Archive for the ‘google calendar’ Tag

Why I Prefer Software to Web Apps

It’s no secret on this blog that I like iCal (see: exhibits A, B and C). Google Calendar is by far the closest application, client- or server-side, to iCal’s elegant interface. One might even argue that Google’s is better, offering anywhere-access to your daily planner. And with tasks (to-do) for Google Calendar on the way, why not make Google your default time management software?

I don’t want to entrust all my information to someone else’s computer. Web sites go down. Sometimes Internet access isn’t available in certain areas. I need to know that I can gain access to my information whenever I have my computer (or iPod, thanks to iTunes data syncing).

Sure, hard drives crash, and data can get corrupted. But at least then I’ll recognize that it was my own fault for not backing up my data. And at the end of the week, I shouldn’t have to worry about that anymore.

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Todoist: Handy Web-based To-do List

I’ve mentioned before how much I use the to-do function in iCal. It’s a great way to keep your daily tasks organized. Mac users have a pretty good option for keeping tasks and appointments in one application — and it’s only going to get better with iCal-Mail integration in the new version of the OS, coming next month.

Unfortunately there hasn’t been a great all-in-one on the Web. Google Calendar is a pretty good web app for logging events, and Google has recently dropped an iPhone version that’s pretty nice. Gmail users will also appreciate the mail-calendar integration (if someone mentions a date in an email, it’ll suggest you create an appoint out of it).

But Google Calendar doesn’t provide a to-do list, instead encouraging its calendar users to use the ToDo gadget on its iGoogle home page.

There’s a better option. This tip comes from Stowe Boyd’s /Message blog, which has been featured on Bigthawt before.

Todoist is a great web-based to-do list. You can keep a simple to-do list, and check items off as you complete them. Boyd provides a tip to tie your list in to Firefox’s sidebar. Another great tool is the bookmarklet that plays well with Gmail — or any page on the net — that lets you connect multiple links or mail messages to a to-do task. It’s an awesome feature that I would love to see in iCal.

Apple Cripples iPod touch Calendar

Look, I was trying to be optimistic when I wrote “No Maps? No Problem,” listing a bunch of online tools that could fill the gap left by Apple Inc.’s removal from the iPod touch of many great iPhone applications, like Mail and Google Maps.

But now we find out that Apple has purposely crippled the calendar on the iPod touch to only display events, removing the ability to create new ones on the device. And I’m really fuming.

All this means is that I would have to use Google Calendar instead of iCal from now on, but is this Apple’s goal? To drive everyone away from using its applications to web-based alternatives.

Going back to my predictions, it seems we only got two-thirds of the equation. We got the widescreen iPod; we got the internet communications device; but Apple isn’t giving us the PDA.

And this is a deal breaker for me. So until the hackers find a way to get the iPhone apps onto the iPod touch (and how hard could it be? It’s the same freakin’ software and mostly the same hardware), count me out.

Events Calendar Blog Widget

Here is a great idea that comes from my brother, tj. He was looking to set up a sidebar widget showing upcoming events for his blog.

“I want to set up an events calendar on my blog. It would be cool if it was just a small calendar on the side with the dates highlighted that have events. Then you click on the day to see the event.”

While something like this does exist as a widget for the WordPress blog software (which is what this blog uses), I could not find anything that works for Blogger (what tj uses). The one for WordPress is called Events Calendar, and it’s pretty nifty.

But I was really surprised to find that nobody has coded a widget compatible with every blog that grabs a Google Calendar or something of the like, and displays the events in the navigation bar. There actually is one for Google Calendar, but it’s way too big to fit on the side.

I know some of the people over at Widgetbox read this blog, so you widget coders better be paying attention! These guys have done some cool things lately, working with Apple Inc. on the My iTunes widgets and MixIts for user-created iTunes iMix playlists.

And for readers who live in Southern California, be sure to check out tj’s blog, Sam Ash California. He updates it every day with great deals on musical instruments, seminars for players and celeb appearances. It’s a great read for musicians and fans.