Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Calendaring Done Right

Calendaring is one of the most useful systems ever invented.  From the beginning of time, people have developed and used many different types of calendars.  Whether they were based on the sun, moon or stars, all calendars are centered around organizing time.  A calendar can help you remember the past and plan for the future.  Humanity has come a long way in our use of calendars.  In modern times, people generally accept the Gregorian calendar.  When I say that my birthday is on June 3rd, everyone knows exactly what I mean.  

The world of technology has historically not been quite as unified as us humans.  Much like in the early years of our existence, there are many different formats and standards in calendaring software available today.  Some are better than others, some are designed for specific purposes.  How can we communicate and collaborate efficiently when everyone has a different calendaring system?  Enter Google.  They have simplified calendaring and made it accessible to one and all.  They have given us Google Calendar: calendaring done right.

One of the bottlenecks of running an efficient business is the management of people’s time and resources.  Getting teams to collaborate on projects has inherent scheduling difficulties.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people had somewhere to go to coordinate and organize people’s precious time?

So, what can Google Calendar do for your business?

Easily schedule appointments

Overlay multiple calendars to see when people are available. Google Calendar sends invitations and manages RSVPs.

Integrate with your email system

Google Calendar is integrated into Gmail and interoperable with popular calendar applications.

Share project calendars

Calendars can be shared company-wide or with select co-workers. A range of sharing permission controls help maintain security and privacy.

Access with your mobile device

View and edit event details, add new events, and invite guests on mobile devices like the BlackBerry and iPhone. Even receive calendar notifications via SMS.

Publish calendars

Publicize external company events by publishing a calendar to make it searchable in the Google Calendar gallery. Easily embed calendars into web pages.

Google Calendar is setting a standard that will allow everyone to be on the same page.  They’ve done calendaring better than everyone else, and they’ve done it right.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What's New in Google Apps?

Google is an amazing company.  The speed at which they come out with amazing, cutting edge software is incredible.  They provide the most comprehensive suite of applications in the cloud that I know of.  The Google way of doing things is something that I am in awe of and hope to emulate in some of my own endeavors.  To take some task or idea and simplify it to the point where it is intuitive to use, yet still very powerful, is Google's forte.

Keeping up with all of the latest and greatest features of Google Apps is not easy.  Many people ask me questions all the time about new features they notice in Gmail or Google Calendar.  The beauty of having these applications living in the cloud is that you and I are always on the latest release of the software.  These powerful, new features are instantly available as soon as they are ready for prime-time.  The move to the cloud eases the burden on IT departments everywhere.  Time and resources saved in pushing updates to all of your organizations' workstations alone can add up quickly.  But how can we stay on top of all of these updates that Google is offering?  Google has taken that complex task and simplified it the Google way.

What's New in Google Apps is a new website dedicated to letting us know about the new features in Google Apps.  It provides resources for staying on top of everything Google Apps including a release calendar, update feeds, release guides, and materials for users to get accustomed to the newest features.  This is a great place to visit often to see what is going on in the Google Apps world!