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Wise Tech Tips

Online Calendars – Part 1 (Sign-up and Use)


By James Wise
web posted September 14, 2009
WISE TECH TIPS – Computerized Calendars are great way to keep up with your events. Many of these calendars can also be shared over the Internet for use by your business associates, friends, and family. Today we’ll start a multi-part series on one free Calendar application, Google Calendar. This series will cover basic use, sharing, and synchronization with Microsoft Outlook.

To start, you’ll have to create a Google Calendar account. If you already use Gmail, you can go to your Gmail page and click on “Calendar” in the upper right hand corner to add a calendar to your existing account. If you don’t use Gmail, you can create an account for Google Calendar only (or one that includes Gmail) by going to http://www.google.com/apps/

For a personal account, simply click “Gmail” or “Google Calendar” depending on what you would like. If you are part of a company and want to create an account for your organization, you can do so by clicking the “coworkers” link at the lower right hand corner of that page. Follow all prompts as necessary to create your account. Afterwards, you’ll have a page that looks similar to the one below:



You can easily change your view (e.g. from a one week view to a full month view) using the view buttons at the upper right hand corner of the calendar. Your default view can be changed by clicking “Settings” in the upper right hand corner.

Events can be added by simply clicking the desired date and filling in the details OR you can click “Create Event” located on the left hand side of the screen. Events can be very simple and quick but there are a lot of other options available as well if you would like such as reoccurrence, reminder (pop-up, email, or cell phone text message if configured in your settings), guest invites, etc....  You can even fill in a location and have that tied in automatically to Google Maps.

A new feature that might be especially interesting to sports fans is the ability to add pre-defined calendars such as those for holidays (by country) and sports teams. To add one or more of these special calendars, click the “add” button under “other calendars” on the left hand side of the screen, click “Browse Interesting Calendars”, and add whatever calendars you would like.

I also created a public calendar for Strom Thurmond Football games. If you would like to include it in your calendar, just click on “Add”, “Add by URL”, and use this address.

You can add calendars from other people as well. This can be a really helpful tool to keep up with coworkers, friends, and family but we’ll cover this in a future column.

If you would like to create additional calendars (like I did for the STHS Football Games), you can do so by clicking “Create” at the bottom right of the “My Calendars” section on the left hand side of Google Calendar. One example use of this feature might be creating a “work” calendar. This way, you have a separate professional verses personal calendar.

If you end up with too much information on your calendar, you can turn on or off the display of each of the calendars you’ve added simply by clicking on the calendar name. By clicking the arrow to the right of any of your calendars, you can control what color is used for events from that calendar.

There are many features of Google Calendar. I’ve tried to touch on a few of them here. In future columns, I plan to cover sharing calendars (including how to access other people’s shared calendars) and how to synchronize your Outlook calendar with Google Calendar. There are a lot of resources on the web about Google Calendar as well. You could start by clicking “Help” within Google Calendar. In addition to that, there are a number of videos out there. Here’s one I found: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iTsxQFvQZQ

Of course you can always just email me (EdgefieldTechHelp@gmail.com) if you have any questions.





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Parting Shots
A book by Columnist Carl Langley

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