Extend Google Calendar with these Firefox add-ons

Google Calendar is fine by itself, but sometimes, you could use some better functionality. That's where these Firefox extensions can come in.

Google Calendar has quickly become one of my favorite online tools. I can schedule meetings quickly and it integrates seamlessly into my workflow. It's a great service.

But I want more from it.

That's why I've been sifting through Mozilla's Firefox extension database trying to find some add-ons that take Google Calendar to the next level. Whether they enhance its usability or just improve its effectiveness, there are a handful of extensions that work quite well.

Google Calendar extensions

Better GCal After I installed Better GCal, I was extremely impressed by what it offered. From a new skin to little extras like week numbers and collapsible headers, it makes Google Calendar just a little better. The extension not only made me more organized, but the calendar became far more readable.

Google Calendar
Better GCal has a great skin to try out. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

GCal Popup GCal Popup is a really neat idea. Instead of forcing you to open a new tab to add an event to your Google Calendar, you'll only need to open the extension and it will display your Google Calendar over your current Web page. Input the event you want to add to your calendar and once you're done, you can close the extension and go back to work.

GCal Popup is designed to make it convenient to add events to your Calendar and it succeeds. But beware that it's an "experimental" extension, so it might cause some instability issues. That said, I haven't experienced any such problems.

Google Calendar
GCal Popup makes it easy to add events to your calendar. GCal Popup

GoogCal GoogCal is an extremely simple extension. It doesn't provide all the extras like Better GCal. But it makes it much easier to access Google Calendar by placing an icon next to your address bar in Firefox. When you click on it, it opens your Google Calendar in the tab you're on. GoogCal easily beats opening a new tab, opening your Google Calendar, and interacting with it after that's done. Speed matters in the world of calendaring and GoogCal delivers it.

GoogCal
GoogCal sits to the right of your address bar. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Google Calendar Notifier Google Calendar Notifier is an extremely simple tool. Once it's installed, it sits in the status bar. After you start adding calendars to the extension, it will notify you when you have an upcoming event. You can set how often the app will notify you, when it should pop up in your browser, and more. If you want, you can also use the extension to see which events are coming up for the rest of the day. It's an extremely simple extension, but it makes referring to events quite easy.

Google Calendar
Google Calendar Notifer has several customization options. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

ScheduleOnce Google Calendar Add-on ScheduleOnce is one of the most powerful extensions in this roundup. The extension analyzes your Google Calendar to see when you're available. When colleagues who also use the extension schedule a meeting with you, it will find a meeting time that will work for both parties. Once complete, it will send you both a message asking if that time works. If so, it's added to the Calendar as a scheduled event. It's a neat idea. And it's worth checking out .

ScheduleOnce
ScheduleOnce helps you plan meetings. ScheduleOnce

My top 3

1. Better GCal: With so many great features, Better GCal easily bests the competition.

2. ScheduleOnce Google Calendar Add-on: It takes the process of scheduling meetings out of your hands.

3. Google Calendar Notifier Being notified about a meeting makes missing those meetings more difficult.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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