A couple of observations after using Google Calendar as my exlusive calendar for the past 3 weeks:
- Easy, easy, easy
You see it, you know what to do. Virtually no learning curve.
- Click and write
Simply click somewhere on your week, and you’re adding an event. Frankly, this is less friction than the desktop calendaring app my company provides.
- Quick add
This is genius: just type lunch with Mark 1 pm tomorrow and you’re in business. It doesn’t get any quicker.
Once you’ve set up multiple calendars and have a few events in them, it’s fairly clear from the interface where you’re spending your time. Looks nice, too:
It’s really, really nice to be able to search for public calendars and add them to your own. For instance, national holidays, your sports team’s schedule, etc. This has been available for years for iCal and other calendaring software, but it feels great in Google Calendar.
Plus, it goes without saying but I’ll say it anyways: it’s very nice to have the same calendar on my home computer and work computer, without having to do any work whatsoever to make it happen.
- Overall fit & finish
Already, just a few months from release, Google Calendar can be used as your full-time calendar, as long as you’re willing to adjust a little to its way of doing things.
Google Calendar has an extremely odd conception of which days are in a given month. In this case, June:
- More prefs, please
Calendar needs to be able to have a preference set for which hours you want to see in your default view. For instance, I had to put a repeating placeholder event in on every Monday at 7 AM, or else Calendar would default to showing only the hours from the first appointment I had, even if it was 11:00.
- Categories would be nice
I like the multiple calendars capability – it’s exactly what I built into DiscoverZone 5 years ago – but it makes it difficult to share with others. I want color-coding, so I can see some differentiation in my day, but to get that I’m forced to use multiple calendars … which means that I can’t just share one calendar with someone and let him or her see all my events.
In other words, I can have all my events in one calendar, or I can have color-coding. Categories would solve the problem.
- Speed (need more of it!)
Speed is not great … Google Calendar feels fairly slow. Slow to get to the browser, and slow to render once it’s there. Maybe that’s just in relation to other Google properties, or desktop alternatives, but that’s how it feels.
Typically, my main and initial calendar will render immediately, but the other calendars will take a second or so more to draw in on the browser. Once everything is up and running, actions are quick and easy. But when starting sessions, I find myself opening up Firefox and then doing something else for a few seconds, allowing the app to load. That’s not ideal.
- Safari support
Google Calendar needs, needs, needs Safari support. I’m just not crazy about Firefox, and am getting a little peeved that every new Google app comes out requiring IE or Firefox. I know from personal experience it’s not by any stretch of the imagination impossible, or even incredibly difficult, to support IE, Firefox, and Safari right out of the box, and I’m starting to wonder why the people who are supposed to be the best in the business at Google can’t seem to do it.
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