It’s About Time

7th March, 2013 No Comments Blog

My wife occasionally asks me for recommendations for technology products – consumer electronics, software, apps.  I spend all day immersed in new technologies and she doesn’t, so this is one topic on which I can actually be helpful in many cases.  But I was stumped by her latest request.

She asked me for a product that would help her easily coordinate schedules with people outside our family.  She runs a small non-profit that demands that she schedule many meetings.  She brought up a specific example from our personal life; our kids had one more day off school than we expected for Spring Break this year.  We got them all dressed up to go back to school last Monday, only for my wife to discover the school closed on their arrival.  She wanted an easy way to find out who was available for playdates for the kids.

She uses Doodle and Google Calendar.  The former is great in many cases (and free), but requires a new request to specific invitees every time you want to schedule a meeting.  The latter works reasonably well, but again only if you know who you want to invite and only if everyone is sharing a calendar or has setup permissions appropriately ahead of time.

The best I could come up with for my wife was Foursquare, Facebook Places or Twitter (setting up a private group) combined with Google Calendar.  Not a very satisfying answer given that smart people have been trying to solve this problem since Dodgeball or even before.  I came across Atlas which looks promising; I’m going to try that out.

If you have any ideas, please let me know.

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