EA Best Practices: Naming Calendar Holds

A rockstar executive assistant can work magic on their executive’s calendar, ensuring that they are always prepared and maximizing their time each day. With busy teams that are sometimes spread out across different locations, this is no small feat!  

Now, imagine this scenario: You’ve worked your magic and your executive’s calendar for the week is a work of art. As you review it, you stumble across a meeting titled“Call with Jane.” This subject line seems simple and descriptive enough, except… your executive is named Jane. Is she calling another Jane? She can’t be having a meeting with herself, right? You now need to scan your executive’s inbox to try and pinpoint what this call is about, what prep she will need, and what project it relates to? Having to do last-minute research or guess about meeting purposes is  not the best use your executive’s time.

An important part of effectively managing your executive’s calendar is creating succinct, descriptive subject lines on calendar holds, that are informative and helpful to everyone involved.

Here are some best practices that will help you create clear and useful subject lines for calendar invitations.

Make Calendar Subject Lines Informative

Calendar holds should be informative both for your executive and the person receiving the invitation. Describe the nature of the event in the subject line, and include who will be participating. This helps attendees be better  prepared, whether that means factoring in travel time for an off-site meeting or setting up for a conference call. For example: “Call with Jay” may be informative for your executive if they are calling Jay, but not for Jay, who received the invite.

To create a more informative subject line, try this instead:

Intro Call: Liam Smith and Emily Black

Why this works: This subject line describes in just a few words the location and nature of the call (in this case a formal introduction over the phone), as well as who will be participating (Jay and Nicole). Including these details in the subject line is especially helpful if your executive or team is often on the go and checking their calendar on a mobile device.

Once you have this basic formula down, you can apply it to many different types of calendar invites, and tailor it to your preference on appearance. Here are a few more examples:

[lunch] Liam Smith + Emily Black

(video) Liam Smith / Emily Black

Phone Call: Liam Smith & Emily Black

This format also makes it easy to highlight any changes that may arise. The following examples illustrate how changes can be clearly communicated in the original subject line:

[rescheduled] Intro Call: Liam Smith and Emily Black

Pro Tip: Avoid Abbreviations

For internal meetings, using abbreviations that your team is familiar with (such as using initials instead of names) is fine, but it can be confusing for external attendees.

Taking the time to create succinct, descriptive subject lines for calendar invites will help you coordinate your executive’s calendar with ease, and make sure that everyone involved has all the details they need to be prepared. This will ensure that the executives and teams you support are well prepared to tackle their day and maximize how they use their time.

About the Author

Stephanie Perez

Stephanie Perez

Stephanie is an executive assistant and writer with a background in social research. She has experience working in the legal and nonprofit sectors. She enjoys creating order out of chaos and finding creative solutions to improve efficiencies and productivity in the workplace. In her free time, you can find her enjoying the outdoors with her husband and their two energetic sons.