Monday, April 6, 2009

Family calendar

How many calendars do you manage for your family? Many people have one for themselves, one for work, one for the spouse, another for the spouse's work calendar, one for each kid, another for an organization you're part of... it can be overwhelming to coordinate these schedules!
Calendar: Month View by pouwerkerk.

Image by pouwerkerk via Flickr

I come to the challenge equipped with my experience as a project manager, where I'm used to juggling multiple schedules. Even so, the calendar offering from Google was a breath of fresh air.

I use Google calendar already for my personal calendar and to see both public performance events for Indyprov and our separate private rehearsal schedule. (Sorry fanboys, no peekies.)

Next on my list was adding my work calendar in to the google calendar I'd created for myself. Google provides 3 options: 2-way, 1-way to Outlook and 1 way to Google. I opted for the 2 way; during the work day, I'm in the Outlook calendar exclusively. I also wanted to make my personal events private on my work calendar; I did want free/busy info to show, but not all the details of doctor's appointments and any other nefarious activities I may schedule. Note, the Google Calendar Sync only works with Outlook(TM) 2003 and 2007. Here's the instructions for syncing outlook to google calendar:

To set up Google Calendar Sync:

  1. Make sure you're using a supported operating system and Outlook version.
  2. Download Google Calendar Sync (version at
  3. Once a dialog box appears, click Save File. The downloaded file should open automatically. If it doesn't, manually open it from your browser's download window.
  4. Click OK to confirm that you're aware this is an executable file.
  5. Read through the Google Calendar Sync Terms of Service, and click I Agree.
  6. Follow through the Installation Options and click Install to finish the set-up process.
Facebook calendars can be added to Google calendar by URL too. Unfortunately, the event details aren't provided but at least the time is blocked off. I also eagerly anticipate some kind of sync solution for Yahoo Calendar integrating with Google calendar. Sadly, none seems to be available yet.

After all the setup, I end up with an integrated outlook-google calendar that shows kid(s), spouse, and organization schedules in one place.

Hopefully, in the future there will be an affordable wall mounted electronic calendar which can support family planning. In the meantime, I could holster an ipod touch on the fridge.

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