Friday, October 07, 2011

Working With Google Calendar and Google Phone

My coffee-stained planner...

Autumn is such a bright and invigorating season! Bloggers and Netizens in the Northern Latitudes will be spending a little more time at night cozying up to the modern digital fireplace known to all as "the computer."

I've been online since CompuServe, and the day has finally arrived (for me) that I can centralize my work and personal activities on just about any device that connects to the Net, via my Google (Gmail) account!

Yeah, it's a cloud concept, and I don't like the whole "cloud computing" thing.

I've been slow to implement Google+, but then again it took me literally YEARS before I really got into twitter: one day, I decided I would start twittering on a dual-purpose level, for business and personal reasons. When I went to open a twitter account, I discovered that I already HAD opened one, back when twitter was brand new! I joyfully was able to recall the password I used and immediately re-established my presence on the microblogging service!

I've also been s-l-o-w to get Google Calendar up and running. It's been around for awhile, does a lot of amazing things, and can be worked with offline (depending on your computer's capabilities). While it will NEVER replace my coffee-stained planner, I am gradually getting it tweaked so it will be a MIRROR of what's in my planner.

Then there's Google's phone feature. I signed on when Google Voice first came out, but only recently have I embraced it and been able to use and appreciate it for the valuable tool that it is! You simply must explore the possibilities!

Here's a useful trick passed along by

– Call from your Google Voice number (from whatever phone you have in hand) –

You can make an outgoing call as your GV number (recipient’s caller ID would show GV too) from any phone by:

* Dial your GV number
* Press *
* Dial your GV voicemail pin
* Press 2
* Dial the number you wish to call
* Press #

So say your GV number was 111-222-3333, pin 1234, and outgoing call 999-888-7777, you would dial: 111-222-3333 * 1234 2 999-888-7777#

For those daring young geeks among you: Google Voice on the Michigan Telephone Blog.

I look at my Google Experience as an extension of my personal planner, a book that I have been using in one form or another for YEARS... it's as analog as analog gets, but I don't need to worry about a signal or a dial tone or electricity or battery-power to have information at my fingertips!

I believe everyone should have a planner. I prefer and recommend the "At-A-Glance" QuickNotes Weekly/Monthly Appointment book, which retails for around $39.99, but it is worth every penny. I pack mine with information, a lot of it duplicates important contacts that I already have online. I also use a little "electronic back up" - I have put an old version of Act contact management software on a cruzer so I can go on a computer but don't have to go online to access info.

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