Whether it’s for a business or our personal lives, we can hardly get through a day without checking our calendars. Time is money and time management is critical. We buy calendars with beautiful pictures representing each month, or we keep ourselves virtual with the use of calendar applications on our phones and computers. Calendars are so vital that Mac products are automatically equipped with this calendar app. The fact is, absolutely no one can run a business without a good calendar management system. As of late, we have been frustrated with synchronization between iOS and our Mac and Windows computers. Last week, we talked briefly about the use of back office, cloud-based tools, and how to set-up email and a quick website in the weeks before that. We will return to the back office tools after we evaluate PayPals solutions entirely. This week we are talking about calendars, and because there is a wealth of information on the Internet, we are not reinventing the wheel. Rather, we are pointing to a site that we found through a great resource for people launching an onCOREventure – Open Forum from American Express.
In fact, this resource is so cool that over the last twenty-four hours using very little effort, we moved our primary calendar to Google Calendar, and found an online sign-up mechanism for both clients and potential clients to sign up for sessions through our website that we have begun testing. We expect this tool to eliminate the use of coaches console for our practice and allow clients to manage their own calendars with our practice. Note: In fact by the end of the next day we had the feature live on our website, fully integrated into our production calendar system.
Since we use iOS devices and not Android, we like the idea of apps that live on the device. That being said, even tough the Apple-supplied apps for Calendar and Contacts are subpar, we were pleased to see that there are a variety of calendar apps available for iOS, and I had one up and running in five minutes. We use CalenMob and opted for the paid version for increased functionality. Since I already migrated my iCal information to Google, I did not grant the app access. Frankly, with this app and with Google calendar, there is fortunately no reason for me to use Apple’s calendar.
On a roll, we experimented with another app – Contacts Sync. One of Apple’s dirty little secrets is that contacts disappear, are doubled, tripled and in once case multiplied by ten. Phone numbers go away. It was so easy to get my calendar into Google, I figured why not get my contacts into Google, and this little tool had them synchronized in five minutes. Now the cool thing is that Google seems to be pretty good at not actually losing information on my contacts – and with this tool, I can always overwrite the Apple contacts with Google’s. I was also easily able to delete the duplicates in my Apple contacts using the tool, something that I can never seem to remember how to do on my Mac.
The more we use Google’s cloud services, the more we like them. and with apps on iOS and things like open-source tools on cross platform PC’s Linux and Mac environments, life seems to be getting easier and more affordable for new ventures to get their technology in place.