As you may have heard, Google has released a new calendaring service. If your are familiar with other calendaring applications such as iCal on the mac or Microsoft Outlook, you should be able to start using it with a relatively short learning curve. I was able to import my calendars from iCal with ease and I was up and running within a matter of minutes. Here’s the highlights as I see them:
- Easily share calendars with other google account holders
- Gmail integration – when you send an email you can also send a calendar invite (similar to sending a meeting invite using Outlook)
- Comments on events – anyone can make comments on the event so you can also use it as a planning tool (and you can allow or prevent others from inviting others to the event)
- Have your daily agenda sent to you via email. Have other notifications via email or SMS to your phone.
- Easily search for and subscribe to public calendars (holidays, sports/tv schedules, etc.)
- Beautiful AJAX implementation – no downloads required and a very quick and rewarding user experience (seems quicker than gmail)
We’re trying to use it to help manage our schedule, milestones and tasks (supposedly a task list is coming soon too). We planned out the phases of work to complete for the next few months including tasks for each and then placed them on a shared calendar that we can both see and edit. The phases show up as multi-day events and in the notes we have the tasks outlined. We can then make comments on the event about each task’s status. Ok, it’s not the most elegant solution, but it’s good enough for our purposes. We tried using basecamp but we found that we didn’t use it much since it involved checking yet another website. It’s much easier for us to check Google Calendar when we check Gmail. Score another for Google.