It’s been up for a while, how did I miss this before?
I’ve been blase about most of these Web 2.0 new sites…I look at the demos and screenshots, realize that it fills a need that I never knew I had and couldn’t care less about and would require me to do things in a way that I’m not currently doing but gee…I get glowy yellow highlight while I do it. ::yawn::
One challenge that Eric and I have always had is keeping our calendars in sync. We’re both employed, we both have some travel in our jobs. He uses OS X Mail for personal email and Outlook for work email. I use Outlook for everything. He carries a Palm Treo 650, I have a Dell Axim Windows Mobile PDA. We’ve tried all different ways of getting appointments that the other needs to know about to the other person but none of the methods are very elegant or user-friendly so as a result we do quite a bit of, “No wait, you can’t be in Manhattan late that night because I have a meeting at that time that I have to be at” or we just struggle to keep the girls’ Girl Scout and activity schedules straight.
I’ve looked at online calendars on and off through the years but none seemed to be all that worthwhile.
Last night, I stumbled upon Airset:
Mind you, Eric still has to get his appointments in there which shouldn’t be too traumatic since Airset syncs with the iCal format.
In short, the “Personal” calendar is just that. Personal. You can click on appointments and “share” them with other calendars. All events shared with a calendar you’re on appear in the “Personal” calendar. You can also bring in public calendars (think of iCal’s publish/subscribe features) You have the option of making events private or public with a lot of control over the roles. There are pre-defined templates for different types of shared calendars…family, business, school, etc. They have a desktop sync client for Outlook that works quite nicely. You can also share contacts and lists and have an in-house blog for sharing information. Airset holds and displays my information in a useful way, bringing in information that it’s holding for others as well. I’m not relying on it as the source of my information.
One nice option is a daily email of today’s (or tomorrow’s, depending on the time you pick) events.
If Eric uses this as comfortably as I am, I can see that this site can replace a lot of the notes that we stick on the fridge or email each other.
Why is this one so cool to me? It doesn’t replace an essential system I was already using. It works with it. I didn’t have to start from scratch entering my data. I don’t have to remember to come to this site to enter appointments that are already in Outlook (which is the downfall of many, if not all of these Web 2.0 organization tools). All I have to do is click on the appointment that is already there and share it with the calendar that I can see. As the kids get older, I can see something like this being quite useful with each girl having their own calendar to maintain that would be shared with us (when you define a family calendar, you tell it whether the role is a parent or child and permissions are set accordingly).
Right now, Airset is free. I think their business plan (if they have one, I hope they do) includes offering value-added services for a fee down the line (similar to Writely, I think).
Note: CalendarHub is also competing in this same space, but it doesn’t appear to be nearly as full-featured as Airset is.