Calendar program (PC) similar to iCal for (~50) people management?
October 20, 2005 8:52 AM   Subscribe

CalendarProgramFilter: I need a calendar program for PC in which one can enter a bunch of calendars (say 50, for 50 people), and easily view various combinations of calendars, to see how various people's schedules interfere. (This could be done in iCal, though something that could show all of the overlaps more clearly would be better)

We're managing a music conservatory's opera program, and currently using this paper system:
-60 singers or so hand in a detailed schedule of all of their weekly and one-time commitments.
-The director/conductor/coaches all have certain scenes they'd like to rehearse each week (each with a different combination of people)
-The opera manager gets his assistants to write out one sheet for each call. (i.e. "Act I, Scene 4" would be a big printout of a blank week (Mon-Sun, 8am-12am), and the assistants look up each person's conflict sheet (each person involved in that scene) and write it out on the Act I-Scene 4 sheet.) These sheets contain only the names of the people involved and their conflict times (specific details about each conflict are filtered out)
-The opera manager than gets together all of these compiled sheets and looks for the optimal times to schedule every scene so that the fewest number of people have conflicts.

The last step has to be a human-done job to some extent, because it's a bunch of judgement calls depending on a ton of variables (how well rehearsed singer X is, how important to a given scene singer Y is, etc). It seems like a great deal of time can be saved with a program similar to iCal, where you can easily view a number of overlapping calendars. The problem with iCal (aside from the fact that the computers available are PCs) is that you can really only see the top-most calendar clearly, and if you have 20 overlapping calendars, it's difficult to see whose calendar is whose.
posted by anonymoose to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Response by poster: Another possibility is the ability for each person to update their schedule (and noone else's) online, however unless this is really foolproof, lets go for finding a good, simple calendar program first.
posted by anonymoose at 9:10 AM on October 20, 2005

I haven't checked it in a while, but have a look at Mozilla Sunbird. Last time I checked, there was talk of iCal compatibility. No idea about the finer issues - but it's worth a look I guess.
posted by coach_mcguirk at 9:41 AM on October 20, 2005

we use Kalendar here at work. it's got 3 years worth of shit in it and works good.
posted by By The Grace of God at 10:49 AM on October 20, 2005

I really like When2Meet. It's simple and effective.
posted by nekton at 11:25 AM on October 20, 2005

Pointment works in the other direction which may be useful: you send out a rehearsal request, everyone says which days they can/can't do, and the system works out the overlapping time.
posted by blag at 2:26 PM on October 20, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for the input so far. Many of these look like pretty good services.

Are there no good non-web-based programs that are similar in functionality to iCal in terms of viewing multiple calendars?
posted by anonymoose at 2:33 PM on October 20, 2005

Don't know much about it, but thought I'd add this to the thread.
posted by uni verse at 9:43 AM on October 22, 2005

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