Friday, 19 August 2011

Thing 8 - Google Calendar

I've been using Google Calendar for a few years now as a personal calendar (I use Outlook for my work calendar as it is shared with my colleagues). I have both calendars synced with my iPhone so that I can add personal or work appointments whilst I'm out and about and I know they'll be backed up. My Google calendar is also shared with my partner though I don't think he ever looks at it so we also use a paper calendar for when we'll be away from home (personal and work as I travel quite a bit with work).

Purple is work calendar (Outlook), blue is personal (Google)
I've also used Google Calendar in a library setting in my previous job where I used it to manage our information literacy teaching sessions so that we could see at a glance who was teaching which group of students and when. This was particularly useful during induction periods which were a logistical nightmare! In the end we set up a shared Outlook calendar to bring it into the institutional tools, though I have to be honest, I preferred the features and simplicity of Google calendar. We also used Google Calendar to promote our drop in skills sessions and embedded the calendar onto the website. This meant we could easily keep the website updated without having to keep editing HTML - we just edited the Google Calendar. It also looked a lot prettier and had the added advantage that students could subscribe to the calendar if they wished.

Google calendar embedded into website (different colours represent different campuses)
So I'm a big fan of Google Calendar, though it does have its frustrations. I tried to use it for scheduling my sessions at ALA Annual 2011, but I couldn't seem to get the timezone working (I'd be in a different time zone whilst I was there but couldn't seem to make that work). It also frustrates me that I can only sync my main calendar on my Google account with my iPhone, not any additional calendars on the same account or any shared calendars (though this is probably an Apple issue rather than a Google one). Overall though it's a great tool, and one I use on a pretty much daily basis.


  1. That's almost certainly an Apple is, the main calendar syncing - my 'droid lets me sync all my calendars, if I want it too!

    Glad that I'm not alone in the timezone issues though. It's the one fly in the ointment.

  2. I just couldn't get the timezone to work - relieved that it's not just me being stupid!

    Thought it might work better on Android - that niggle isn't enough to make me want to move OS at the moment, but if I ever get one in future at least I know I'll be able to have more Google calendars on there.