How to manage corporate outlook calendar and personal calendar

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by rodxmas, May 14, 2018.

  1. rodxmas

    rodxmas Registered

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    Hello Everyone!

    I work for a large corporation with a very secure outlook system. The issue I am having is that for work I am required to use the outlook calendar. At the moment I also put my personal appointments in the same calendar. I have a couple of issues. First, is privacy. I am diligent about marking personal things as private but there are still those with access or at least I get comments well it was a private appointment so I scheduled over. The thinking is that if you mark it as private you are likely just schedule blocking. I tried to use google calendar along with outlook and publish my outlook calendar to google. The publishing worked but then I could not change any professional appointments on google cal and the synching was spotting at best using synqya. Looking for either workflow or tool solutions.

    thank you!
    Rod
     
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  2. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    I never put my personal/private data on the equipment that I don't own. I prefer privacy over convenience and cost.
     
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  3. sholden

    sholden Registered

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    I end up having a seperate work Outlook calendar and a personal Google Calendar. I will sometimes invite myself to meetings when there is a need to have something on both calendars. The GTD Connect Webinars are a good example of what I share on both.
     
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  4. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    Agreed! Decades ago, I was doing sales for this financial services company whose preferred method of firing sales reps was to intercept them when they were away from their desks, do the deed , and get them out of the building. Once gone, these vultures would rifle through their desks looking for sales contacts and leads. While I never met that fate, it did enforce upon me that my information could become someone else's very easily!

    Rod; With that in mind, do you have your own Outlook installation? Is your workplace a bring-your-own-device?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
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  5. Julie_Flagg

    Julie_Flagg Registered

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    i am a busy obgyn in practice for 30 years and started with a large Filofax calendar on my desk (for everybody to see- where I was) which had personal and work calendar on same calendar. This was handy so that I would not end up with surgery conflicting with a dental appointment. Overtime and after my first GTD intervention in 2001, I went to Outlook calendar ( on a Palm pilot) as did our entire practice. We have everything on the calendar work and personal as well as the call schedule for the 5 MDs . I don't see their personal schedule additions in my view but could see it if I wished. We are all on Iphones which works well. This makes for easy situational awareness.
    This system works - we know when the departments meetings are as well as when we have to leave to be on time for dinner with my mother. There is just a one look place to go for the calendar and if I absolutely have to get cat food or pick up the vacuum at the repair shop when working in that town, it will be on my calendar. This is solid and reliable and GTDesque- simple but elegant. 2 calendars would be too much for me after a long day/night in the OR. I need to look in one place and know that I have the schedule truth. My team knows that schedule truth is mission critical in our organization- I don't care if somebody sees when I a havng a mammogram.

    I trust the people in my organization with my life- None of us have anything terribly exciting going on that we wouldn't want anybody else to see- having the true calendar trumps everything. Putting everything in the calendar when we make the commitment is also essential. One device on my belt wherever I go- wonderful!
     
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  6. sesteph6

    sesteph6 Registered

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    I also have everything in one system... I trust the people I work with. And frankly.... my workflow depends on having a single, simple system.
     
  7. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    While it's not a technically complex task to run multiple Outlook calendars, it does increase the complexity for the user. My more personal aspects of GTD are the “50,000 feet” items (vision, values, ect.) that I don’t see a way to use Outlook for.

    Julie, you opened an interesting aspect of this discussion in using Outlook and GTD with mobile devices from the PalmPilot era. It begs the question of how and to what extent to make GTD on Outlook portable. This might be a better topic for a new thread.
     
  8. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    You can trust people... until you can't.
    Bad things happen.

    Once upon a time I was taking tennis lessons with a professional, brilliant, intelligent, friendly and trustworthy tennis coach. One day he disappeared... with all the money from the club's cash register...

    No, don't put your sensitive private data on computers that you don't own.

    And yes, your private calendar data is sensitive.
     
  9. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    I am also a private data is private and don't trust cloud systems at all so I would never put personal information onto a computer that is controlled by someone else. I've been in places where when people were let go everything was locked down and you could never get to your personal data.

    What I'd do is start by blocking out the time for personal things with no detailed information and run a separate calendar system for personal stuff divorced from the corporate calendar. SO anyone with access would only see that the time is blocked.

    The other part is expectations, you said that when you blocked private time people just scheduled over it. That is something that has to stop, if you allow that then nothing works. If I was confident that my private time was within company policy I'd go ahead and block private time with no details and then let someone attempt to schedule over it. However, the key difference is that I would not show up or do the item and would if I noticed it tell them sorry I cannot attend you've scheduled me when I already had appointments. If they fuss take it up a level if necessary but NO ONE should be allowed to change your appointments other than you or your boss.
     
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  10. Geeko

    Geeko GTD since 2017

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    Under absolutely no circumstances I would ever store any private data on my employer's hardware. Blocking time for private activities with no further information sound here like a good solution.
    In a security-aware company you will have no more access to anything one you leave and the security personal will guide you on your way out of the building.
    And these companies are absolutely right. There are several stories of people who got fired and afterwards deleted whole server architectures including backup before they left.
    So make sure that your personal data stays on devices you own. This makes it easier for you and for the company you work for.

    Cheers,
    Tristan
     
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  11. sesteph6

    sesteph6 Registered

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    Hmmm, I guess everyone has a difference experience. I work for one of the largest medical companies in the world, we have over 55,000 employees. These negative experiences others are talking about I just have not seen in my 25 years in this industry. For me, my system is based on a streamlined single look at my entire world. I rely on that view so extensively I could not work any other way.
     
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  12. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    So during 25 years nobody was fired? No layoffs? No problems? 55,000 good people without any exception?
    And - from the legal perspective - isn't CEO afraid that one of 55,000 employees will put a pirated "private" file or an inappropriate picture on company servers?
     
  13. sesteph6

    sesteph6 Registered

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    We have definitely had layoffs, firings, etc. But never heard of the company refusing to allow people to gather personal belongings.... physical or digital. I can't even imagine a scenario where there was a downsizing and the company would not allow people to retrieve task lists or calendar entries.... Frankly if I thought this was that sort of organization, I wouldn't be a part of it. That said, We cannot use a personal dropbox, or evernote account, the systems wont allow that. So if your referring to pictures, or files, I don't do that, and pictures are not traditionally part of my GTD workflow. But for how we use outlook, thats not a worry. So I use GTD on outlook. I could not imagine using anything else, and I have tried. But I average 250-350 emails per day. many of which have to be turned into actions or delegated and tracked. If I had to manually enter each one of those emails into tasks... that's literally all I would do each day. I also need a singular view of my world. I need one place to look and see all my obligations, all my tasks... Perhaps i'm an outlier, but I need speed. There are only so many hours a day and spending them switching between calendars, apps, or retyping tasks from emails... I just literally would be buried if I did that.
     
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  14. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    I want to address some Outlook specific points first. Security and privacy issues aside, it is not that complicated to run multiple email accounts, calendars, and task lists in Outlook because each of these item types can be put into a unified view and worked-on in this view. No matter how great a relationship you may have with your workplace, it will eventually come to an end. Even if you own your own business, you will eventually leave that. Therefore, most Outlook users should separate these two.

    Ah, Palm, those were the dayz. Your data is on Outlook and in your device and that was it ...
    In 2001, the company I worked for ran PC desktops with Ms-Outlook on an exchange server, so there was a *.ost user file. At home, I ran Outlook on a *.pst file. The mighty PalmPilot was the only conduit I was aware between ost and pst outlook files. At the office, I’d do a one-way synch to get all my work data onto my Palm and then synch that to my home computer. The result is that my data was with me at all times in my Palm but unaccessible to my employer or anyone else. For the rarities where I had a personal activity during office hours (i.e. doctors appointment), I’d indicate that the it was a private activity.

    As an Android user, I use a program called GSynch http://fieldstonsoftware.com/software/gsyncit5/index.shtml) that synchronizes Outlook to my Gmail aps. This would be ideal for an employee in CorporateLand to be able to synch one’s work Outlook data to Gmail.


    The issue here is, how does CorporateLand feels about their data being stored and transmitted over Google? Many companies forbid employees to use third party aps (like GTDOA) and clod sharing services. I can understand the cyber-security concerns such businesses have. Conversely, I understand that they don’t want to negate employees from optimizing getting-things-done in their work and in their lives! As an employee or contractor, my expectation is that I want to retain a copy of all my email and files that I work on. That company I worked at in 2001 had technically laid me off but they did not want to pay me for the last week or two I was there. Legal action ensued. This company’s position to the labour board was that I left two weeks before I actually did. As I had all of the email I had ever sent, I had hard evidence to show that their claim was false.

    The best-of-both-worlds solution is for the employer to run Office365 that the employee can run on his/her own devices. The employer can pull-the-plug anytime and the employee can use the robust features of Outlook to run a full GTD methodology – a win-win for both!

    I share your concerns about cloud security and I question the best course of action. The biggest privacy issue is that many entities are trying to collect data on you. Just like PalmPilot days, your smartphone is a good conduit to move data to and from your workplace Outlook but, if you have an android phone or iPhone, Google and Apple are collecting data on you. It does not help that people share way more information about themselves than they should in social networking sites like FaceBook and LinkedIn. As convenient as file share programs like drop box are, I question how secure they are. My solution is to have sensitive information on a broken, I mean, dedicated computer. The Wi-Fi is broken, so I have to plug an ethernet cable in, which I do as needed and then un-plug. I have all my passwords in an encrypted file named, “family-photgraph-index.xls” If someone attempts to steal this broken laptop, the dangling screen will deter them. If they actually want to steal it and hack into my computer, that will be the last file the look at. By the time a thief has does this, I will have changed all my passwords.)I have the date backed up to thumb drives that I move to my car every day. When I do this, I bring the old thumb drive into my house and copy it.[/QUOTE]
     
  15. Julie_Flagg

    Julie_Flagg Registered

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    Interesting we are moving to Outlook 365- I admire your creative solution.
    Ours is indeed a small very noncorporate practice- almost half of us have been together for over 20 years. Speed, simplicity and relliability is what we need to keep running because we are often very tired and making decisions and doing surgery and can't count on being terribly clever/complicated in our organizational systems.
    Also I don't do social media and almost no online banking. I am down to the basics.
     
  16. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    Maybe we're coming from different corporate cultures?

    I've never worked anywhere that ALLOWED people to retrieve personal digital data off any machine ever no matter the reason for leaving. Personal physical belongings were always removed under the eyes of (usually armed) security and there were bag searches just as a normal thing to both come and go to work every day. But I worked most of my life in secured computer/technology areas.

    Secured systems and companies build a mindset of security first, clearances as required and separation and need to know for all projects. It's a security first mindset and corporate culture.
     
  17. sesteph6

    sesteph6 Registered

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    Yikes! That sounds awful! I have never seen anything like that! Im sure if I had someone searching my bags, my perspective would change! That is just not a culture I could be a part of.
     
  18. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    It's not awful. You are already part of that culture. It's one of the prices we pay for freedom here in the United States. All you have to do is get one security briefing about the various security leaks that have caused deaths to Americans to be perfectly willing to allow for full searches of your person and things. I chose to do that. Not everyone has to but it's important that enough people do.
     
  19. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    My creative solution might have been worth admiring two decades ago. Today, the technology can do all of this automatically and easily! I do not understand surgery. (I'm an MBA not an MD!) I can appreciate that it takes brain-power. As you pointed out, making decisions takes brain-power. Your GTD on Outlook automates or eliminates a lot of unnecessary brain-power for administrative and communication grunt work!

    Much as I am not a fan of Outlook/Office 365, it is probably going to eliminate the need for your practice to run an exchange server. You can easily configure so that there is busy/free info available on staff and other resources. (That is, you can set up your "Operating Room", "Examination Room" "meeting room" to be resources that can automatically accept meeting invitations. It's nice to have Outlook be able to determine the next time all of your medical staff and the conference room are available for a 20-minute meting and the send an Outlook meeting invitation out in seconds.
     
  20. Julie_Flagg

    Julie_Flagg Registered

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    Sounds great will explore- always learning- so appreciate the GTD Connect feedback!
     

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