June 21, 2010, 3:22 PM — Hidden in my arsenal of productivity applications are numerous ways to get new items added to my Google Calendar. The quickest is the reQall app on my iPhone. I just press a button and talk. If I say, "call Steve Friday at 2pm," then reQall puts "Call Steve" as an apointment on Google Calendar Friday at 2pm.
The slowest way to add an appointment, at least that I'm aware of, is via my iPhone's Calendar app. You press the button with a plus sign, and have to go from box to box filling everything out. There are no defaults -- not even the alarm.
Somewhere in the middle of the easy-hard spectrum is Google calendar itself. When you've got a browser open, it's pretty convenient to start a new app, because it makes some user-controllable default assumptions. For example, if you open the Create Event dialog by clicking on a day and time, that information is already entered into the dialog box when you get there. You can also pre-set how the alert is going to happen -- for example, whether you get an e-mail, an SMS message, a pop-up dialog or even all three.
Now, a new Google Chrome extension called SpeedDate lets you enter things into Google Calendar much faster. Press the plug-in's buttons on your Bookmarks Bar, and you get a few choices, including "Add Event" and "Quick Add Event."
"Add Event" gives you basic fields for entering four Calendar fields -- what, where and when the event is, plus something for the "Description" field.
The "Quick Add Event" lets you add items using natural language. Instead of filling in fields, you type a sentence such as "Meet Steve for lunch Wednesday at noon." That's usually enough information for SpeedDate to enter in a real calendar item.
Another option either before or after you choose to add events takes you to your Google Calendar.
You can highlight a date in e-mail or on a Web page, and when you "Add Event," the date was already set for you. This worked fine on Web pages, but I was unable to do this in Gmail.
SpeedDate is a welcome addition to my arsenal of ways to add items to Google Calendar. When I'm away from my Computer, reQall rules. But when I'm sitting in front of a Chrome Browser, SpeedData is probably the quickest way to get something on my schedule.
(Thanks to Lifehacker.)