I’ve said it before in relation to both computer software and web browser extensions: it never fails… it seems that fairly regularly, after finding and deciding to keep using a tool, in spite of thinking it’s missing one or two features, I’ll find another tool that actually has those features. And then I have to switch, sometimes only days later, after having expended time and energy getting used to the almost-perfect program, and getting it configured the way I like. Such is the case with My Calendar, an extension for Google Chrome that integrates with Google Calendar to show me my appointments in a pop-up window. My one big gripe was that I couldn’t add events to it. And, of course, as is my history, today I found Google Calendar Checker Plus, which does everything I hoped My Calendar would do, and more.
Google Calendar Checker Plus also uses Google Calendar (as the name says), and it gives me a ton of options to set it exactly the way I want. By default, it shows me my tasks for the next couple days in agenda mode, but that is completely customizable. I can choose to have it display more days, up to 21 days, in fact, and all standard Google Calendar display modes (Agenda, Week, and Month), are available, as is a custom mode, which allows me to use the Google Embeddable Calendar Helper to tweak the calendar view to my exact specifications.
One of the things I really like about Google Calendar Checker Plus is that it’s not a display-only calendar. It supports notifications, including sound and voice alerts, so that I’m always aware of when an upcoming appointment is getting close. I can also use offline mode, which is nice for people who don’t have an Internet connection all the time. If I’m a Google Apps user, Google Calendar Checker Plus can be used as well.
But what I appreciate most about it is that I can add new events to my calendar, right in the extension. Other extensions, such as My Calendar, can direct me to the standard Google Calendar website, but Google Calendar Checker Plus uses the Quick Add feature to allow me to add events without ever leaving the extension. Of course, if I don’t want to see the Quick Add interface (if I want the extension to only display my calendar), then I can select that on the options page.
Google Calendar Checker Plus is easily the most configurable calendar extension I’ve used. Everything from 24-hour time to highlighting weekends, from graying out past days to having the toolbar icon take the user to the Google Calendar website (instead of displaying a pop-up calendar), is available in the options. Add to it the flexibility provided by the Google Embeddable Calendar Helper and the extension gets even better. When the ability to add events via Quick Add is taken into consideration, I think it’s safe for me to say that Google Calendar Checker Plus is not only the most flexible calendar extension I’ve used in Google Chrome, but the best one. It gives me all the options I could want (and more), plus all the features I’ve been missing in other extensions. It’s a great tool, and one that everyone who uses Google Chrome and Google Calendar should check out.