The capable suite of enterprise class cloud-based apps from Google, labelled Google Apps, have been at the core of various corporations’ move to this lightweight and efficient solution. Be it Gmail for the best email solution, Google Docs for the collaborative MS Office alternative, or Google Reader for all your RSS needs, Google Apps have you covered. Combine it with the fact that you can opt to use your own domain names and identities make it a killer deal. However, not all is perfect even in the world of Google, and if you’re an avid Gmail user, you may have missed the ability to manage your calendars, especially if you have to collaborate with your colleagues for meetings and appointments. And with more and more enterprises and organizations ‘going Google’, this has become even more problematic.
Enter ScheduleOnce Gmail Widget for Firefox and Chrome. This nifty little widget, once installed, allows you to manage meetings in a real-time like environment, where you can set your availability, propose tentative times, and even check the recommended meeting times based on the availability of most of your attendees. What’s more, the widget even allows integration with your Google Calendar, bringing efficiency right to your desktop.
The ScheduleOnce Gmail widget is available in two flavors; as a simple widget supported by both Firefox and Chrome, or as a package with Integrated Gmail add-on, a Firefox exclusive.
Once you’ve installed the widget, you will see ScheduleOnce in your Gmail account page.
For the first time you access Gmail after installing the widget, you are presented with a Getting Started link, which will guide you on how to begin. There’s a video tutorial available which explains the main features of this add-on, as well as the option to integrate Google Calendar right from the beginning. The ScheduleOnce pane will list your existing meetings and allow you to create new ones. Clicking +New Meeting will take you to the main interface.
The main interface allows you to mark your available times, which will be visible to your other colleagues/attendees, or enter a new meeting on the left side. Enter the meeting duration, name, and your email address where you would like to receive alerts pertaining to this particular meeting. Save, and you will be presented with a link to send to your attendees so that they can respond. The status of your meeting will be shown along with updates from your attendees.
The widget is supported by Firefox version 2.x and above, and Chrome version 4.x and above.