Friday, February 03, 2006

Finally... getting closer to an online calendar

I'm trying to do everything online now, so it's accessible whereever I go (especially on that sacred day that I get a wifi-enabled laptop or PDA.) I'm trying to keep (and edit) documents online, bookmarks are all stored online, and I keep passwords and other important info my gmail.

The one missing piece has been a good, simple online calendaring app. A lot of what I've tried looks very clunky, and attempts to just copy Outlook for the web. Outlook's great for work, since it's always there and it shares my work calendar easily. But since I'm lazy when I'm not at work, what I really want is something that can get my appointments in as easily as possible. 30 Boxes looks like it's just that. Here's a great snippet from their blog post:

"One of our key features is the ability to enter an event simply, in one line, and have it appear on you calendar. Enough of the overly complicated event entry boxes! What if I just want to put ‚“lunch with mom tomorrow, noon‚”. Do I really need to pick repeating, or time zone, or url, or description?"

Thank you! I think software should be able to adapt to our needs without requiring us to change our habits too much. I'd love a simple date entering tool like that. If there were mistakes, or tweaks, I could sort those out later, but this would be great in just getting stuff in it.

I was really hoping gmail would add calendar support and do just that. Imagine getting an email from someone who said, "Hey, part at my place this Thursday" and gmail was smart enough to put that on your calendar? Apparently 30 Boxes has something similar, where you can forward an email (say, a flight confirmation) and it will add those dates to your calendar. Hey, why not add the ability to send a text message from your phone to the calendar too? There's a lot of times dates come up where I'm not at my computer.

Another great thing about 30 boxes is sharing. Every other calendaring app makes sharing kind of a chore, and clunky, requiring you to say what's private, and what event you're sharing with whom. This just shares everything, unless you say it's private. I mean really, aside from the ol' prostate test, how many dates are really that private? You then add your friends to it, and you can layer their calendar data over yours, one at a time or all at once. Wouldn't it be great to see a concert your friend was going to that you didn't know about? "What? You're going to see the Shins next week? They're in town???" Okay, so maybe if I was good enough friends with that person, they'd have known I liked the Shins and invited me anyway, but still... I think it's a neat idea.

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