Online Calendaring

google calendar, ubqitous access, GNO

I don't know how my parents did it.  How did they manage the schedules of four children and two adults that covered activities like:

  • piano lessons
  • cello lessons
  • violin lessons
  • wrestling team meets
  • tae kwon do classes
  • dr. appointments
  • family events
  • community events
  • social events
  • school events
  • cub scouts
  • basketball camp
  • bowling leagues

I know how my wife and I manage!

With Google calendar I can create multiple calendars and view them aggregated online.  Furthermore, I can share my calendars and view calendars that other people create and share with me!

So, I have a financial calendar to remind me of dates when bills are due, when funds transfer electronically, and when automatic investment transactions get triggered.  I have a household calendar for dates like when I need to change storm/screen windows, when we should be working on the vegetable garden, when to change the motor oil in my lawn mower. I have a projects calendar to schedule times when I want to work on my soap box derby car, teach my children how to ride a bike, or clean up the garage.  I have a personal calendar that reminds me of significant dates like birthdays, anniversaries, or the day my wife I had our first kiss.

My wife has her own set of calendars.  She owns our family calendar that has all of the classes, camps, doctor appointments, and play dates for our kids.  It also has social, family, and community events like neighborhood bunco, GNO's (guys or girls night out), and when the tree guy is going to be coming by to give us a quote on trimming our hickory trees.

I also have pulled in calendars that others have chosen to share.  So I have the Brewers, Bucks, and Packers calendars available.  With the work meetings I may have downtown, these help me choose my route based on game-day traffic!

On one page, accessible wherever I can get the Internet (I only own two desktops, three laptops, and a Blackberry), I can view all of these calendars over-layed on top of one another.  On top of all that, I use GoogleSync to push my work calendar to Google and share it with my wife.  So she can tell if I have to go in early, stay late, or if I'm available for an impromptu lunch.

So I've seen the pencil and pen markings on the refrigerator calendars of others.  That may work for some people.  After all, you gotta eat, so you naturally see the thing regularly.  If the calendar was big enough, it aggregate a lot of information, but what it can't do is:

  • provide ubiquitous access
  • share with multiple users that don't eat from my fridge
  • allow me to make new calendar entries while I'm waiting in line for a car wash

The paper calendar can't trigger data-driven actions.  By that I mean, I can be sent email or sms text reminders of events before they happen.  At 6am every day, my calendar for the day is sent to me via email and text.  I can also invite others (using their email address) to calendar events like the next GNO.

So how do you manage your calendars?

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