How can I get started with Google Calendar?
I've been looking for a good online calendar program for a while so I was happy to read that Google's introduced its own calendar program, but I'm hoping you can give me some help on getting started with it? Thanks, Dave!
Great timing as I too have been very curious about Google Calendar: I used the calendar program with Palm Desktop for years, then about six months ago I switched to Apple's iCal program, but I'm not thrilled with it, to tell you the truth. So let's jump into this together, shall we?
First off, you need to pop over to Google Calendar and log in to your Gmail or general Google account. Then you need to set some basic preferences...
It already knows my name and time zone from my Gmail configuration, but I'm sure surprised when I click to continue:
Bah! Another application that doesn't like Apple's popular Safari browser. And here I thought Google was Apple friendly!
Ah, what the heck, I'll try to proceed with Safari anyway by clicking "cancel" and see what happens. Worst case, I can always flip over to Firefox and use that instead.
Pleasantly, it appears to work reasonably well even after the warning:
There's nothing on my calendar yet, but it seems like it's pretty easy (and calendar applications aren't really rocket science anyway, if you ask me). To switch between daily, weekly, and monthly views I can use the tabs on the top right, I can use the Create Event link to add one or more events to my calendar, and I can move between days, weeks or months (depending on view) with the left and right triangle buttons. Easy enough!
The logical test: add a new event. I'll do so by clicking on the Create Event link, at which point I have a number of different fields I can set:
When adding an event I can also specify one or more "guests" who can see that event in my calendar and to whom I can send reminders (handy if your spouse forgets your anniversary, for example):
Here's what the event view looks like when I fill in all the fields for an annual event, in this case Valentine's Day:
I click on "Save" and suddenly an event error arises, one that might well be because of my using Safari rather than a fully supported Web browser:
How do I know it's an error? Because I haven't specified any guest email addresses in that field. Anyway, I'll just click on "Save" and promptly get to see the reminder prompt too:
I'll choose "Don't Send" and the event is added to my calendar. That's pretty easy.
To check that it showed up, I'll change to Month View by clicking on the "month" tab, then use the back triangle to move to February of this year. If everything worked, I should see Valentine's Day as an event:
Nice. Simple, straightforward and functional.
I hope that'll help you get started with Google Calendar!
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