Dec 20, 2007

Get A Free Online Calendar

Have you been seeking a tool for your online calendar? I tried several in the past year and never quite found the fit for price/performance until this week, when I found a reference at Duct Tape Marketing to get a free online calendar through Google Calendar. I'd used Google calendar for my band, but never thought of using this seriously for my business until this week.

In a nutshell: I LOVE Google calendar!

Check out how I implemented it here:

I'm using this particular calendar to list my speaking events (still loading these up) and also my radio shows (want to be a guest?)... there are so many ways to use this, limited really only by imagination. Calendar entries post an RSS trail into your calendar events, which is another way to make sure your events get discovered online! Plus, comments work like RSS feed comments, too!

There are several different views for Google Calendar:

The first view is a view of my agenda.

This is nice because I can see a list of all upcoming activities laid out, with all the TEXT DESCRIPTION for each activity also clearly displayed.

The next view is the Calendar view for MONTHLY activities (see above). This view is useful to be able to see each bullet entry for the month, then the user can click on the date they are interested in. This is probably my only complaint about Google Calendar - they don't list enough of the daily activity or give me enough choice over how this is displayed in this view. I'd like to see more text in my monthly event postings view.

However, considering that this is "beta" software, I wouldn't be surprised to see more options in the near future show up through Google.

The last view is a weekly view, which I won't picture here because I found this view only useful for personal use.

What I love the most about this software is that Google Calendar not only display my calendar instantly on my website after updating through my Google account, but it also EMAILS me my calendar events for each day. It's like having your own personal secretary online. I'm using two different Google calendars, one for my speaking and radio show events, that is displayed publicly here:

And, the other Google Calendar I'm using is the one for my personal schedule. I'm still figuring out how to integrate that with ACT and OUTLOOK and exploring which way of managing my time is best; however, I know that I am strongly considering what platform will be easiest to manage my face-to-face and the one that pings me automatically in the morning is probably the one that wins. I'm just too busy to keep track of everything all the time, and this feature is a life-saver!

A note on using calendar tools for blogs: I'm only linking through a text link at my blog ( Bloggers have become conditioned that "calendars" mean another way to list posts - something I personally feel is a poor way to list your posts and confusing to blog visitors. So, my calendar link is simply a link to "events" at my blog. If you've posted a calendar at your blog that WORKS and is NOT another way to show blog article posts... can you please share?

If you're wondering how long it took me to configure Google Calendar, well, it took less than 1 hour, I just clicked all the buttons until I figured it all out. You can also re-size the calendar on your page by changing the width/height fields in the code - easy as pie. You can also choose the standard view - either month, week, or agenda. I like the agenda, but early polling seems to indicate people like the full calendar view.

Here's three simple and easy steps to set-up your own Online Google Calendar:

1. Go to Google, and sign up for a Google account.
2. Click on Google MY ACCOUNT button.
3. Click on Try Something New: CALENDAR

Once you've got Calendar, you'll then want to click through all the different options on the page. I've found this is how Google navigation works: Just click on any link, see what it does, then you'll know how to use the application to the fullest power.

The most important menu option is a very small link in the left toolbar that says "manage calendar" and offers three choices:

1. of Calendar. Mine says Scott Andrews, although yours will have your unique Google Name. This is the most important link, as you scroll down you'll find the "Embed this Calendar" link and code. You can customize the code to your site's look and feel. I lowered the height to make it fit above the fold at my site, and aside from that I loaded it verbatim.

2. Share this calendar. This option is nice because if you have a personal administrator they can be authorized to update your calendar for you. This is very useful also for group calendar sharing.

3. Google Calendar Button. This button gives you a link and image so that others can click on the button and SUBSCRIBE to your calendar. I like this, because now others are alerted to events.

If a user wants to dial into my radio show, for example, yes, they can subscribe through the TalkShoe option, but now they can also just subscribe to my events calendar and they get the news this way, too.

I'm sure there's a lot more you can do with Google Calendar. I'm still figuring out all the ways I can use this, but it already is driving me to book more speaking engagements, fill in the schedule for the next three months of radio shows, and also it will help me book additional events because now bureaus and event coordinators can see my schedule and get an idea that I'm active. This is important to me, as perception is half the battle of getting booked, and this now presents the perception to the public that works for my image.

If you don't like Google Calendar, I found a few more resources today for calendaring online at this site:; however, I found Google met my needs just fine.



Post by Scott Andrews, CEO of ARRiiVE Business Solutions.

ARRiiVE Business Solutions helps executives improve sales, launch products and services, and build dynamic, cross-functional collaborative teams. For more information, contact info (at)ARRiiVE {dot} com or call us at 1 (805) 459-6939.

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