Google Calendar experiences

So if you’ve been following the continuous rollout of more and more Web 2.0 applications, you’ll have known that Google Calendar was officially released back in April. Since I haven’t had time to use it until now, I knew relatively little about it; but after having used it a bit I am impressed. That Google has finally released a calendar application should be no surprise since one of their main competitors, Yahoo!, has had calendar of their own for some time.

Google Calendar however, feels more natural to use, thanks to the use of AJAX; it also supports the popular iCal standard. Thus, it integrates nicely with Gmail, for those of you who already have been using that for a while. Additionally, multiple calendars can be created to separate out work schedules from play schedules; they can also be shared. Import options exist for Outlook and Yahoo! Calendar to ease the pain of switching.

So, should you switch? That, of course, depends. If your company is heavily using Outlook you probably won’t want to, especially if its integrated into the corporate infrastructure. For other such people it’s worthwhile to consider; besides the interface improvements, Google Calendar also supports “intuitive” event entry. You normally click on a particular spot to pop up a dialog to enter an event for that time. But, if you just type in something human-readable like “Lunch with the boss, tomorrow at 1pm”, it’ll automatically understand that and put the event in the right spot. Neat.

Of course, that feature may take time getting used to, as most of us are not used to inputting data into an application the same way we would talk to a person, like a secretary scheduling events for us. But its nonetheless a useful feature. I know I’m sounding like a Google fanboy and spouting the “Google-can-do-no-bad” line, but I really think their calendar is a useful thing.

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