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New Year, new calendar debate

Sara Goo

Every year, during the first week of January, I walk down to my nearest Borders and buy a new day planner for the new year. I know, this is terribly non-techie of me. But it started years ago when I got one of those Palm devices for Christmas. Shortly after, it fell to the ground and broke into a million pieces after I spent hours inputting data and figuring out how to use it. Thus, my return to paper.

This year I'm debating whether to save myself the $10 for the planner and go all digital with my Google Calendar. Am I ready to take the plunge and go paperless? There's some comfort of having things written down on paper, on my desk. I can hold it in my hands while I wait for my computer to boot up. On the other hand, Google Calendar sends me alerts to my goings-on of the day, which I have forwarded to my BlackBerry. If only Google would extend this feature beyond the primary calendar and send alerts from shared calendars (like the secondary calendars that some parents are using to track their kids activities.)

But Google Calendar is far from perfect. I wish I could schedule more complicated recurring events. For example, it only allows me to schedule events once or on a daily, weekly or monthly or other regular basis. But what if I have a meeting every other week? I have to input it manually. Also, there's the syncing issue. The calendars events don't synchronize with handheld devices - if you've got an older Palm, your Google calendar events aren't showing up when you hit the sync button.

According to a new release by Hitwise, a company that tracks Web traffic to different Internet sites, Google Calendar traffic is up three-fold since June. So maybe lots of people are making the same decision that I am and entrusting their entire private and professional schedules to Google.

You can see from Hitwise's graph that traffic to Yahoo and MSN calendars has been declining, while Google is taking off. But taken as a whole, it's still a teeny percent of people who use these calendars--a fraction of a percent of U.S. Internet visits go to these sites.

So this week I'm flying solo. My old planner ran out of pages. But just in case, I'm hoping that the sale at Borders extends til next week.

By Sara Goo  |  January 4, 2007; 12:10 PM ET  | Category:  Sara Goo
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

I'm a computer programmer, and I use a $2 pocket notebook from B and N as my PDA. Intuitive pencil/pen and paper interface, I can enter any sort of data into it, needs no batteries, can survive being dropped, sat on, rained on. Forward and backward compatible.

Posted by: wiredog | January 5, 2007 1:11 PM

You can actually schedule things every other week. When you select "every week", there's an option for every 2 weeks, or every 3 weeks, or whatever.

Posted by: Jon | January 5, 2007 4:57 PM

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