If you find yourself having Gmail as part of your homepage, and you also happen to use Google Calendar to manage your daily schedule, here’s something that brings the two world together. Introducing Google Labs Calendar and Doc gadgets for Gmail.
Gmail Labs has been used by the Gmail developers to expose new features to the users that may or may not be integrated into the main Gmail code eventually. With the Calendar gadget, one can now see one’s Google Calendar agenda and even get an alert when one is about to have a meeting. (I was indeed surprised to see the notification about my next lecture in my Gmail.) The gadget is very usable despite the limited real estate. One can quickly browse through the events for the day and the following days and add new events into the default calendar, all without leaving Gmail.
To test drive the gadget for yourself, simply head over to Labs and enable the Calendar gadget. Save your new settings and switch back to your Gmail interface. Now, you’ll see a new collapsible areas below Labels that give you a view into your Calendar.
For Mac users, here’s more reason to use Google Calendar: Google had introduced CalDAV support to Google Calendar. CalDAV is the protocol that iCal uses to transmit data over the web. Finally, iCal and Google Calendar can sync! Just follow Google’s instruction, and you’d be set up to have your calendar in the clouds. One central place where your schedule is available on your Mac, iPod/iPhone and on any web browser. 🙂
Be reminded that this is a beta service that does has its kinks. (Although I have to say that none are major enough to make me not use it.) Google has provided a list of known issues with their implementation.
PC users: note that Mozilla Sunbird has support for CalDAV too.