google calendar


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.


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