I’ve tried electronic and paper; web-based and not; and have found the following to be my personal preference for this:
1) Web-based if you move from machine to machine, or if you need to share your calendar with others.
If my team wants to meet with me for a conference, why should they have to request my free times – when they can simply pop on the web and see for themselves? Most web-based cals will let you set preferences (read only or read-write; busy/free only or they can see the actual meeting subject, etc.) and it handily color codes entries so multiple cals can be overlapped on one.
2) One calendar that contains everything.
I used to try and manage separate calendars – one for work and one for personal. The work cal had only work appts on it, and could be sent to anyone; the home cal had my personal appts written in, and may include things I didn’t want sent out to the world at large (everyone doesn’t need to know when I’m having my annual mammogram, for instance).
However, I’ve double-booked, or forgot, too many things to do this any longer. So now I have one calendar for everything – personal, professional, and everything in between. It has birthdays on it, travel itineraries, business meetings, luncheon dates, wine parties, and kids’ sporting events. As for when I have my annual exams, I simply mark them ‘confidential’ first, so it only shows up on my cal with details.
What’s your preference for calendars?