It’s easy to rave about the wildly impressive and complex features NetSuite offers such as their machine learning based, multi system data analysis platform or their industry leading group accounting and consolidated reporting functionality.
With all these flashing lights, however, we often overlook the benefits of some of the simpler features such as the NetSuite Calendar.
The NetSuite Calendar is one of those tools that helps encourage users to make NetSuite their primary business system.
I almost always encourage businesses to adopt the NetSuite Calendar particularly where customer relationship management is in use. There are untold benefits of keeping employees in the same system for as much of their day as possible. The calendar is one way that helps encourage that.
Below I will highlight the different ways to use the calendar, the component features and a few add-ons and integrations you might want to consider.
Introduction to the NetSuite Calendar
The Calendar is a standard NetSuite feature that allows users to manage activities, events, tasks and phone calls.
Users can monitor their own calendars as well as team calendars directly from their NetSuite dashboard. There are various portlet views to meet different needs and multiple calendars can be displayed at the same time.
Calendar Tasks can be used as for work scheduling and delegation amongst teams. Events can be used to schedule meetings. Time can even be tracked against calendar entries.
In short, the NetSuite Calendar feature can be used in the same way that any other digital calendar is used by your team.
The primary pain point you will encounter is the separation from events falling directly in to Outlook or Gmail, for example. This can be resolved, however, using a calendar synchronization tool. I will introduce you to a few third party options that handle this below.
Using Your NetSuite Calendar
The NetSuite Calendar is really just a platform allowing users to interact with activities they have scheduled. Preferences can be set to determine how information is displayed and how the calendar can be used but from there it is fairly passive.
To utilize the calendar properly, you will need to learn how to set your preferences, create, view and edit different types of activities and use the calendar dashboard portlet.
Setting Calendar and Activity Preferences
To review or set your preferences for activities, navigate to Home > Set Preferences.
Click the Activities tab and change the settings as desired. Here you can define preference such as Default Reminder Type, who to send Invitation emails to and the Default Priority for Tasks.
Navigate to the General tab and select your time zone in the Time Zone field. This is important for setting events and reminders.
Next, navigate to Activities > Setup > Calendar Preferences. Here you can set up your own personal calendar and define it’s accessibility.
Give your calendar a name and set it’s Sharing level. If you choose Defined access, you can set individual users with separate access levels.
On the Preferences tab you can set how your NetSuite Calendar is displayed.
Using Calendar Portlets
Calendar portlets allow you to view and use your NetSuite Calendar via your dashboard.
Add the calendar portlet by selecting Personalize at the top right of your dashboard. Click the calendar tile to add a new calendar portlet.
By clicking the Activities link on your quick access bar you will be taken to an activities dashboard. There you will find two preset calendar portlets already. You may find this a more a appropriate dashboard to manage your calendars from.
On the portlet, you will be able to select which of the calendars, that you have access to, you would like to view.
You can also toggle between a day, week or month view. You can click on the date in the header of the portlet to change the specific day, month or year being viewed.
When you hover over a date you will see an Add New icon appear. Click this to begin adding a new activity.
Activities can be created via the portlet, as detailed above, or by navigating to Activities > Scheduling. You can then select the type of activity you want to create.
The types of activities available are as follows.
- Events – Used to reserve time for meetings and appointments
- Tasks – Used to track works that need to be carried out by you or another user.
- Phone Calls – For scheduling or logging business calls.
All activity types have a title, status and organizer/assignee. They also all have a messages tab where notes can be kept.
Files can be attached to events and reminders can be set for specific times.
Using the Assigned To field, the Task activity type can be moved between users.
|I encourage the businesses I work with to use Tasks to assign jobs and manage workstreams. Try instead of sending an email to request something of a colleague, assign them a task.
Users can manage their open and assigned tasks via their dashboard using the Custom Search portlet .
Events include an Attendees tab on which all required attendees for a meeting can be added and then informed via email.
All the above activity types can also be added via specific customer, vendor or transaction records. Navigate to the Communication tab and click Activities to add new activities and view those associated with the entity or transaction record.
NetSuite Calendar Integrations and Add-Ons
Realistically, no business is going to use their NetSuite calendar as their only calendar. Most professionals will have a calendar associated with their email account that is hard to entirely break free from.
Fortunately there are ways around this. There are countless NetSuite integrations and add-on features provided by third parties that help consolidate information in the same place and streamline calendar use.
Below is a small selection of products on the market to give a taste of what’s possible.
CalSync for NetSuite
CalSync is a product that integrates Outlook and NetSuite calendars bi-directionally. With CalSync, events created in Outlook can be automatically transferred to the NetSuite calendar and vice versa.
Cloudextend by Celigo offers an extensive Outlook and Gmail integration with NetSuite. This allows for the fast creation of NetSuite events directly from your Microsoft or Google application as well as transfer and attachment of emails, documents and more.
iEnterprises NetSuite Connector
With the iEnterprises solution you can have automatic, two-way calendar integration between NetSuite and Google calendar. This product requires no professional services to set up and can be done by the end user. It also works on iOS and Android Gmail apps.