It’s not everyday that wife comes to me with technology suggestions, so I felt particularly proud when one night over dinner she said, “Hey, have you seen Google Calendar? Maybe that is something we could use. Can you see if you can figure it out?”
Maybe forcing her to be the early adopter in the house is finally starting to work (she was the first computer in the house on Vista, Office 2007, first to get a Smartphone, first to get a Zune, etc).
To give a little back story here, my wife and I have extremely incompatible schedules. She is a pediatric resident (about to be chief resident) and I work an hour away. She is an early bird, and I am a nighthawk. It is not at all outside the realm of possibility that she gets up at 5 AM on Monday, pokes the bear a little to wake me, and I hear “I guess I wont see you till Friday”.
Now, Sarah is an extremely organized person, some would say UBER organized. Really, you have to be to be able to maintain that kind of schedule. Although, even her doctor friends laugh at her inventory of what’s in the freezer currently (software idea, anyone?). Up until now the only way that I knew where she was, or what we had going on some weekend was to look at the paper calendar the she filled out every month hanging on the fridge.
I don't do paper.
So, this often put me in some bad situations when I constantly asked what the schedule was, or scheduled something for myself when I wasn't supposed to. Enter Google Calendar.
I don't know how long its been out, but it says its still in Beta, and its completely new to me. I started to check it out, seeing if we could merge (or share) calendars, and basically assessing if it would fit our needs. So far, it does quite well. I created us each Google accounts with our new krammesnet.com domains and created us both calendars. I can add my events, she can add hers, and we can have access to each others via sharing. The interface is also pretty user friendly. I can highlight both calendars to see a merged view, or just view a single calendar. Google has built in calendars as well that display the weather and US holidays.
We have even taken it step further and created a “Family Birthdays” calendar and a “Food” calendar that helps my wife plan the meals for the week (yes, we plan our meals, but don't knock it till you've tried it, it really helps with the grocery shopping, I used to make fun of her too, but now I'm a convert).
Wait…, I do everything in Outlook, and I just finished hooking up all the computers in the house with our shiny new email addresses. Quite frankly, I love that Outlook syncs with my phone automatically with Bluetooth, and I NEED those Outlook reminders! Not to fear. Google has a small client app that syncs your calendar with Outlook and therefore automatically syncs with my phone. Awesome!
Google has even introduced some features that I am starting to love. One, the Google calendar (which is now a mirror of my Outlook calendar, updates every 15 minutes) has SMS support, so I have full control of receiving text messages when a calendar event is added, removed, and when one is coming up, just to give a few examples. Secondly, Google calendar emails me every morning with a daily agenda so I know what meetings I have at work, whatever else is going on that day, and most importantly, what we are having for dinner :)
So, all and all using this Beta Google product has been a positive experience.
How do you keep track of everyone in your family?
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