As a project manager, it’s common to have questions about meeting schedules, milestones, task discussions, and project completion dates.  To keep track of everything, a calendar is your best friend.In this article, we’ll explore a range of calendar tools designed to meet different  project management needs. These tools can help improve organization, increase collaboration, or enhance productivity, these tools can by streamlining work processes. We'll highlight  each tool's unique features and benefits, so you can select the most suitable option for your project management requirementsAdditionally, we'll discuss the calendar features offered by Wrike to help you stay on schedule and maintain a well-organized workflow.

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Microsoft Excel

Use it for this project management need: Creating simple schedules and agendas

Excel is familiar and accessible, which means that many project teams still rely on it for various project management tasks.

Here’s the good news: Excel definitely has its time and place. For example, if you’re hosting a meeting and need an agenda for what will be discussed and how much time will be allotted for each topic, Excel is a straightforward choice. If you’re managing a booth at an industry event, Excel can help you pull together a simple schedule for the day.

However, when project teams try to use Excel as a complex scheduling calendar or project management platform, various pitfalls become apparent. Creating a calendar in Excel will require a lot of manual work upfront — which could be completely avoided with a tool specifically designed for calendar management.

Additionally, Excel can be inflexible. You’ll either need to understand complex formulas to automate your calendar or invest time in making manual updates when something changes with your project or schedule (which is inevitable).

Put simply, Excel is much better suited for simple, short-term agendas or schedules. It really isn’t built for complex project calendars, as it lacks many features beneficial to project managers.

Google Calendar

Use it for this project management need: Scheduling meetings and important milestones

Out of the free calendar management tools available, Google Calendar is one of the most popular. That’s because so many project teams already use Gmail, making the native calendar app one that’s integrated and easy to access.

Google Calendar allows for easy calendar availability sharing, making it a great choice for things like scheduling kickoff meetings or dropping important milestones (like a project go-live date) on everyone’s calendars.

This tool’s customizable event notifications also mean that users can be reminded of those upcoming meetings or commitments.

Scheduling a quick meeting or checking someone’s availability is easy. However, Google Calendar isn’t a project management or task management platform, which means it lacks a lot in terms of project scheduling.

This tool doesn’t offer an easy way to keep project details, attachments, or other important information directly in the calendar — meaning Google Calendar often needs to be used along with another project management tool.

Additionally, managing tasks and deadlines can become challenging and cumbersome. There’s no easy way to display dependencies or tie tasks to each other, which means a lot of manual updating is required when the schedule changes or the scope of the project shifts.

Wrike Calendars

Use it for this project management need: Overseeing entire projects, including tasks, deadlines, and dependencies

Wrike's calendars address many of the pain points that tools like Excel or Google Calendar don’t.

For starters, it can be overwhelming to look at everything a specific team is working on in a single scheduling calendar. Maybe you only want to see what the marketing team has in the works for an upcoming webinar (and not eBooks, blog posts, case studies, and other current projects on their plate).

Wrike's calendars allow you to create different calendars based on project type. These are color-coded and can easily be viewed individually or layered on top of one another. Gone are the days of going cross-eyed trying to figure out what dates and deadlines are pertinent to a specific project.

Wrike's calendars are more than just schedules and due dates. They’re connected to underlying Wrike projects and tasks. This means that you can get the big-picture view from looking at the calendar, but you also have the option to drill down to specific tasks and milestones and get important context directly from the calendar.

You know that transparency is key, which means you need to keep many different teams and stakeholders in the loop. For that reason, Wrike Calendars are easy to share across internal teams. External links also remain updated to keep vendors, clients, and other outside parties updated on your project progress.


Use it for this project management need: Painlessly finding suitable times for meetings and appointments

Aside from your overall project calendar and team-wide schedules, you still have individual calendars to concern yourself with. Maybe you need to schedule a time to sit down with a web developer on your team or to chat with a vendor.

People aren’t always great about blocking times or recording everything on their own calendar, which makes it challenging to know when they’re actually available to connect.

You can skip all the back-and-forth emails and scheduling headaches with a free scheduling app like Calendly. Using this calendar tool, you can set your availability and generate a calendar that displays only your available times.

Calendly will create a link to your scheduling calendar that you can share with others, who can then immediately book meeting times without having to confirm whether or not that time actually works for you.

That means you can spend less time scheduling meetings and more time actually preparing to have a productive conversation.


Use it for this project management need: Automating and streamlining clunky scheduling processes

Alright, you caught us — Workato isn’t actually a calendar tool. However, it allows you to connect all sorts of different apps (like Slack, Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, Calendly, and, yes, even Wrike) and automate common interactions between them. That means you can use it to make various schedule-related tasks faster and far more painless.

For example, you can create a “recipe” (or an automated workflow) to automatically create an Outlook Calendar event whenever a new Wrike task is created that includes a start and due date.

Or when you create a new invoice in QuickBooks, you can set up Workato to automatically create a new task in Wrike and a new event in your Google Calendar so you make sure to send and follow up on it.

Think of Workato as a perfect complement to whatever calendar management tool you’re using, as it can take many repetitive tasks and mindless work out of the scheduling process.

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Use these calendar tools to overcome common project management hurdles

In project management, having a reliable calendar is a must-have for overseeing tasks, deadlines, meetings, and other important obligations. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of calendar management tools available — and they all have their time and place.

Some of the tools we covered in this article include: 

  • Excel: for simple agendas and short-term schedules
  • Google Calendar: for scheduling meetings and important milestones
  • Wrike Calendars: for overseeing and managing entire projects
  • Calendly: for painlessly finding mutually agreeable times for meetings and appointments
  • Workato: for automating time-intensive scheduling tasks and processes

We might be a little bit biased, we believe that Wrike Calendars offer all of the features and benefits you need to make project and calendar management a breeze. Plus, it can be used in conjunction with many of the other tools mentioned on this list.