Thursday, February 25, 2010

Calendar Apps -- what I wish they were

Update: Matt informs me that I'm oh-so two-thousand-and-late, and that Gmail does this: under "More actions", you can generate "Add to tasks" or "Create event", and it guesses the date from the text. Yay Google!


Every email app, it seems, comes with a calendar (or can have one plugged in). Blackboard (for you academics out there), comes with a calendar. Google's got a calendar app, and of course Gmail (I'm sure there's people that would call those web apps or some such.) Many of these include or can include "to-do" lists, which might have a deadline but don't actually occur in a particular time slot (different apps call these different things.)

It seems to me that they're woefully un-integrated. I get emails telling me about appointments or things to do, and the email program of my dreams would have a "convert to appointment" button and a "convert to to-do item" button AND a "convert to appointment with associated to-do item/list" button. What's more, it would scour the email and try to guess when the appointment/deadline was and pre-enter it.

Implied in the above is the idea of appointments with associated to-dos. Surely I'm not the only one who not only has appointments, but has things that have to get done BEFORE the appointment?

The thing that boggles my mind is that these applications ALREADY HAVE THESE. They just refuse to have them work together. Why should I have to read an email, then create an appointment, look back to the email to remember the date/time/place, and enter it in by hand? Outlook is ridiculous in this regard, in that I actually have to open up a new window to show the email so that I can switch from Inbox to Calendar to put an appointment in. There's even a configuration option to make the Calendar window show the pane where the selected email normally previews. But the calendar obstinately refuses to show anything in that pane.

Which just shows me the Calendar part of the application and the email are completely un-integrated. Which makes it kind of useless to bundle them together in the first place.

I also don't see why Google hasn't done this already. Of the calendars I've tried, that one's the most practical, and they seem to go to the most effort to integrate pieces together.

end rant. FOR NOW.

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