12 Calendar Management Tips for Executive Assistants

An executive’s schedule is full-packed. A study by Fellow saw 50% of executives attend 6 to 15 weekly meetings. Not only that, they need time for other responsibilities and themselves. 

As the executive’s assistant, your responsibility is to manage their calendar effectively and efficiently. I don’t have to tell you that you’ll be dealing with a LOT of scheduling meetings, prioritizing tasks, coordinating appointments, and so on. If you’re not organized, your boss’ calendar will be all over the place. 

To help you stay on top of everything, I’m going to list 12 calendar management tips for executive assistants. So here are the 12 effective calendar management tips we’ll be looking at:

  1. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to prioritize tasks correctly
  2. Work with other executive assistants
  3. Know all about the executive’s preferences
  4. Set up meeting reminders and confirmations
  5. Utilize calendar management tools
  6. Create templates for meeting invitations and confirmations
  7. Organize meetings using color codes
  8. Always consider travel time when scheduling
  9. Allocate time for other things
  10. Review the executive’s calendar daily
  11. Schedule regular check-in meetings with direct reports
  12. Improve your executive assistant skills 

1. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to prioritize tasks correctly

Your boss will attend all kinds of meetings – executive meetings, board meetings, recurring meetings, special meeting requests, etc… Plus, they’ll have so many other responsibilities. You want to make sure that they prioritize the most important ones. 

To prioritize tasks correctly, I suggest using the Eisenhower Matrix, created by President Dwight Eisenhower himself. Here’s the scoop:

You divide the tasks into four boxes. First, there are the “urgent and important” tasks, which are the ones that need to be completed ASAP. Then, you’ve got the “important but not urgent” tasks, which are big goals or projects that need planning.

Next, there are the “urgent but not important” tasks, like random calls or emails that can be delegated or handled quickly. Finally, there’s the “neither urgent nor important” stuff, which is basically time-wasting distractions.

The key here is to focus on what’s important and urgent, tackle the big goals, delegate or handle quick tasks, and cut out the distractions. 

Read More: Top Strategies for Prioritization and Time Management at Work

2. Work with other executive assistants 

It’s never good to isolate yourself, no matter how busy you are. This is why another great tip for executive calendar management is to work with other executive assistants (also called EAs). 

You can work with them when it comes to scheduling meetings with your bosses, making appointments that your bosses need to do together, and so on. Or maybe your boss relies on their boss to get something done on time. 

If not for anything else, you’ll feel much better if you talk to people who can relate to you. Kristen Bullock, an Executive Assistant to the President & CEO and Board of Governors at St. Lawrence College, says:

“Stay connected with your office and system EAs – you can share ideas, vent, problem solve, and come up with new ways of working by comparing notes and experiences.”

3. Know all about the executive’s preferences

One of an executive assistant’s calendar management responsibilities is to ensure productivity. For that, you need to know your executive’s appointment and meeting preferences. 

Don’t just guess. Before you work for an executive, it’s wise to sit them down and let them tell you about their preferred times. Do they prefer to have meetings in the morning or afternoon? When do they feel most productive? Creative? Efficient?

What time of day do they want to be free from meetings? Where do they prefer to hold meetings, online or in person? Do they prefer to rest in between meetings or go straight to the next one? 

It’s crucial to know the answer to these questions so that the executive’s time will be managed to their wants and needs. Also, it’ll be much easier for you to set up meeting schedules and other appointments. 

4. Set up meeting reminders and confirmations

Get this: No matter how organized you are, you can’t remember everything from memory alone. So another tip for effective calendar management for executive assistants is to always set reminders of upcoming meetings. 

Now, reminders aren’t just for you and the executive. You should send reminders to the people your boss is meeting, too. Imagine how frustrating and unproductive it will be if the person is a no-show. 

More than that, make sure that they confirm the meeting schedule. If it’s with another executive, know that they may have a busy schedule as well. So everything should be confirmed beforehand, even the recurring meetings. 

5. Utilize calendar management tools 

When managing an executive calendar, a good tip is to automate as many tasks as you can. The team at Practically Perfect PA, a platform dedicated to helping assistants, says:

“Technology can’t do everything, but it can help free up your time.”

So it’s a good idea to automate tasks using calendar management tools like Google Calendar, Calendly, Fellow,, and Plan. Trust me, your life will be so much easier with these tools.

Let’s go over them briefly:

  • Google Calendar. This is a widely used online calendar tool for scheduling events, meetings, and appointments. It allows you to set reminders, share calendars, and manage tasks.
  • Calendly. This scheduling tool enables you to set your executive’s availability and allows others to book appointments based on that availability. It helps in automating the scheduling process.
  • Fellow. This is more of a collaboration tool that includes features for meeting management, agenda creation, note-taking, and action item tracking. It’s designed to streamline team meetings and improve productivity.
  • This is another project management platform that includes tools for task management, collaboration, and workflow automation. It can be used for scheduling and tracking tasks related to projects and team activities.
  • Plan. This is a task and project management tool that offers features for planning, organizing, and tracking tasks and projects. It helps in managing deadlines, priorities, and team collaboration.

6. Create templates for meeting invitations and confirmations

Another way to master your executive calendar management responsibilities is to create templates for meeting invitations and confirmations. This will help you save time and avoid so much hassle. 

Remember, in the Eisenhower Matrix, you need to delegate or quickly handle “urgent but not important” tasks. And templates can do just that. The team at Ideals Board, a platform that automates and streamlines your meeting preparation and management, gives this advice: 

“Create a separate invitation template for each type of event and send them without spending extra time filling in the required information.”

Besides that, you should create templates to confirm your boss’s meetings. When your boss accepts a meeting invite, use the template to email the other person or their executive assistant. 

7. Organize meetings using color codes

Color-coding the calendar is great because it allows you to know the details of an upcoming meeting in one glance. Instead of reading through the calendar notes every time, you can simply look at the colors and know instantly what it’s about. 

Hint: It’s also a good idea to inform your boss about these color codes so they can understand their daily schedule and prepare for it. 

So for example, you can pick the color red for important meetings with other executives, blue for recurring team meetings, green for board meetings, and so on. You may also want to add color codes for whether the meeting will be held online or in person, if it’s an internal or external meeting, if it has a different time zone, etc…

Thankfully, calendar management tools make it so easy for you to color code. So no worries there. 

8. Always consider travel time when scheduling

Here’s one of the calendar management tips for executive assistants that a lot of people leave out. Yes, you must always consider even the smallest things. Here’s an example:

Your executive might have 2 consecutive meetings in different locations. If so, take into account the travel time between locations. Say the first meeting ends at 11 AM, and it will take 15 minutes to get to the second meeting. For this, you should schedule the second meeting at 11:30 AM. 

When you consider travel time when scheduling the executive calendar with others, your boss doesn’t have to rush or be late. They can even take their time a bit. The executive assistant Kristen Bullock says this:

“I find adding calendar reminder pop-ups noting ‘travel time’ also serves as a reminder that it is time to prepare to hit the road.”

9. Allocate time for other things 

Effective executive calendar management is not only about meetings – it’s also everything in between. This includes their work time, time to review documents, time to rest, time to exercise, time to check emails, etc…

Allocating time for all these other things is not just an executive assistant calendar management tip. No, it’s part of the fundamentals of effective calendar management. 

According to the Harvard Business Review, CEO executives work 9.7 hours per day, on average. Your job in the executive assistant role is to make the most of those hours. So carefully work on your exec’s calendar to include meetings, review documents to prepare for meetings, chat with the employees, take a lunch break, have a nice walk outside, and all that. 

When the day is fully scheduled to the dot, it keeps your executive stress-free, as well as helps them do their job effectively and efficiently. 

10. Review the executive’s calendar daily

When managing a busy executive’s calendar, another tip is to review it every day. For one, this will help you keep track of the day’s schedule, upcoming meetings, appointments, and deadlines. 

But more than that, it also allows you to anticipate changes. Let’s say one meeting was canceled or rescheduled. If you know your boss’s calendar, you can adjust it accordingly, inform relevant parties, and make alternative arrangements if needed.

Plus, by knowing what’s on your leader’s calendar, you can prepare for meetings and appointments in advance. This may include gathering necessary documents, preparing agendas, coordinating with other participants, and ensuring that everything runs smoothly.

Here’s one good advice from the Ideals Board:

“Review the executive’s next day’s schedule at the end of the day to have enough time to notify other parties if there are any changes to the planned event.”

11. Schedule regular check-in meetings with direct reports

Here’s a tip that will make life so much easier for you. If your boss has one-on-one meetings with direct reports, it’s a good idea to schedule your own meeting with them, too. 

During these meetings, have them give you in advance their talking points for the upcoming meeting with the executive. It doesn’t have to be detailed. As long as you get the rough agenda or bullet points, you’ll be able to prepare for it. 

Now that you have the talking points, you can look up previous materials on the same topic. This way, you can let your executive go through the materials when the direct report meetings are coming up. 

12. Improve your executive assistant skills 

Yes, you probably already have the necessary calendar management skills for executive assistant. However, there’s always room to improve. This is why you must do all you can to improve the top skills you use. This includes:

If you become even better with these skills, managing an executive’s calendar will become much easier. You’ll be able to map their schedules with quickness and ease. Your productivity will also increase, so that you can do more in less time. 

Final Words

If you want to be more effective as an executive assistant, you should follow these 12 calendar management tips for executive assistants. It will help you become more organized, as well as help you alleviate the workload for you and your executive. 

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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