On several occasions I have been asked to put together a ‘lesson’ on how to do this or that on the computer. Just recently I was talking about using Google Calendar to keep track of community events and the request was made again. So here it is folks….
Event planning is always a major undertaking which starts out with selecting the optimum date for your event. The selection is critical because picking the wrong date can make a difference of hundreds or even thousands of dollars in revenue gained by your non-profit. When choosing a date you not only have to consider the time of year and the weather and location availability but in our case the migratory patterns of that elusive creature, the Snowbird. Once you had determined when their return to San Felipe will be in process then you have to quickly select your date and get it publicized before another organization lays claim to it.
One of the tools I think will make this ordeal easier is the free Google Calendar application on the internet. Julie at sanfelipe.com.mx is already maintaining a fabulous San Felipe Event Calendar on that site and if each group or event planner uses that calendar to check dates before booking a location for their event we can have a unified and more successful fund raising season in years to come.
To this end I have put together the following tips for creating and using Google Calendar for your personal and organizational planning. Click on the pictures to get a larger image. Use your back button to go back to the article.
Step one: Go to www.google.com/calendar and sign up for a free Google account if you don’t already have one. If you have a gmail account you can just go ahead and use your gmail and password to log in. If you don’t need to use gmail to use the calendar feature. You can sign up using your regular email address.
Step Two: Once you are signed and/or logged into your Google Calendar go to www.sanfelipe.com.mx and click on Calendar of Events. At the bottom of the calendar you will see a Subscribe and a Subscribe in Google Calendar button. Select the second option and you will be directed back your calendar page and asked if you want to add San Felipe Calendar of Events to your calendar. Select yes and you see the event calendar added to the sidebar on the left and all the events scheduled will be colored in on your screen. You can turn this calendar on an off by clicking on the name of the calendar on the left. If this is your first time in Google Calendar you may be given the option to set your defaults regarding notifications. You can opt to receive a text message, email or pop-up on your computer screen prior to an appointment and you determine how far in advance you want to be notified.
You can also sync your calendar and receive notices on your iPhone or Android phone if you have web service on those devices.
To learn more about what you can do with the Calendar click on the little gear icon in the top right corner.
Step Three: Now you are ready to pick a date and create a new meeting. Click on the Create button on the left, select the correct date(s), enter a start and end time (or all day), add Name and Location to appropriate boxes and in the Description field give info on the cost, where were to buy tickets, who the contact person is, where to send questions and who the event is being held for. Now add “Anita Net” <firstname.lastname@example.org> and “Rachel Pack” <email@example.com>in the Add Guest box and Julie at SanFelipe.com.mx and Rachel at Baja Good Life will be notified of your event and add it to their community calendars.
Step Four: Copying an event from the community calendar to your personal or organizational calendar is easy as clicking on the event in the San Felipe Calendar of Events and then clicking on the Add to Google Calendar button on the event page that opens up. If you have multiple calendars you are viewing you will need to select which calendar in the pull down menu and then choose add.