Google Calendar is sweet

I have tried out yet another calendaring web application – Google Calendar. I have to say that I liked it.

The user interface is pretty intuitive. There are daily, weekly, monthly views, and the agenda for a configurable number of days. Adding events can be done either through a traditional multi-field form or via very plain English text field (for example: “Beer with Nicos tomorrow 7:30pm at Chesters”). This last method is a pretty common feature for modern web calendars.

Notifications are supported via both popup windows and email messages. Setting things up is very flexible and easy. SMS notifications are coming soon.

What I really liked was that it is possible to create separate calendars.

You can have one for your personal stuff and another for your business meetings. And yet another one for holidays and events. And more. It is very easy to specify which calendars should be visible at any given moment. Each calendar can also be shared differently. There are three options for sharing – “private” (events will be totally hidden from everone), “public” (events will be fully visible by everyone, with all details), and “show free/busy times” (events are visible, but with minimum details). It is also possible to assign different rights to calendars on a per user basis.

Events can be easily copied and modified between calendars.

Calendars can be searched, linked and imported. It is extremely easy to add calendars of other people, both using Google Calendar, and others who export to iCal format (standard). This feature is very important. It makes it possible to include data from calendars maintained by other people. For example, I added a few calendars with Cyprus events (like Cyprus Rally calendar and events) and Cyprus holidays. By default, these other calendars are only linked to mine. So they can be updated by someone else, and I’ll see the changes too. If I wish to, though, I can easily copy events from any calenar to any other calendar (assuming I have enough access rights).

Export of any calendar data is available in both Atom feeds and iCal formats.

If you’re using any kind of calendaring software, give Google Calendar a try – it might be better than what you are using now. I’ll surely be playing around with it for the next few days.

If for some reason you want to have access to my calendars, here they are:

  • Leonid Mamchenkov: iCal, XML (or you can use as friend’s email)
  • Cyprus Holidays: iCal, XML (I entered all Cyprus public holidays for the year 2006, as Cyprus was missing from the list of supported countries)

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