Export Outlook Calendar – Reports, Employee Calendars, Time Tracking
We are often asked how best to export Outlook calendars to Excel to gain visibility of employee activity, for time tracking, or for analytics and reporting.
Although Outlook does have an export facility, there are a few issues:
- Exports are only to file. These would then need to be imported into another database or system to be viewed
- Exports are only person by person which is extremely time consuming, laborious and prone to error
- Export/Import for a small group might be okay for even five people is extremely onerous and prone to error
- An export is out of date the instant it is exported and – as people update Outlook all the time – this happens very quickly
If your organization wishes to gain visibility of employee availability, activity, or utilization, use Outlook data in time tracking or for reporting, then a better approach is needed. In this article we show how to export an Outlook calendar and a better way to use Outlook calendars to view employee availability, use Outlook data for resource scheduling, time tracking, and reporting.
How to export an Outlook Calendar
- In Outlook, go to the File Menu, and choose Open & Export.
In the “Open” panel, choose the Import / Export Wizard.
Choose “Export to a file”, then select the format you want to export events in: Comma Separated Values (csv file) or .pst.
- The next step is to enter the file name and location for the export.
- Now click the “Map Custom Fields …” button.
- Here you can remap fields to export.
- Once complete, click the export wizard Finish button.
Yes, you can export Outlook calendar data but it is time consuming, requires further data manipulation, and the data is out of date the instant it is exported. Ideally, access to such information should be real-time and any processing and manipulation of data carried out automatically. The good news is that if you want to export Outlook calendar information to analyze availability, view group calendars, time tracking or any other reason, Timewatch has a better way.
A better way to export Outlook calendar data
Rather than exporting each employee’s calendar then combine them into a system where the data is out of date the instant data is exported, Timewatch has a better way. We seamlessly, automatically and continually consolidate this data so that it is always up-to-date, and instantly available for whatever you need it for:
- Improved visibility of employee availability
- More accurate scheduling – to make sure there is no clash with what people put in their own calendar
- Time tracking
- Reporting on resource calendars
Improved visibility of employee calendars
“With more people working remotely, businesses have been looking for a way to improve visibility of their employees’ calendars,” explains Anthony Vaccaro, a senior product specialist at Timewatch. “People’s first thought is to transfer Outlook calendar items into Excel to create views and reports. But this is time consuming, prone to error, and poor quality as the data is out of date very quickly.”
“Our system does all the hard work in real-time, providing instant access to employee availability, utilization, multi-calendar displays and resource scheduling data at the click of a button.”
How to use Outlook events in Time Tracking
Using Outlook calendars for time tracking can save people hours each week in duplicate entry. Outlook holds most of the information needed in time tracking, and Timewatch seamlessly seamlessly adds Outlook (and Google calendar) appointments to employee timesheets. Using data that already exists saves employees hours each week, reduces manual entry errors. Best of all, Timewatch frees up time that can be better spent on productive work.
The screenshots on the left below shows an Outlook screen, and the screenshot on the right shows the same calendar in a Timewatch timesheet. The transfer is automatic and can be edited by the user.
What if you really need to export Outlook calendars?
As we’ve shown, you can export from Outlook on a calendar-by-calendar basis, but what if you have 200 calendars to export and consolidate?
“We are often asked if there is a better way to get data out of Outlook,” says Timewatch Product Specialist Anthony Vaccaro. “I explain to potential customers that often you have to export each calendar one-by-one and then import it all and keep it up to date. With Timewatch the data is all online. There’s no export or import needed, our system provides full visibility of calendars, analysis, and time tracking. But even if you want to export Outlook data, our system can export everyone, or a group of people over a date range in one go, and in more formats including PDF, Excel, and Word. Best of all, we do all this out of the box.”
How Timewatch solves your Outlook export needs
Outlook is a great calendar for individual employees. They can manage their own calendars and arrange meetings with others, but it doesn’t always work for management, project collaboration or in using information in other systems. Calendar data can’t be shared or exported to other formats like Excel. There’s no way to enter important company information such as customer, project, task, and type of work, and there is no reporting feature.
“Sure, information can be put into the calendar appointment body, but it needs to be parsed out of the notes for use in other systems, in reporting or analysis,” explains Timewatch CEO Graeme Wright. “This is problematic, time consuming, costly and prone to error. Ultimately exports don’t work because the data is out of date the instant it is exported.”
How to use calendar event data in Resource Scheduling
Whitespace by Timewatch is a full-blown resource scheduling system that has seamless, two-way sync with MS Outlook and can manage schedules, resources employees.
The system is extremely flexible and scalable, allowing customers to start small with a simple system and scale all the way up to a full blown resource scheduling system.
There is no need to even think about having to export to Excel. Whitespace by Timewatch can meet all your scheduling needs – large to small.
Times have changed
“In the past, businesses were very happy using Calendar software, office meetings, water cooler chats, to review what projects people were working on,” Wright says. “The Covid reset and the pivot to remote working required more online meetings and team calls.”
“Customers tell us they’ve looked at Excel, and project management systems and even resource scheduling systems but it’s either too little or too much. Companies almost have everything they need in Outlook. Everyone schedules and can see their own calendars – but there is nowhere to specify customer or project details and no way for managers to see a team, project or group view.”
Timewatch Whitespace makes company based scheduling accurate and valuable.
Export Outlook Calendar – How not to do it!
“We’ve heard horror stories where companies have paid small fortunes to have data scraped out of their Office 365 calendars so they could analyze it, only to find it unreliable, expensive, and required so much manual manipulation that it was faster to retype all the information!” says Vaccaro.
That’s not a sustainable approach and the customer celebrated discovering that Timewatch synced and provided reporting and analytics in real time. Additionally, Timewatch allows important additional fields such as customer and project work to be attached to appointments. Employees continue on using their calendar as they usually do, but have additional fields on appointments to capture the data needed.
“Timewatch is simple and easy because it utilizes calendar information that people have already entered,” says Wright. “However, it is overkill for companies that just want to gain visibility of their employee’s calendars. To answer this need we created a simpler configuration of Whitespace that does exactly this, and there’s not one Excel spreadsheet involved!”
Simpler is easier
Timewatch now also offers a simplified edition of our Whitespace resource scheduling system which supports self scheduling employees and delivers the visibility and analytics of employee calendars that businesses leaders need.
How does this work? This is a Timewatch product, so it’s really simple and easy:
- Employees use their Outlook calendar as they do normally. Easy.
- As a bonus Timewatch adds extended functionality to Outlook appointments allowing to add customer, project, types of work, and other information to their appointments. Simple.
- To business leaders, a centralized group view of employee calendars provides visibility of all employee calendars.
- Views can be created to show any mix of employee calendars.
- Employee calendars can be grouped by team, office, skill, or any other definable attribute.
- The number of employee calendars on screen and the date range on display on one screen is configurable.
- You can search and sort employees by availability by date or date range.
- Reporting and analytics is built in. There are even dashboards and report writing features.
This powerful, intuitive, Outlook group calendar allows companies that use Outlook to enhance it with multi-employee views and reporting but – and this is important – also allows for future growth. Equally important? Using Excel and other spreadsheets for employee calendars, resource scheduling or time tracking are a thing of the past.
So who is Timewatch?
Timewatch is a specialist service in managing time for business – from scheduling and planning time to tracking, billing, and analysis of project time. Timewatch develops resource scheduling, time tracking and professional services automation systems, as well as analytics / reporting, time tracking and scheduling solutions for teams. We work closely with our customers to overcome the limits they come up against in MS Outlook so that they can continue to use it as a core business tool, but seamlessly integrated with our solutions.
Want to Learn More About Our Solutions?
Contact us, we provide free consultancy sessions with product specialists to help people that are genuinely interested in gaining visibility of their employee’s Outlook calendars, use them in time tracking, or need to export outlook calendar events to another system.
Speak with a specialist
Learn more about Timewatch Google Timesheet.
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