An Online Calendar Beats the Fridge Door
If you keep a calendar for yourself or your family, you may want to try keeping it online. Whether you keep a calendar just for yourself, or for work, or for family – or all the above – keeping your calendar online is about as easy as keeping it on the refrigerator door, and much more flexible.
Online calendars can be connected and sync’d across all your online devices, so it has the advantage that you can carry around with you in your smartphone or tablet. You can even ask your Alexa (or Siri or Google) robot to work with your calendar. And, of course, it can even be printed out and stuck on the fridge door.
By “online calendar,” I don’t mean posting your calendar in public, though you can do that if you want. But I do mean keeping your calendar where you can find it, check it, and change it at any time, from any of your devices.
So, for example, when you’re at the doctor’s office, setting up your next checkup, you can enter the new appointment directly into the calendar on your smartphone. Then, when you get home, it will already be on the calendar in your computer, or on your Apple or Android tablet.
There are many online calendars to choose from. I use Google Calendar, myself, but there are others that have the same or similar features and can be accessed where you may already have an account to logon.
The good ones are all FREE, so if you find one asking for money, skip it and try the ones at Google, iCloud, Yahoo, AOL, or search “Free online calendar.” (The cable companies offer online calendars, too, but they’re tied to your cable service subscription. If there’s any chance that you might move out of the area, skip those.)
Many Schedules, One Calendar
Online calendars have lots of swell features, but one of the best is that “your calendar” is not just one calendar, but can be many-in-one.
The idea is that you can different schedules all showing on one calendar.
For instance, you can have one for your personal schedule, and one for business meetings and such, and then another one for your kids’ schedules, and yet another for special community projects. No rules – as few or as many as you need, for whatever purpose you may have.
These schedules all overlay each other so that you can see them all at once, with different colors for work and family and whatnot. Or you can “hide” them, so that only one or two calendars show at a time.
Share – Or Don’t Share – Your Schedule
Another handy feature is that you can selectively share some, or all your schedules with others.
Perhaps your kids’ schedules are shared with your family. A community project schedule might be shared with others involved with that project. Whomever you’ve shared the calendar with will receive an email and a link to the shared calendar, and then they have the option of using it separately or overlaying it with their own calendars.
Then they’ll have access to that same calendar on their computers and smartphones, too.
I share my calendar with my wife, and it shows up as “Mike’s Calendar” in a list on the side of her own Google calendar. She can just click on that to see where I am or to maybe add an event – like “pick up raspberry torte at Corner Bakery” or “Corn, Dykeman’s, TODAY!”
It’s a bit like the front of the refrigerator, except it goes with you wherever you need it, and does that great instant sharing trick, too. The fridge can’t show you a custom range of dates, or automatically repeat a meeting date, either.
You can even ask “Alexa” – or Siri, or “Hey, Google” – to add an event to your calendar, and it will! Very handy. And you can ask your voice robot when your next appointment is, or to sound an alarm when the time nears.
There are lots of other handy things that an online calendar can do. Give it a try! And, as always, if you have any questions about online calendars or other computer stuff, give me a call anytime.
Mike Pepper, The Computer Guy, has been providing software and hardware support in New York and Connecticut for more than 35 years. He can be reached at (845) 855-5824, or www.PawlingComputerGuy.com.