Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gmail and Google Apps Calendar management tips

I think children are sometimes the best test of whether a process is simple or not.  My 6 year old is like most and really doesn't care about daddy being late for something so I built him a schedule on Gmail and made sure it integrates with my schedule on Google apps.  He loves it!

Here's a few tips I think are worth sharing with business users from this exercise:
  • Learn how "Quick Add" works.  It's a phenomenal time saver.  Enter "today 800 am Bus to School 20 min" or "wed 2 pm Budget meeting 2 hours".  Google Calendar will automatically create the appropriate appointment for you.  If you get it wrong use the Undo Link that appears as part of the yellow message telling you what you just added.
  • Open your calendar, Settings, Labs (Gapps administrator has to allow labs for this to appear)
  • Enable the components: "Who's my one-on-one with?", "Free or busy", and my personal and my 6 year old's favourite "Next meeting"
Sure there's a whole bunch of encouragement for my 6 year old that helps too, but now I can leave a screen open that's his schedule (coordinated with dad's and mom's) that he's enjoying keeping up with.

Yikes, I'm 2 minutes late for picking him up for the dentist.  Gotta run.