This is my calendar- it sits on the back of the door of my pantry with spaces for everybody’s schedule and appointments. It’s filled in when I remember for the once-off occasions, but the routine stuff- Miss BG’s ballet, Master BG’s soccer are already known and not put in.
What I like about the print version is its accessibility. It’s in a location that everyone uses and it can be updated easily and by anyone, as textas and pens are in easy reach. The truth of the matter is, that it seems to be only me that does the updating the adding and checking. Most of what happens in the house gets stored in our heads.
So moving to a mobile version was a novelty. Google calendar was duly installed and it automatically synchronised with Facebook- very convenient! It shows how that gleeful setting up of your phone with your Facebook, Google and Twitter accounts can prove in the long run to be advantageous. There are disadvantages when reliant on one way to coordinate your life, when one gentleman discovered when Facebook disabled his account.
Adding events were easy to input, and to amend. I liked the reminder 10 minutes before the event (also thankful that living in Ballarat, it usually takes about 10 minutes to get to where you need to be, including parking time!).
Inputting something such as School holidays from an .ics file were trickier.
I was wanting to conduct the whole exercise on my mobile, but ended up importing the file to my desktop and syncing my mobile. On the whole, not a great user experience as I felt I couldn’t do it all on my phone.
A couple of tips to consider before creating an electronic events file for your library or institution
1. Consider the user- will they get any value out of this? Will they find it easy to do?
2. Plan ahead with the events that you wish to include in the file. Usually the event files I download to my work email are done on an annual basis, and include public holidays, school terms and Parliamentary Sitting Days.
3. If you have a page on your website which has event dates, add an .ics file on that page so you can download it to your phone easily. The school term dates are listed on the Department of Education’s website, but the .ics is not.
4. Or maybe use something less fiddly than a file- maybe a QR code which you could capture and which would input the data you need to your phone.
5. Do event reminders need be in a calendar format? I get text messages from my dentist and hairdresser, and email reminders from the library advising me I need to return or renew books due in a few days’ time.
I think for the calendar to work, it needs to be something I check a lot- for the moment I’ll stick to the back of the door :).