When Google Calendar was launched in 2006, I didn’t find anything unique except the “Quick Add” feature. I might not have spent too much time exploring the powerful features of Google calendar then, but I am sure that most of them would agree that there was no single compelling feature in Google Calendar.
At that time, my usage of Calendar was also pretty limited; However age is catching up with me and I really had to start using a calendar to keep track of my day to day events. (I am not going to write in detail about these events, but these were the ones which made me realize that I was getting old 🙂 )
When I again checked on Google Calendar, 2 features caught my attention.
Getting Notifications via SMS
You can set your mobile number in the Calendar setting and get event notifications on the mobile as SMS.
This feature is definitely useful for users with regular phones (With Smartphones you generally have the ability to synch your calendar and tasks). You can configure the time before which you wish to receive the event notifications.
Synchronizing with Microsoft Outlook
Google has now launched a new Calendar Sync utility which allows you to sync events between Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook Calendar. You’ll be able to determine the direction of “sync”, as well as the sync frequency.
Till now, there wasn’t a straightforward way to setup the sync between Google Calendar and MS Outlook Calendar. This new utility make it really simple to setup the sync and is a treat for people using Outlook and Google Calendar.
With the above 2 features, I have become a “regular” user of Google Calendar and is now firmly positioned as my second favorite Google app 🙂 (The first one being Gmail !)
Talking of favorite Google applications, here is how it stacks up for me: (Note: I have not considered Search as an “app”, for me Google is the default search engine ! )
- Google Calendar
- Google Docs and Spreadsheets
- Google Notebook
- Google Reader
What are your favorite Google applications ?
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Gmail is the coolest mail client out there for sure, but Google Calender is not my thing.
Since I do have a Windows mobile phone and I use Outlook calendar extensively, Google calendar is really redundant for me. But ya, I can see how it would be useful for others.
And I only use Gmail and Google Reader out of the 5 apps you’ve mentioned.
I am a big gmail fan but have not used many of Google’s other tools. I find the calendar in Microsoft Outlook very useful.