I started using Google Calendar for personal use recently, and ran across a nifty feature. Sharing Calendars is actually pretty cool – both for personal and professional use.
Shared Calendars for Personal Use:
I already maintain a mailing list for my family. Today, I created a family birthday calendar, and included all of my family members. I was then able to share that calendar with everyone in my family so that they could keep the data fresh, or just read it as an overlay to their existing calendars. It’s kind of nice. Time has yet to tell if anyone else will use it.
Shared Calendars for Professional Use:
Oddly enough, when I used Outlook (for the past 10 years!) I never thought I really would want to share my work calendar with others. But since I now have GMail as my work mail, I can actually do it. And I have discovered that I can now keep a combined calendar with both personal and professional information in it. Before, I never wanted to put my personal events into my corporate calendar. It just seemed wrong, and I wouldn’t want others to see personal information showing up at work. Since I now have GMail both at work and at home, I share my calendar from my personal account over to my professional account, and I effectively get this feature. But I didn’t have to actually put my personal data into my account, and my coworkers can see my corporate calendar data without seeing my personal data too. This is very handy.
The Killer Feature – You Need Both
My net conclusion is that I can finally start using an online, personal calendar. Prior to being able to share between work and home, I almost never had a reason to go visit personal calendar, while I visit my professional calendar several times a day. Being able to view both calendars concurrently finally makes it worth recording into my personal calendar – I actually use it now.
I realize I’m a bit lucky because I get to use GMail both at work and at home. Hopefully more companies will be able to use GMail soon too.