The idea of online calendars is not new and many have had a electronic calendar for years now. However, not all use them to their full potential. Let me illustrate with an example from Planning Center Online and Google Calendar.
PCO is a popular online tool used by churches to plan their services and schedule volunteers. One of the handy features available to the volunteer is that your volunteer schedule is available to you in webcal (iCal) format.
On the main screen of PCO on the left hand side is a calendar with some links under it. The last one is the link your your webcal url. Simply right click on this and copy the link location.
This can be used for Outlook as well, but in this example we will use Google’s calendar as the place we want to import this into.
Next you will go to your Google Calendar and on look for the section on the left hand side titled “Other Calendars”. If you have never added any other calendars before you won’t have anything in the list. Since I have done this for many calendars, you see them shown in this example.
At the bottom of this you will see a link “Add” that you should click on. This will give you a pop-up window with a few choices. Select the “Add by URL” option.
You will get screen like the one below. Simply paste in the URL you copied from the other site (PCO in this case) and click the “Add” button.
Now go back to your calendar and you should see it in the list. It may have a funny name like “webcal://” but don’t worry you can change that. Simply look for and click on the drop-down button directly to the right of the calendar in the list. Here you can change the color (if you don’t like the one Google assigns) as well as update other settings. Click on the ‘Calendar settings’ to do this. (See example on right).
You will then have a screen that shows you the details for you calendar where you can change the name as well as the default notification options. Just like your default calendar in Google, you can have reminders set for email, SMS, or pop-up (or any combination).
What is nice about adding / layering your Google calendar like this is that you have easy to see colors for each calendar on your schedule. You can also choose to share individual calendars and not others. You can even give important people in you life the ability to update certain calendars (think family life)!