Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive forOctober 17th, 2003 | back to home

17 October 2003

Ever wanted to get several people coordinated across the world using a calendar? Microsoft Exchange lets you do this easily across the web (and has other useful features like the ability to automatically schedule events) but of course it costs money and using Outlook does make you more vulnerable to viruses. There are a couple of free solutions available, each with benefits and drawbacks. Of these the best two I have found are Localendar which looks slick and (if you are in the US) includes an interesting “see public events near you” feature. You can also add features like import/export to Palm or Outlook or a message board if you pay.

“Calendars.net”:http://www.calendars.net/ would be my choice. It looks very powerful – it lets you edit calendars offline (and sync with Palm or Outlook) using a separate Windows application – “iCal”:http://www.brownbearsw.com/ical/newical.htm – then upload them, and allows multiple security levels (so you can set certain groups with the ability to view, others who can post new events etc). It also supports email notification for events and works in different languages. The drawback is that it looks as if it might be somewhat complicated to get to grips with as a calendar administrator.

The only thing none of these calendars seem to do is allow you to automatically enter pre-set locations (meeting rooms etc) and schedule them or auto-schedule people if you know what their schedules look like. If anyone knows any free web-based software that does this I would be interested to hear about it!