Connect Your Calendar to the Rest of Your Life

Your calendar doesn’t have a to just sit there: it can help you take action. Here’s a simple example. This is a mod we made for one of our customers linking their DayBack calendar to the company wiki. They had a calendar of routine procedures they wanted performed every month but these procedures weren’t well documented (sound familiar?).

By linking the calendar to their wiki, they made it really easy for staff to create and update documentation as they worked.

Here’s what it looks like:

[ba-youtubeflex videoid=”2zNOhWqOXhA”]

Background

Most people don’t really use their calendar; there may be a few things on it, but the really important stuff is often on whiteboards, legal pads, or daily to-do lists recreated day after day.

While these lists work, they also mean that you can’t really trust your calendar because you know it’s incomplete. This is how we end up double booked, out of time, and stressed out.

One way to get past this is to have a calendar that’s more useful than a whiteboard or a legal pad: something that’s connected to the other apps in your life. This is what DayBack’s custom actions do: they let you take action right from the calendar. Some simple actions are baked in: jumping to a related contact or project in your FileMaker solution, for example. But the real opportunity here is creating your own action buttons. Buttons can run scripts in your FileMaker file, or take actions in web apps like logging time or posting to Slack.

It’s a virtuous circle: the more your calendar can do for you, the more you’ll use it. The more completely it reflects your commitments, the more you can trust it. And once you can really trust your calendar, you can use it to make sure you’re only making promises you can keep.

Linking the FileMaker Calendar to your Wiki: Example Script

We used pmwiki for this customer. It’s free, hackable, and is great at suggesting new pages when you navigate to a page that doesn’t exist. That’s they key feature here.

1.  Create a new script in your file. This script will open your wiki to a page name that’s passed in: here is our example script. Our script passes in the title of the procedure and you’ll see some script steps here to transform the title into a page url for the wiki.

2. In the first two set variable lines you’ll use the event ID passed in from the calendar to find the title of your event. We do this by creating a relationship to events (called “Operations” in our example), but do whatever works in your file so that $sc_titleWords is the title of your event–or the name of the wiki page you’re interested in.

3. Continuing in this script, edit our variable $sc_base, replacing “localhost:8888/wiki/pmwiki.php” with your wiki url.

4. Once your script is done, edit your calendar source settings in DayBack Calendar’s script called “Load Source Settings at Startup — Describe Your Sources Here —“.  Find the comment “Custom event actions for WebViewer popover…” and then add your custom action to the list: the first parameter is the name of your button, and the second is the name of the script you’d like to call.

5. Run DayBack’s “Upon Opening” script to see your changes take effect and try out your new custom action. =)

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1 Comment

  • You do so many interesting things! I would love to use the add-ons but my users are to cheap to pay for the add-ons. Anyway love the things you’re doing…

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