Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sneak Preview in Google Calendar

I got invited to try out a new feature in Google Calendar called Sneak Preview that allows you to simultaneously preview your friend's calendars while creating an event. Currently in Labs, the "Free or busy" gadget already allows you to check the present availability of your friends but when scheduling an event, you would still need to go to a future date, cross check your friend's calendar to make sure that all of your guests are free during a particular time before creating the event.

With Sneak Preview, you would be able to preview your friend's calendar on a new mini-calendar in the Create Event screen. This makes scheduling events much easier by allowing you to see when people are free and if the proposed time would conflict with existing events. Here's a screenshot of Sneak Preview in action:

Google Calendar Sneak Preview
The proposed event time is highlighted with a translucent shaded box (which is also drag-able). As you add guests to your event, their calendar would show up and you can see their events along side your own calendar. Roll over to their events and details would pop up.

This feature, however, might not be as useful to users who own several personal calenders (e.g. one for work and one for personal) as it currently only shows your default calendar.

If you're invited to test the new feature, you should see a link in your Create Event page:
Google Calendar Sneak Preview Invitation

Do you think this feature would make creating events easier?