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'OneCalendar' Goes A Long Way

Seattle-based Trumba Corporation wants you to maintain your calendar on the Web and they want you to have the option of sharing that calendar with other people.

Of course, they also want your money. The company's Web-based OneCalendar service will eventually cost about $40 a year, but the company is patient. They're offering a 60 day free trial and unlike a lot "free" trials, they won't ask for your credit card until after you complete the trial period.

Click here to listen to an interview with Dennis Tevlin, Trumba co-founder.

I've been using the service for about a week and I'm impressed. It took me less than five minutes to start using it productively, and unlike a lot of things I try out, I wind up using it almost every day. Unless something better comes along, this one is a keeper.

There are all sorts of PC and Mac-based calendar programs including some you can get for free, but using the Web to maintain your calendar makes sense from several angles. First of all, the system is very easy to use and set up. Second, you can view your calendar from any Web-enabled device so you don't need access to your own PC, and finally, the service makes it easy to optionally share your calendar with family members, colleagues, friends or fellow members of a group, team or even the general public.

Trumba is going to have to compete with Yahoo and other free calendar services and $39.95 a year is certainly more expensive than free. But it's better. To begin with there are no advertisements.

More important, the calendar is clean, uncluttered and easy to use and unlike most other Web-based systems OneCalendar isn't just for keeping your personal calendar. It can also be used to create and maintain shared calendars for families, businesses, organizations and even the public at large.

My favorite feature is the email and cell phone reminder service. When you set up an appointment, you have the option of having the service send you an e-mail or a text message to your cell phone in advance of the event. That's terrific for me, because I don't always check my calendar, but I'm religious about checking e-mail and when a text message arrives at my phone, the phone beeps to let me know it's there.

The service, according to Trumba co-founder Dennis Tevlin, is designed for "all of your lives," and to that end, the company has made it possible for users to create multiple calendars and to share one or more of your calendars with others. You can share a calendar with specific people or you can publish it to the Web for anyone to look at.

Sharing a calendar with specific people is handy if you have colleagues or family members whose lives need to be coordinated. You can configure your calendar to display information from others who have shared their calendar with you.

Publishing a calendar is useful for Little League teams, non-profit groups, religious organizations or businesses that wish to share event information with others. The Seattle-area community of Madrona, for example, uses OneCalendar to maintain its public community calendar.

Public calendars are stored on Trumba's servers so you don't have to have your own Web site to use it.

By Larry Magid