"Let me check my (online) calendar."

Did you know that Google and Yahoo both offer free online calendars that you can use to keep track of your hectic schedule? The great thing about keeping an online calendar is that you can check it from any computer that has internet access. And, unlike many popular computer-based calendar and contact management systems, these won't cost you a penny!

Because I'm so daggum (yes, that's word in the South) attached to Outlook, I'm not currently using either of these two calendars, but I could see where they'd be just the ticket for someone who wants an easy-to-use calendar but doesn't need all the zippy contact management features that Outlook or Act! provide. I'm thinking specifically about the busy moms out there who need a quick and easy way to keep track of the whole family's schedule.

Because both calendar's offer very similar features, I'll focus on one. Google's calendar lets you coordinate schedules with friends and family when you add them to your friends list. If you use Gmail for your email, you can easily save events mentioned in your emails to your calendar. And if you're planning an event, Google Calendar lets you create invitations, send reminders, and keep track of RSVPs inside your calendar. You can set up automatic reminders, including mobile phone notifications, and instantly bring up anything on your calendar with the built-in search tool.

Another thing I like is that these calendars allow you to view by day, week, or month. If you want to take your calendar with you when you're away from your computer, you can print out the view you'd prefer and just scribble in changes and additions until you can get back to the computer to update. That's where my Palm comes in handy. I can make all my changes on the fly and then synch it up to Outlook by just pressing a button when I get home.

You can also create multiple calendars for different family members or for different areas of your life, such as your tennis team. Then you can view shared calendars right alongside your own. Heck, you can even customize the color of the Google calendar.

I'll mention a couple of things that I found on the Yahoo Calendar site, that I didn't see on Google's. The Yahoo Calendar offers an address book and a Notes functions making it easy to organize several things in one place. And you know how we Professional Organizers love to multi-task!