Monday, February 4, 2013

Easily Schedule Hangouts with Google Calendar

A few months ago +Ronnie Bincer  and I were discussing the pros and cons of organizing Hangouts using Google+ Events versus Google Calendar (check out our results). As much as I like Events tool, I still believe Google Calendar is the easiest way to schedule a regular Hangouts for one simple reason:

Everyone understands how calendars work

Events have some great advantages over an appointment created in Google Calendar, but for something as simple as "let schedule a time to meet" and do it as a Hangout, this is it.

The image below shows a typical appointment window. The important items to note are
  1. Add a Google+ hangout. Clicking on this will generate a URL for your hangout and now becomes attached to this appointment
  2. Add guests. You can type in contacts from your address book or an email address. The beauty of this is you already have their contact info.
  3. World Clock. When creating an appointment, you can see what time it is in other places. This is one of the tools in Gmail Labs (http://goo.gl/5P8c0). You can select a number of different world timezones to be displayed when you create an appointment.


Another important thing to note: when you create an appointment and invite someone, the time is shifted to their time zone. For example, when I invited +Michael Daniels to an appointment I created that started at 1p.m., it showed up in his calendar at 3 p.m. ( 

Question: for the majority of your regular Hangouts, would Google Calendar work for you?