Using calendar entries to improve communication
Original Publication Date: 2000-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Idea of disclosure: E-mail is an asynchronous communications mechanism. Because it's asynchronous, e-mail senders don't know when to expect replies. For time-sensitive issues, this can be a problem. In such cases, senders often follow-up e-mail with a phone call, a page, or an office visit to inform the receiver that the e-mail is important. However, this is really redundant. If the e-mail is important, it will have a priority such as "urgent" attached, so the receiver already knew the e-mail was important. The real problem is that the sender does not have a reasonable expectation of when his e-mail will be returned. Different people return e-mail at different frequencies and at different times of day. When people return e-mail is usually based on their normal working profile, e.g., they read and respond to e-mail every evening, or based on their schedule for a particular day, e.g., they are in meetings from 10 a.m. 1 p.m., so they can't respond during those hours . A similar problem exists with voice mail messages, which are also asynchronous. This disclosure describes a way to leverage calendar entries to provide information about when e-mail and voice mail are checked. It also provides a way, based on a calendar profile, to allow messages to be forwarded, in a "follow-me" way, based on the profile and the entry on the calendar.