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Organize your summer with Google Calendar

March 31, 2011

 

Bounce castles and face painting: Staples of summer festivals everywhere

We’re lucky to live right between the mountains and the ocean, and starting around March each year, hardly a weekend goes by without at least one festival in driving distance. Usually when I notice the coming weekend is free, I’ll start looking around for what to do. But if we need a hotel room, our preference could be booked, or we might miss discounts for passes. Planning ahead is always nice. So this year, I’m putting Google Calendar to work for me.

The North Carolina Association of Festivals and Events made it easy. They list the year’s events in an HTML table. If your local convention bureau or tourism department does the same, all you have to do is copy and paste that table into a spreadsheet, and you’ve got the the data you need. You’ll just have to move it around a bit to get it to your Google Calendar. Here’s how:

  1. Open this example CSV file. It has the header rows you need to import to Google Calendar along with an example row, which you can delete.
  2. If you were able to paste your data from a table online, you just have to copy the right columns under the right headings. If your area’s website doesn’t list their information so neatly, you’ll have a little more work to do. But all you really need to fill in are the event’s name under Subject and the start and end dates. Location is helpful if it’s a long list or a wide area, like the whole state. Save it as a .csv.
  3. Open your Google Calendar. If you want to add the items as a separate calendar, create it first by clicking the Add link under My Calendars.
  4. Under Other Calendars, click the Add link and select “Import calendar.” Upload the file you created and choose the calendar to add it to.
  5. Relax, because your summer is waiting.

If you happen to live in North Carolina, you’re really in luck, because I’ve already done the work for you. You can see it in your browser, download the .ics for your own calendar, or if you want to add it as a part of your Google Calendar, click the Add link under Other Calendars, but choose “Add by URL” and enter:

http://www.google.com/calendar/ical/nii089k718nru1cmdthf3ddk0c%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics

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