If you ever have trouble remembering things or events, appointments; this week’s column is for you. An efficient and easy to use calendar might just be a way to keep yourself on track without all those post-it notes and scribbles on your desktop. If we can find all this for free, even better!
There are other free calendars around, but the one I want to recommend is from Google. For over ten years I have used Outlook, which is part of Microsoft’s Office Suite as my basic calendar and appointment software and I have been very satisfied with its features. Outlook has kept me more or less on schedule as long as I remember to check in with it every morning. It also generates reminders to jog my memory about important events and tasks; does everything but make coffee
As you know, I’m always on the lookout for free software that can make our lives easier or better or more efficient; so when Google came out with a calendar, I installed it on my Google Home Page. Didn’t pay much attention to it through its early stages as it lacked features that I was used to with Outlook.
Google Calendar went through a series of improvements over time and one of the additions was a way to synchronize online with your Outlook Calendar. I installed that feature and set the calendars to synchronize every two hours. (I might add that Google can also sync with some PDAs and phones and no doubt that collusion will only grow.)
One day I woke up and realized: hey, I’m really using this Google Calendar. If I am away from my office, I can log in to any Internet PC and add an appointment to my Google Calendar and by the time I get back to my office it is already on my Outlook Calendar. It also shows up on my Google Home Page and is one click away on my Google Mail Page.
Gradually, I have arrived at the point where I rely on my Google Calendar more than the Outlook one. I’ve decide to keep both since it’s very easy to integrate their use. I like being able to add to my calendar from remote locations and also being able to consult my calendar when away. Why do I have that vague feeling that I’m supposed to be somewhere at 2 Pm on Tuesday?
If you aren’t currently using a calendar, why not give Google Calendar a try? Google search for Google Calendar and look for their home page. There you’ll find suggestions for getting organized and how to setup your Google Calendar. Their Help topics are fairly straightforward and comprehensive and before you know it you’ll be remembering birthdays and appointments like a seasoned pro. After you’re confident with your calendar use, you can even send email reminders to yourself and others about events on your personal calendar.
Good luck organizing yourself and your activities.