Talking Tech Friday – Calendars

Several months ago, I received a request to give a calendar and scheduling roundup.  Better late than never, so today I bring you calendars!

There are a ton of web-based calendars out there, so to limit the selection somewhat, I am only choosing calendars that allow sharing and multiple users.

Google Calendar is the reigning calendar supreme.  You can have multiple calendars, assign different colors to different events.  Event scheduling is easy, allowing recurring appointment scheduling, inviting attendees, reminders, pretty much anything you want for a calendar.  Additionally, you can sync a Google Calendar with pretty much any other calendar system, either by importing information or using the downloadable Google Calendar Sync.  You can also sync it to a variety of mobile devices.  Finally, you can embed a customizable widget on most websites (with the eternal, infuriating exception of WordPress). 

Another nice feature of Google Calendar is you can subscribe to an RSS feed, which is the workaround we use here on the ol’ MCLC Tech Talk blog.

A good example I’ve seen recently of using Google Calendar on a public site is ASU’s Student Recreation Center’s group fitness classes.  For an example of a library using a Google Calendar widget on their website, see the Everett Public Library System.

For a streamlined approach to calendars, 30 Boxes is a nice alternative. It’s just a calendar, but it does that very well.  You can customize the appearance, set up some nice views (day, week, month, agenda) that are easily printable, and organize your events by tag.  It’s also very social – you can share your calendar with specific people (or “buddies”), sync it easily with social networking apps like MySpace and Facebook, and embed it on your website (again, with the exception of WordPress).  Here’s a sample Tech Talk Calendar.  There are a variety of sharing options, including RSS feed and importing/exporting files.   They also have a mobile site, but no native apps or syncing for mobile devices. One thing I particularly like is the ability to select specific dates for recurring events – I have a regular meeting that is the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month, and I’ve NEVER been able to find a calendaring application that allows me to schedule that in one event – I always have to use 2.  I hate that!

I just want to mention that, while Yahoo! Calendar has a sleek new (to me) look, it doesn’t allow embedding on other websites.

Aaaannd, those were the 2 best web-based, shareable calendars I could find.  Tell me if I missed something in the comments!

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~ by Anali on January 15, 2010.

 
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