I am joining in the chorus of praise for 30 Boxes (along with Scoble, Thomas Hawk (who calls it the best calendar ever), Matt Mullenweg, and Om, who called 30 boxes the gmail of calendars) even though I have only fooled with it for a few hours. I posted about it a few days ago, but just based on others’ thoughts. But now I have gotten access to the beta (thanks Narendra!)
In the past few months I have fiddled with a long list of online calendar tools — Plaxo, Planzo, Kiko, Airset, and Trumba — but I haven’t connected with any of them. Mostly because I am looking for a calendar tool to pull together the various unconnected elements of a digital life, not to simply replace a Filofax.
30 Boxes is at an incomplete stage, but what there is is dead-on. Especially the social element.
In this screenshot (click to expand), I have clicked on a particular day, and all the timestamped elements of my digital world are pulled in: blog posts, Flickr photos, and I had hoped to see recent music played from Last.fm, but I had some sort of RSS snafu. (Along the way I discovered that my favorite geoloco app, Plazes.com, does not provide an RSS feed for my peregrinations, which is dumb.)
But also notice the stuff that my new buddy, Thomas Hawk, has incorporated into his calendar which I am including into mine. This is where it gets interesting.
30Boxes allows users to tag events, which would perhaps be cool all on its own. However, when you are setting up the sharing filters for friends getting access to you calendar, you can restrict access to those events tagged with specific terms. For the members of a project team, you can grant access only to events with the project name tag, for example. Or you can show your karate events to other karateka from your dojo. Or family events to family.
And of course, I still want the Nerdvana buddylist view: where the various posts, pictures, and events associated with my friends are displayed as attributes hanging off an instant messaging style buddylist, and my attributes and presence info are displayed to them in their buddylists. But I bet I will have to wait for Yahoo, Google, MSN, or AOL to provide that for me.