Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Thing 8 : Google Calendar

I've set this up, but not yet put anything in it, which rather negates the object of the exercise!

I already have access to an electronic calendar at work through Lotus notes, and I don't get on with that very well. The intention is that meetings go neatly into it when they are set up (great if the person organising the meeting sends it as an appointment, otherwise you have to do it manually yourself). Annual leave automatically displays once it has been approved (in theory, but despite much discussion and several lots of instructions I still cannot get it to say anything other than "awaiting approval"). I have duly set the correct limits to show my working hours, but that results in querulous messages every time I try to accept an invitation to a meeting which falls outside them. Our internal electronic course booking system doesn't talk to our electronic calendar (this has actually caused me to miss things!) It is potentially useful to be able to see other people's availability, especially when trying to arrange meetings, and a colleague recently said that she blocks out time on her calendar for specific tasks, which means that she gets them done instead of being diverted by meetings all the time, so I might try that. Happily I no longer have the onerous duty of doing the timetable for library desks and enquiry points and don't have to worry about covering opening hours.

Google Calendar uses the American order of month first, day next, which is fine when reading American documents but I'm not sure I could adapt to using it myself for my own calendar: it would throw me at the beginning of the month and in the early months of the year (4/5? 7/6? 6/7?), and there's potential for messing up in November this year too. (I'm going to be quite glad in any case once we've got past 2012!) Thinking about this task has made me realise that what I really need to do is to try to return to the habit I had for years of keeping a hard copy diary which I took everywhere with me, with a back-up record kept at home. The only way in which an online version wins is allowing other people access to it, but I already have that at work within the limitations of the system. (My paper diary habit fell by the wayside when an unexpected life event made everything written in it totally redundant for quite a long time!) I also feel I would like to know more about how secure the information is on Google. Would it be possible for anyone undesirable to access the information?

I don't think I'll be using Google Calendar for now, since we have a different system at work and I haven't got a fancy phone, but I might think about it in future, and it's useful to know about it.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Helen, very interestsing as always, not least because you made me wonder about desk timetables for the library. At the moment we have permanent set times but it might well be better to assess the workload every day and allocate desk duties accordingly. Thanks for that thought.
    What a brilliant idea to go back to a diary - I've become very attached to my electronic calendar but it's a real nuisance when I'm in a meeting without it. Thanks for that thought too.