Opinion » Cybernaut


Google releases web calendar



The problem with date books and event calendars is that you can only really have one going at any given time, and it’s really only as good as you are.

My own personal problem is that when I put something in a calendar, attempting to be organized, the important event immediately vanishes from my conscious mind because I presume it’s now safely on paper. And then I forget to check the calendar.

Sometimes I’ll log some important things in the calendar while leaving other things out, so if I do remember to check my date book I’m still not getting a complete picture of everything I need to do.

So I’ve given up on event calendars and date books. For now.

My default system is to just try and remember all my important dates, and wake up every morning with the nagging feeling that I’m forgetting something. That in turn forces me to think hard about all the things I have to do around that time, and most of the time my upcoming appointments just pop in there. Most of the time.

But Google Calendar is something I just might be able to use. I have a computer at work, a computer at home, and one day I might even have some kind of portable device that ensures I’ll have a computer just about everywhere else. Join the 21 st century in other words.

Google Calendar just launched last week, but for the life of me I couldn’t find a link from the Google.ca homepage or through my Gmail account. Like Google Video, it’s still in beta testing, but you can link to it using a Google Search. I linked to it from a story on PC World ( www.pcworld.com ) that I found on Google News, where I discovered the URL is http://calendar.google.com – not exactly, but Google will direct you to the right spot.

The test version doesn’t support Apple’s Safari browser, so I decided to use Mozilla Firefox, which I’m using more and more these days. Some sites, including online ticket sites, just don’t work as well with Safari these days, suggesting it’s badly in need of an update.

Finally making it to the Google Calendar, I have to say I was impressed. It’s as good as any day planner or calendar tool out there, minus a few of the little features – no pop-up windows come up to remind you of appointments, for example, at least not yet. It also doesn’t link to other software programs, like Microsoft’s Passport or Apple’s iCal, although you can schedule meetings and automatically invite people to them by going to a date and clicking "edit event details". Those invitees can be added to or selected from your Gmail address book (you’ll need a Gmail account to use the calendar).

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