Monday, 1 August 2011

Thing 8: Google Calendar

I use my Outlook calendar to organise myself at work and, combined with the tasks feature, I wouldn't be very organised without it. I've used it since I started working here and definitely wouldn't go back to a paper one. It's brilliant for a visual representation of what each day holds, and I use colour coding for different types of things, so I can easily see when I have meetings, or am on the enquiry desk, or am at a different site, or whatever it is. I have it side by side with a shared calendar where we book in sessions or inductions in the teaching area, so all members of staff can see who needs it when and what's going on. We have a third shared calendar showing when staff are off which is really useful too.

So far, Google Calendar seems to do much of the same stuff, with options for reminders and adding descriptions, and much more no doubt that I could spend many hours fiddling with (you can't put a price on good organisation!) I can't see myself using it as my main work calendar though, because I'd just be duplicating everything from Outlook which I need to use to able to respond to invites etc.

I still use a little paper diary for personal stuff, totally contradicting everything I've just said! I might put something personal on my work calendar if I need to remind myself to go to the dentist after work or something, but generally I use them independently. I can see Google Calendar being useful as a mainly personal calendar potentially, particularly if I can use it on my phone which I haven't investigated yet. I find the iphone calendar a bit clunky which is why I've still stuck to paper, but I desperately need reminding of things because I have an appalling memory. If I forget to look in my diary, which is quite likely, I'm screwed! Switching to something like Google Calendar would mean not buying a pretty new diary annually in Paperchase though, which would be sad.

This year's Paperchase diary of choice

I can't see myself sharing my calendar with friends generally, but I can see the use of it for particular periods of time, like a trip involving several people, as suggested by Growth of a Librarian. I do like the idea of using it for library events. My library possibly doesn't have enough to warrant it, but it's a nice idea. Linking it to an LMS sounds complicated, and we've only just started using email for overdue books. I think as all our members are required to check their college email anyway that will probably do for now. I think it's definitely something I will play around with more though to explore all its potential.


  1. That's the thing about online calendars - you don't get to choose a pretty diary! I still use both!

  2. Yeah, both may yet be the way to go.