help them identify the recurring causes of their distractions.

Getting started with Produce8 calendars

Users must opt-in and connect their calendar apps to Produce8 to access this data. We have simplified this process to ensure it is straightforward for all users.

Simply log into Produce8, choose the calendar app you are using (i.e., Google Calendar or Outlook ), and approve access.

Calendar data in Produce8 is updated hourly, so changes may not be immediately visible. Updates are not made for events once their scheduled time has passed. Any changes made after the fact will not be reflected in Produce8.

Ready to reclaim control of the workday by managing how you and your team conduct meetings? Produce8 can help. Schedule a quick call with our team of productivity experts and we can assist you in designing a strategy tailored to your organization.

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