For those who know me, I have a horrible memory. I constantly leave myself notes, make lists, and use calendars to help me remember what seems like every aspect of my life. I have a variety of tools to suit my needs. aNote on the iPhone is a great notetaker. Grocery Gadget helps remember what I need to buy. Delicious helps me remember links and Instapaper helps me with articles I want to read later. Email is a big factor as it’s quick and I’m constantly in my inbox. If something is really important an email to myself will do the trick. However, none of those things can compare to Google Calendar.
It’s not that I will completely forget something all together. Most of the time I do remember what it is I need to. My problem is that if I have something to do at a specific time, I’ll remember it several hours before, but when time comes I will either forget, remember when it’s too late, or remember just in time to piss me off for not remembering sooner. GCal helps combat those issues. I like GCal because it syncs with my iPhone and my iCal on my iMac and MacBook. It is a great tool with a simple interface. I love how you can have multiple calendars and can turn each one off with the click of a mouse. That doesn’t mean I haven’t found some things I dislike about it.
Earlier this morning I was creating an event to remember to drop off my rent check in the morning. Now, I already have ‘Pay Rent’ set up on every first of the month with a reminder going out, but the problem comes with the reminder. Paying rent is an all day event on my calendar, mostly because I never know when the exact time I can pay it will occur. Therefore, any reminder I set up will be prior to the day starting. Sending an email the day before is almost too much, but sending it 15 minutes before the event won’t work either. I’m not going to do anything about paying rent at 11:45 at night. This is where there needs to be a Google Labs feature that allows you to have ‘business hours.’ This would be an option to let you choose what hours that calendar uses for All Day events. For example, for my Work calendar, All Day is not 12am-11:59pm. Work is from 8am-5pm. That’s when work’s All Day events should stop. I’m really surprised this isn’t something built in or already available as an experimental Labs feature. I would also like more control over the time increments. Sure, you can type in any start and end time, but the dropdowns only go by the half hour. I would prefer the dropdowns to have an option to display time in 15 minute increments. Those caveats to GCal aside, it is a great tool. I really don’t know where I’d be without it, probably lost, walking aimlessly down the highway wearing duck slippers and a bathrobe. That reminds me, I should add ‘Buy duck slippers and a bathrobe’ to my calendar.