Design a site like this with
Get started

Calendar musings

Over the years I’ve bemoaned the lack of an electronic calendar that meets my needs. I still looking for the ideal product. Really, I’m hoping those gmail people will assemble a calendar to interface with mail, or that the Firefox/Mozilla calendar project will produce something with all the features I want.  I have found some products that improve (but don’t totally fix) the use of the Outlook calendar, but better would be:


Views: I should be able to see day and week views that show detailed appointments, as well as a month view with appointment listings. A list view that shows several months worth of upcoming stuff would also be cool.

Color-coding: the calendar views should allow me to set color codes for various items – color cues could be used for location, nature of appointment (work, personal, etc), multiple user information,
Communication:  It’d be great if it interacted with my gmail account that I use for work.  Perhaps a gmail plug-in that creates buttons:  “Add appointment to calendar” and “add task to calendar” would do the trick. 
Online/offline:  I’d like the primary calendar to be offline; I’d like each of several machines (with various OS’s) to automatically sync with it for the times I work offline.
Compatibility:  needs to be able to work with multiple OS platforms – I use both Windows and Mac and want to be free to expand to Linux as well.


People:  it would be good if you could identify people involved, especially if it automatically grabbed contact info for those people for further conversation about the meeting.
Transporation:  It would be good if you could put estimated transportation time to/from the meeting in a way that was clearly shown on the display – have the meeting shown and a little greyed out space on either side for transit time that is clearly not part of the meeting but clearly has to be kept free on the schedule.
Recursion:  repeating appointments with various options for type of recursion and duration of recursion is a must.  It should be possible to edit one of a series or all of a series.

(here’s where I’m most demanding and dissatisfied with current products)
Basics:  the task list should be visible while looking at the actual calendar view as well.  A given task should be associated with info about estimated time to complete, amount complete, amount assigned (see below), due dates, dependencies (see below), importance, recurrence. 
Assignment to times:  I should be able to assign a task to a particular time block on the calendar.  The calendar should reflect this as an appointment (time not avail) but should also update the time estimates – e.g. this task is projected to take 2 hours.  You’ve completed 30 minutes, and have assigned one hour for future work, leaving 30 minutes of unassigned to-do.  This assignment function should not screw up with recurring tasks – I should be able to assign appropriate times to do this week’s task, and then have next week’s iteration of the task appear with the original time estimate showing as neither completed or assigned.
Gantt view – it would be cool to be able to view the to-do list as a scheduled workflow like a gantt view, where you ordered your to-do list in a way that showed dependencies.  This view should take into account the time on your schedule that’s unavailable because of appointments.  An internal logic that actually laid out the work schedule for you would be really cool. 

If a product exists that offers all this, I haven’t found it (would love to hear about it).  Otherwise, from my fingers to google’s ears! 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: