Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Thing 6: Google Calendar

I've been using a calendar, set up by my brother, on Google Calendar since the autumn of 2008, and Google became my main calendar site earlier this year. I have five different calendars on it, colour-coded to avoid confusion. (Yes, what you put on Google Calendar is calendars, so this blog post will be marked by worse-than-usual inelegance and ambiguity. Death loss of eyes/limbs.) Users may share their calendars; one of the calendars shared with me was in a colour I had used for one of my calendars, so I've had to change the colour of mine. There are 42 colours to choose from; if you ever run out of colours, it's likely that you are already trying to juggle too much.

Before Google, I used Mosuki, until Mosuki was taken down a couple of months ago. I praised Mosuki at every opportunity, as one of the most useful applications I had ever found. (Not that I found it for myself; it was another Phil Bradley recommendation, in his Update column.) Mosuki did what Google does: both have let me see my work schedule and my personal schedule all together, so there's less risk that I'll double-book myself; both have let me read and update my calendar from any web connection in the world; and both have been free!

And Mosuki had the further advantage, which I haven't yet found a way of replicating in Google: much more choice in the sharing of calendars. In Google Calendar, any calendar may be shared with other people, and different levels of sharing are available. For any individual event in the calendar, Google offers the following choice:

  • default (ie details of event have the same level of sharing as the calendar as a whole)
  • public (ie details are shared with the world)
  • private (ie details are shared only with people designated as 'owners' of the calendar)

Mosuki allowed individual choices about the sharing of each event.

Oh, I can think of one thing Google does slightly better than Mosuki. If you opted to view an entire month in Mosuki, you lost any indication of the timing of events -- tiresome if you wanted to print a month of your schedule for view on a noticeboard. In Google Calendar's month view, the timings remain visible.

But then, in Google, the events themselves don't necessarily remain visible. Some might be occluded behind such a statement as "+5 more".

I'm getting nerdish. Even the white bits were black.

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