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July 4, 2008

Google Calendar – Organize Your Life

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In this fast-paced world known as the 21st Century, it’s easy to lose track of everything that needs to get done. Enter: Google Calendar, an ingenious application that aims to keep life as organized and as effortless as possible.

Included with every free Google account, Google Calendar offers a simple and easy way to log daily events and appointments. Each event can be edited at its creation to show where and when it occurs, whether it reoccurs throughout the month or not, and whether it is a private or public entry. If you choose, an event reminder can be set and Google will either email you or send an SMS text message to your mobile phone.

Unlike real planners, which typically come in either a weekly or monthly format, Google Calendar allows you to change the format of your calendar. You can choose to view calendar by day, week, or month. If none of those options suits you, however, a unique “4 Days” option lets you see just enough into the future without overwhelming you with an entire week.

Once you create your calendar, you can invite others who have Google accounts to view it. Similarly, you can view any calendar that your friends allow you to see. Calendars can also be modified to allow multiple accounts edit them, making Google Calendar a perfect tool for consolidating several individual schedules or for creating one central group calendar.

Practical Uses:

  • Keep track of your day-to-day activities down to the exact hour or even half-hour
  • Share calendars with your friends and family to keep track of each other’s schedules
  • Create a collaborative calendar for your church or school with editing access by multiple members
  • Search for public events happening in your area and store them on your calendar

Insider Tips:

  • If you have Google desktop installed, you can place a mini version of your calendar on your desktop for easy access, or if you have an iGoogle homepage, you can place a Google Calendar widget on it for easy access
  • If you are running a U.S. version of Google Calendar, you can import Microsoft Outlook and iCalendar documents into your calendar.
  • Clicking the “Agenda” tab will list every calendar entry for a specific day in a “to-do list” fashion so you can quickly check what needs to get done

What We Liked:

  • A “Quick Add” feature allows for quick and easy event entries for when you are low on time
  • A print option lets you print out your calendar so you can keep a copy at home or take it with you anywhere
  • Events from different calendars can be centralized on one document and each calendar’s occurrences show up in different colors

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Because the application is still in its beta testing stage, some features are not available if you are not running a U.S. version

Alternatives:

Company Info:

Costs:

  • Free, but does require a Google account

Rating:

  • 4 out of 5