The a lot more I use Google Calendar, the a lot more I adore it. Yesteday I realised that I could pretty a lot use it to replace Microsoft Project (if only I could produce dependencies between items and spit out a gant chart?-. possibly I’ll just need to train clients to not like gant charts quite so much. What’s with that, hey?)
Google Calendar is so much greater at managing several projects that MS Project will ever be. (Ever experienced a Project Central implementation? You’ll know what I’m talking about).
When I take on a new project, I generate a brand new Google Calendar and name it right after the project. I can then assign tasks to that calendar that appear, beautifully colour coded, in amongst all my other projects and personal activities on 1 calendar. At a glance I can see when I’m going to be super busy and when I’ll be able to go have lunch out of the office.
It’s straightforward to move from a high level (monthly) view to a detailed every day view. The agenda view is also fantastic. You’ll be able to switch other projects/calendars on and off easily, and you are able to share your calendar with others (project team members, your client etc).
If only every person utilized Google Calendar. For those that don’t they can maintain up to speed with XML feeds or an iCal feed into one more internet based calendar that supports iCal (and most of the good ones do).
It is possible to share your calendar only having a chosen couple of, or you are able to share it with the world. Many thanks to the wonderful men and women who’ve created the Australian Cricket Schedule in a shared Google Calendar so that I’ll in no way should miss one more match (albeit via an on the web broadcast). The Sydney Internet Standards Group also have a public Google Calendar that I’ve added to my calendar at the click of a button. Dead easy and so beneficial. (Obviously, public & school holidays can be imported exactly this way as well).
Obviously, Google Calendar doesn’t do everything that MS Project does. It does do a lot of the things that Outlook does though. (Although, it doesn’t seem to cope so well with meeting requests and the like that come to Google Cal from Outlook).
If you’re like me and you mostly use Project to create a list of tasks, work out a schedule, then try to stay on schedule (or, watch how the project schedule slips out as people (not me, of course!) don’t deliver on time), then I think you’ll find this a wonderful tool for managing your time. And, I know you’ll be happy to see the back of Project!