There’s one thing missing from most really great apps and tools – and that’s an integrated calendar system to manage multiple projects. Sure, there are plenty of fantastic project management software designed for just about any need, but even they lack a coveted calendar system.

The one thing an integrated marketing department, or any department or lone entrepreneur needs, is a scalable calendar system that doesn’t involve Mission Control complexity to navigate through various deadlines, tasks, meetings and more. Gmail, Outlook and even Hotmail’s redesigned calendar all fail the litmus test. Regrettably, even Evernote’s payable solution doesn’t offer the Holy Grail of all efficiency must-haves.

Before completely throwing in the towel on digital solutions and reverting back to hassle-filled but flexible paper systems, give the following systems a try and rate them for yourself.

Brainstorming Calendar Management Tools

Rainlendar – Rainlendar gets that you shouldn’t have to dig in a digital basement to get to your calendar. Why should you have to refer back to your email server to see what’s going on next Tuesday? Your calendar system should function as an efficient software system, on your desktop or toolbar and retrievable in seconds. Rainlendar does just that.

The software gives users the basics like a “day” view, supports events and tasks, includes an alarm function with snooze features and can be shared with others when needed. It’s also standards based, which means data is stored in a standard iCalendar format that’s supported by most calendar systems, so you can integrate data from one calendar (say a remote Outlook work calendar) into your personal one. Rainlendar works like your personal Google homepage, allowing you to change skins and customize windows. It gets bonus points for access, but for a $10+ one-time fee, it still lacks multiple project management capacity for the extreme business go-getter.

FloatSchedule – Capable calendars aren’t just a priority for busy multi-taskers, they’re also a concern for executives wondering what calendar system can accommodate a large pool of employees, company and client events, high volume traffic, is easy to learn and implement, includes auto updates and search filters and can be accessed on the cloud. Thought it can’t accommodate the level of detail users may have become accustomed to with Outlook, it will serve in other needed capacities. The software is ideal for agencies, studios, firms – especially in advertising, PR and those with multiple project needs.

It’s clear that FloatSchedule really thought about the dynamic needs of various users, from industries to user types. Not only does it meet and exceed the requirements for multiple project management, but it goes beyond by offering capabilities you probably didn’t know you wanted until now. Floatschedule includes “click and drag” scheduling, search features for team members based on “skill” tags, report productions and email delivered schedules.

FloatSchedule offers a 30 day free trial, after which pricing starts at $19/month and gets capped at $65. Each plan accounts for unlimited account administrators, a custom account URL, secure hosted service, unlimited projects, unlimited clients and unlimited departments.

For advanced scheduling needs for people rather than projects, definitely take a minute to check out highly recommended Resource Guru.

Tips to Help Manage DIY Calendar Management

  1. Define Your Priorities – Among the major accounts you’re responsible for, marketing goals, deadlines and administrative needs, take a moment to define what requires your attention each week. By giving each major task or account its own tier, you’ll be able to better handle what needs sorting.
  2. Itemize Tasks – Are there things you have to do every week? Maybe it’s a set of emails that need sending, or a blog post that needs writing. Perhaps you’ve got a newsletter to send out, leads to follow through or sites like this one to read up on to stay informed. Whatever it is, set a few hours to one complete day for micro tasks.
  3. Color Code – It’s an old but golden rule. By incorporating color schemes, you’ll be better at scanning your complex calendar for key items.