Free Online Calendar: Google Calendar vs Yahoo Calendar ReviewBy Partho, Gaea News Network
Thursday, April 1, 2010
For those spending a considerable time on web, online calendars are perfect tools for time management. From appointments, events to anniversaries online calendars have grown into our business as well as domestic lives. There are enough choices for free online calendars available, but each of these differ in features and performance. The key to select an online calendar is an efficient time-management. We sorted out two in the big-league, Google Calendar and Yahoo Calendar. We went for an extensive feature-by-feature comparison of the two online calendars — Google Calendar and Yahoo Calendar — to etch out who has the edge.
At the first impression of both Yahoo Calendar and Google Calendar are enticing. They have well designed interface with nicely allotted white space, which is intuitive to learn. Both the calendars don’t require installation and allow free account.
Each of the services offer a two-pane layout like Microsoft Outlook. There’s a short monthly view on the left, while the central calendar takes the maximal space.
The Yahoo Calendar offers a yearly view, while the Google Calendar throws a forecast of four days.
Google has an Agenda option that looks better than Yahoo’s Event List. However, Yahoo calendar includes the options for tracking, prioritizing, and marking tasks as completed. In addition, Yahoo also provides options for customizing the color theme and attaching calendar photos.
With an Ajax driven interface Google Calendar makes it easier to add edit or even drag-and-drop an event. Click the mouse once a day or time of day and Google pops up a bubble ready to except the text. Yahoo Calendar on the other hand allows you to click on a specific day or time. Google pops up a bubble that is ready to accept your text.
Where as to create an appointment in Yahoo Calendar click on a specific time or tiny Add link to create an appointment. Google offers keyboard shortcuts for most of its common functions. You can drop the mouse altogether and select Shift +C on the keyboard to insert an appointment.
Moreover, unlike Yahoo Calendar, Google Calendar has keyboard shortcuts for most common functions. To alternate the mouse, you can use select Shift+C on the keyboard to insert an appointment. Above all, you can flip through the Google’s pages faster.
Yahoo Calendar and the Google Calendar both allow users to share the schedule with friends and colleagues or public at large. In both the services you can set other people’s calendars alongside your calendar.
Calendar sharing between Yahoo and Google are differently. Yahoo connects with its own Yahoo Group many of which are well established communities. In case you are a member of any of these online communities. Time Guides within the Yahoo Calendar interface help you to view events from particular Yahoo Group next to your own. You can add events from Yahoo Upcoming.org. It can also be exported to Google Calendar.
However, Goolge calendar provides an extra edge allowing users to find events hosted by users of other calendar brands. Further, there’s a search field within Google Calendar that allows you to type in a keyword and hunt within the public calendars without moving out of the page. Since Google Calendar works with XML feeds, users can search a broader array of sources than Yahoo Calendar. For instance, if you are add a list of electronic music shows to the calendar, it shows the concert instantly within the calendar. These concerts are color-coded to help you distinguish them.
Yahoo Calendar has a fairly robust Task manager and contact manager, which Google does not.
Sharing calendar with friends is easy with both the services, but Google Calendar wins the race by enabling users to add events from multiple sources.
Importing, exporting and syncing
Yahoo Calendar and Google Calendar accessible from any Web browser. But, what if you are offline. Which service can you backup and read from your hard drive or mobile device.
Importing and exporting data to both calendar software is hassle-free. Users can export Microsoft Outlook appointments from both Yahoo Calendar and Google Calendar. Google Calendar also supports XML, iCal, and CSV standards.
Yahoo calendar can sync with Outlook Express 6, Outlook 2003, Pocket PCs, Act 2000 and 6, and Lotus 6. This implies you can use both web and Outlook to look at the same schedule. You can both import from and export data to Outlook. It’s a more manual and risky process than it is with Yahoo’s free Intellisync app. Yahoo Calendercan also be synced with SyncMl enabled cellphones.
Google Calendar lags behind with the sync feature. Suppose after we will changed a recurring appointment within Outlook. There was no easy way to update it on Google Calendar. For those who are busy switching between calendars, Yahoo will be a better pick.
Integration with other services
Google and Yahoo both integrates its different services for better accessibility. Google Calendar links to Gmail and Yahoo Calendar offers shortcuts to Yahoo Mail. Both Yahoo and Google can also send you calendar remainders via their respective e-mail apps.
One of the features with Yahoo calendar lacking in Google Calendar is that it allows the Yahoo Address book from Yahoo Calendar to add a contact for a meeting. Google Calendar doesn’t allow you to view the list of names in your Gmail address book, but, it autocompletes a contact name when you type it, given that the contact is saved within your Gmail account.
If we consider the Instant Messengers of both services, Yahoo Messenger displays the Yahoo Calendar, But the Google talk is a novice.
Both Yahoo and Google connect their calendar and email apps with links and alerts.
Given the IM links to appointment with Yahoo, Google Calendar seems offers a better option with the natural language recognition capabilities that saves time and typing. Google also assists in scheduling events that might have been overlooked in an e-mail message.
Service and Support
Users are more inclined to the services that provide efficient customer support. While working on a software if you are stuck with a quirky problem, there could be no alternative to human support.
However, both Yahoo Calendar and Google Calendar only provide online options. For any such service an email and phone support is always handy.
Yahoo offers peer support for Yahoo Calendar in the form of informal Yahoo user groups, but you might have to find the links on your own. Google Calendar has a better option in the help page with link to user discussion group, where you have fellow users sharing the gripe about duplicated events.
With Google enabling hassle free import of existing calenders from Yahoo calender, a crowd of Google fan boys might switch to Google Calender. Having said that, if you are looking for online appointments Yahoo offers enough features to match Microsoft Outlook.
Tags: free online calender, google calendar, Online calendar review, Time management, Yahoo Calendar