It is common to hear the phrase "Time is Money" in the industrial sector, yet it is less heard in the halls of academia. If there is any pressure in academia, it is to publish as much as possible and in some cases, the need to publish quickly in light of fierce competition that might scoop an important discovery. Whatever the reason, time management is crucial in science, whether it is at cutting edge of drug discovery in a pharma company or in a small academic lab revealing a new function for an oncoprotein. The most common time management tool is the calendar, whether paper-based or digital. Google Calendar, part of Google's free software, is among the most popular calendar software used today by many professionals. If you haven't started using Google calendar in your research, here are five reasons why you should start using it right away:
With Google Calendar you can import the various lab calendars directly into your calendar so you can easily plan your experimentations along the week and months ahead. At my former lab, for example, there is a Google calendar for the heavily used devices (large shaker and FPLCs) such that lab members can coordinate their work together and independently.
Today's technology enables us to effectively have our entire lab in the palm of our hand from nearly any place on the globe. Google calendar is no exception to that, enabling you to sync all your calendars with your dedicated email/time management software (such as Outlook) or to your smartphone/tablet. Of course, you can also browse and edit the calendars via your internet browser easily and efficiently.
Labguru users can integrate their Google calendars into their lab's Labguru calendar, enabling them to track their schedule and that of their lab mates from within Labguru. So for example, a user can view their personal calendar along with their lab's equipment use schedules and their colleagues' experiment plans.
Google Calendar is empowered with lots of features, many of which can be switched on by enabling the "Lab" function. For example, you can add an additional time zone to your local time or you can attach specific files to an event through Google Drive software. Several default or specific reminders can be sent by SMS, pop-up windows and email reminders.
Any Google calendar can be made publicly available or alternatively can be securely shared with one or several individuals. You can also embed your calendar on the lab's website for viewing by non-lab member users.
Google Calendar is a great companion for any scientist and researcher, particularly when integrated with digital research and lab management systems like Labguru.
Do you have any tips on how to make the most of Google Calendar? Please share!