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Google releases Calendar

16 Apr 2006 – Applications and Internet

This past week, Google released the new Google Calendar service. I've really become a big fan of Gmail, and it looks like this may be another service that I'll be getting a bit of use out of.

My wife has been trying to get me to keep better track of our various family events and appointments, but I find the process a bit cumbersome. She puts together a calendar on paper, which I then have to take to work and transcribe into my Outlook calendar. Once the data is in Outlook, things work pretty well as long as I'm at work. But if I'm at home, I either have to connect to the VPN and Remote Desktop into my computer at work so I can bring up Outlook, or just ask my wife like I always did before.

With Google Calendar, we can each have a personal calendar that we share with each other so we can keep track of each other's appointments. We also set up a shared family calendar that we can both add appointments to. And since it's Web-based, I can access it anywhere, anytime. It's also integrated with Gmail so I can receive email reminders of upcoming events, use Calendar to send out event invitations, and easily add appointments for invitations that I receive.

This is definitely still a Beta service and it has some quirks and limitations. It doesn't yet support Safari on the Mac, and my wife hates the mini monthly calendar that doesn't differentiate between the days of the selected month and the extra week or so that it shows from the previous and next months. I'm sure Google will be making lots of improvements and bug fixes in the coming months, and probably adding some new features as well, but it certainly shows a lot of promise as another one of those services that just becomes a part of your daily routine.