Adding Interesting Calendars to your Google Calendar

Google provides a feature called Interesting Calendars. Use it to add international holidays, all sorts of sporting events and other random information like sunrise/sunset notifications to your personal Google calendar. Here’s how you add them:

  1. Sign into Google.
  2. Click the drop-down user menu and select Calendar.
    Your calendar will open.
  3. From the left-side of the screen, click the options menu on the Other Calendars. Select Browse interesting calendars:
    CAL_interesting_1
     
  4. A list of calendars appears, separated by the tabs: Holidays, Sports and More.   Navigate to the calendar you want to add, then click Subscribe.
    After you subscribe to a calendar, its events appear on your personal calendar.

Unsubscribing

To remove Interesting Calendars from your calendar, navigate back to the list of interesting calendars and click unsubscribe.

Why tech writing matters to me

Early in my technical writing days I was fortunate to work for and with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. On this Veterans Day, as I pay tribute to our service members who bravely defend/defended our country, I’m also thinking of my mentors that devoted their careers to public service in the hopes that they could make this a better country.

One specific experience shaped my career path. It started on a rainy blah day at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). I was a junior technical writer who spent most of my time writing server outage alerts. You know the type, “Sorry for the inconvenience, the network will be down from midnight to 2 a.m. yadda, yadda, yadda…” Months of this kind of work left me feeling underappreciated and bored. My boss Chris addressed the chip on my shoulder in a different way than I’d ever been managed. He said to me and the equally disgruntled tech writer beside me, “You know what, it’s field trip day.”

The NIH is massive—both geographically and economically. It takes up acres of prime real estate in Bethesda, Md., and offices spill into neighboring Rockville and many other communities all over the country.

We were in a dreary conference room on the main campus. We packed our laptops and headed to the basement of the Clinical Center. We peered in at researchers. We looked at the rats. We looked for bunnies. We talked to researchers using the biggest MRI machine I’d ever seen.

Then Chris said, this is why your service outage alerts matter. These people are trying to make the world a better place. They’re literally trying to cure cancer. Those researchers, those animals—they’re devoting their lives to helping people. If we turn off one of their systems and they don’t have the opportunity to plan for it, they may lose valuable data or research subjects. If they don’t understand what we’re telling them, we may setback their research and those animals may die for nothing.

For me, that rainy day made what I do matter. So when I’m in a funk, I remember that maybe the instructions that I’m writing or the video tutorial that I’m creating or yes, the dreaded service outage email—that those tools may help someone make the world a better place. And that’s why I love tech writing.

Presenting at the 2014 STC Summit

Look for me at the 2014 Technical Communicators Summit in Phoenix, AZ. This week, Dr. Laurian Vega and I found out that the society accepted our proposal “Designing to Save Lives: Government Technical Documentation.”
I’ll provide more information as it becomes available. To learn about the summit or the Society of technical Communicators (STC) see http://summit.stc.org/

Why?

I love reading. I enjoy a good challenge. That said, I hate reading unnecessary prose and complex instructions. Enter Plain & Simple Language LLC.

Through this company, I hope to help folks make their information clear, understandable and [believe it or not] fun. I specialize in technical documentation and training tutorials but have experience writing a little bit of everything from newspaper articles to standard operating procedures (SOPs) and copious to-do lists. Let’s work together to help people understand your website, product or labor of love.