The Fundamentals of Effective Calendar Management for Executive Assistants

Calendar management is one of the most important functions of the executive assistant role. And yet, how you manage a leader’s calendar will depend on a number of factors, from their personal preferences to the overall business goals and beyond. This can make the basics of calendar management tough to nail down. 

On the whole, effective calendar management comes down to tailoring your methods to the specific needs of your executive. However, there are a handful of specific protocols and calendar management fundamentals that you can follow. These help ensure not only that you are managing their calendar effectively, but also that you and your executive are on the same page.

While calendar management for executive assistants may look different for every leader/assistant relationship, there are a few fundamentals that are true across the board — and make the process more efficient. 

Take Control

As the assistant, you should be solely managing your executive’s calendar. All meeting requests, scheduling changes, and calendar decisions should go through you. Too many cooks in a calendar kitchen will undoubtedly lead to chaos and confusion. Instead, make sure your leader knows that you will take the lead. Then keep them in the loop, especially when changes or cancellations occur. 


No matter how great you are at calendar Tetris, the key to effective calendar management for executive assistants often comes down to communication. Make sure you and your executive are regularly discussing how their current schedule is going. Also share any new initiatives or ideas you may have to organize it differently. This will make sure you are consistently improving and maximizing their productivity.

Create a System

When managing someone else’s schedule, having a clear system in place ensures that nothing gets lost in translation. Maintain a clear color coding system so you and your executive know what is happening at a quick glance. And make sure every calendar entry contains key information such as meeting location, attendees, the meeting purpose, relevant notes or documents, etc. 

Improve & Adapt

The number one goal of effective calendar management? To save your leader time and keep their day as productive as possible. Every decision you make should be done with this in mind. You should always be following up with your executive, adapting as needed, and coming up with new ways to make their schedule work best for them. 

QUICK TIP: Include a question to your executive about how they are feeling in every weekly 1:1 or Digest. Keep track of these responses and how the amount or length of meetings may be affecting your executive’s mood, productivity, etc. Use this to guide your scheduling choices moving forward. 

Learn all the basics of calendar management for executive assistants

To help you manage executive calendars like a pro, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on the basics of calendar management for assistants. Get exclusive tips on building a scheduling framework, staying in control of your leader’s time, our favorite technology and tools, and more.

This free guide includes: tips on mastering the fundamentals of calendar management, best practices for setting up an ideal week framework, and strategies for maintaining control when unanticipated things arise

Download the guide now!

Ready to take your calendar management fundamentals to the next level?

Here at Base, we’re all about helping strategic assistants do their best work. Our app was built solely for assistants’ daily workflow so you can utilize your time more efficiently and support your leader more effectively. Base is a single place for you to create executive briefings, field emails, track projects, manage calendars, and more. 

Get a demo of Base to see what you can do with the right tools to support you.

Written by Bryn Smith

Bryn is the Senior Manager of Brand and Product Marketing at Base, where she is on a mission to build a world-class EA community by connecting them with top-notch thought leaders, invaluable resources, and cutting-edge insights.