google calendar

Updated

A number of companies offer better ways to schedule meetings than the standard back-and-forth over email — Huddle, TimeBridge, and Presdo are a few that come to mind. Now Google is experimenting with a feature that tackles the same problem, though a bit less ambitiously.

Here’s how it works: When you create an event in Google Calendar, you can add a list of the guests that you’d like to invite. Then, if you have access to their Google Calendars, all of their schedules appear side by side, and you can drag a translucent bar representing the event around until you find a time when everyone is free. You can also view the calendars of just a few guests, if certain people’s schedules are more important. (See the screenshot above — yes, for illustration purposes, I’m scheduling an event with myself. That’s the magic of multiple Google accounts.)

Of course, the need for access to each person’s Google Calendar would be a pretty big hurdle if you’re trying to schedule all your meetings this way. This is probably most useful if you’re trying to set up get-togethers between a group of coworkers or friends. Still, in those cases this looks much more convenient than shooting emails back-and-forth, or even compared to looking at everyone’s schedule in the standard view in Google Calendar.

Right now, the feature is being offered as a “sneak preview” to a limited number of users. I’ve emailed Google to get more details and will update if I hear back. If nothing else, it looks like I’m not the only tech writer who tried it out.

Update: Google says the feature was first turned on as a preview on Friday, and is actually available to everyone today.

VentureBeat

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more
Become a member