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From this post I gather that aiic membership involves free access to a business app called "google calendar".

What are the pros and cons? Which solution do you use in order to synchronize your devices and / or manage your availability (e.g. do you share it with clients)? Looking forward to answers from IOS7, android, windows 8 geeks (and non-geeks;)

asked 30 Nov '13, 17:29

Tanja's gravatar image

Tanja
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edited 05 Dec '13, 08:47

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Nacho ♦
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You have a number of options these days.

Make sure you pick a scheduling system that supports the CalDav protocol, or has an open API like Google Calendar. Without it, your scheduling data will be locked away in the provider's systems.

Another consideration is system longevity. Avoid anything that's offered by a start-up who may not be around any longer in a couple of months.

Google Calendar fits the bill on both counts. That's what I use personally. The operating system on desktops or laptops is not really a consideration, unless you want to use a specific client (Mozilla Lightning comes to mind), as opposed to the web-based interface. On Android, Google provides Calendar apps that are optimised for tablets and smartphones. Same on iOS, but I'm no Mac user.

To answer Tanja's comment above, there's no visible difference to end-users between a free Google Calendar account and a Google Apps account. What's different are the service level agreement, the terms of use to some extent and especially the administration features under Google Apps.

As far as AIIC goes, all members are offered a Google Apps account under the aiic.net domain, that includes Google Calendar. There are currently no additional, interpreter-friendly features that AIIC offers in addition to or on top of Google Calendar.

Now, availability management is one thing, but making sure that the right people -- that's the recruiters, not the end-clients -- know when you're available is another. Of course you can share a free/busy calendar with them, but they won't be looking at 20 personal calendars before composing a team. Emailing or texting every interpreter they think of will always be less work and more efficient.

It's a totally different story, however, if the recruiter has software that can retrieve your free/busy info automatically and use it seamlessly in expert interpreter recruitment software with a time and resource management component. A number of AIIC recruiters use a software package I wrote first in 1995 and have evolved over time. Once you have that, it's easy to use external sources, say Google Calendar or any other CalDav system, to leverage interpreters' availabilities in your recruitment process.

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answered 01 Dec '13, 00:22

Vincent%20Buck's gravatar image

Vincent Buck ♦♦
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Mozilla Lightning is a great tip, thank you. I will definitely look into it since I guess what I am looking for is a specific client indeed (Whilst I heard it before, I am not so familiar with the jargon so unsure if this is what you mean: If I understand it correctly, the google calendar is only available / accessible online, so I would not be able to check my availability unless I have an internet connection (or a filofax). Mozilla Lightning looks like an app which allows me to save my calendar to my hard disk / locally so I can also read it offline. What I like: Like the apple calendar it only seems to need an internet connection for the synchronization process. Besides, dates can be added through your email client which is quite handy since most of the job relevant information these days (agenda, time and place) seems to be sent by mail anyway. I will have to see how this works for me.

Also, I think the layout of the monthly view is quite OK so thanks again (google calendar still freaks me out because when I checked it a minute ago it automatically went through my address book and suggested I invite people to my "inner circle" or whatever they call it. I suppose it is secure if you take your time reading through their small print and ticking the right boxes but I prefer local installations.

(01 Dec '13, 05:40) Tanja

Hi Tanja

EVERYONE (not just AIIC) has access to the "Google Calendar" :-) - Just go to "calendar.google.com". And it syncs with any mobile device.

You can share your professional calendar by making it public, so your clients can check their availability. In my experience, most clients/agencies don't bother checking the publicly available calendar, they usually mail/call and ask "are you available ?" - but YMMW.

Some larger institutions have an in-house calendar system where your assignments are recorded and shared by the HR dept.

Greg

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answered 30 Nov '13, 21:52

Gregor_Seither's gravatar image

Gregor_Seither
915

Thanks Gregor,

I know, google calendar is available to anyone with a gmail account but I guess the "business" version available to aiic members is like the premium version of a standard google calendar? (which, for some reason never appealed to me, yet now that I am thinking about changing from an iphone to a windows 8 device I am reconsidering t it. The iphone was great in keeping the calendar on all devices synched. If you use google calendars (either the standard version or the premium (?) business version, it would be great to hear about the pros and cons or is it pretty straightforward.

(30 Nov '13, 23:36) Tanja

I used to use Google calendar until it erased all of my appointments for reasons I'll never know.

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answered 12 Dec '13, 08:18

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TheInterpret...
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Thanks Greg,

I know google calendar is available to anyone with a gmail account but I guess the "business" version available to aiic members is like the premium version of a standard google calendar? (which, for some reason never appealed to me, yet now that I am thinking about changing from an iphone to a windows 8 device I am reconsidering it.) But fair call, Gregor: I need to double-check that this is not the standard version they were referring to in the post.

My current "method"

  • The iphone was great in keeping the calendar on all devices synched through the cloud.
  • It also allows me to print pdf files of a monthly view (which I can mail people so they see which days are blocked (although, admittedly, I only use it for the dogsitter since I guess recruiters get too much information these days anyways and assignments tend to come in at ever shorter notice;) A point also confirmed by your observation that recruiters don't bother checking the public calendar
  • On the iphone I don't like the calendar view that came with the IOS7 update (you hardly see any details of the assignment) So I downloaded a calendar app.
  • In theory I can also enter an event into the calendar (time, place, notes like the agenda) and send it to colleagues. I never use this since I feel personal communication is nicer.
  • I created personal calendars (private and job) under itunes and then select on my mac and iPhone which ones I want to see when I open the app (either just job related or private)
  • My job related entries are either yellow (option) or green (confirmed).
  • I still have a large calendar (1 year on an A3 sheet) on the wall in my office as a backup
  • Siri is surprisingly good and also allows me to (verbally) ask my iPhonewhether I am still available on a certain date (although it does not work in crowded rooms and looks slightly odd so I prefer to do this at home, but it saves me from scrolling through the calendar months)

Drawbacks: Multipurpose tools / versatility. I don't like the small screen on the iPhone. Considering about switching to a windows-based phablet. I remember "the old days" where people used to work with a Psion. I can't remember the exact screen size but it was pretty good / useful for our job. Perhaps adding an external keyboard to a large phone will allow me to use it not only for calendar and mail. Then again. I need to find a good replacement for the calendar for the switch to be worth it.

If you use google calendars (either the standard version or the premium (?) business version, it would be great to hear about your experience to date.

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answered 30 Nov '13, 23:58

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Tanja
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edited 01 Dec '13, 00:20

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question asked: 30 Nov '13, 17:29

question was seen: 40,360 times

last updated: 12 Dec '13, 08:18

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