Web Browser Wednesday

I have been intensely using the Google Calendar for over a week but I knew I needed a better solution to make sure I always have it open. It needed to be easy to get to otherwise I would forget to add events to it. The Calgoo program looked appealing but it still seems to be plagued with problems and I didn’t want my information to be going through a 3rd party.

Google Calendar Firefox

After pondering what I could do one thing seemed to pop into my head. I decided to customize a version of Portable Firefox that I could always leave open so that it would not interfere with my current browser. The instructions on implementing my profile are below but here are the benefits that you will receive by using it:

  • I have the Navigation and Bookmarks toolbar “hidden”.
  • Homepage set to Google Calendar.
  • I installed the Google Calendar Notifier Firefox extension so that you can receive notifications of upcoming events even when the window is minimized. It also appears in the Status Bar of the open window as pictured above.
  • I installed the Google Calendar Quick Add Firefox extension that allows you to quickly add events to the calendar by pressing Ctrl+; (that is Ctrl+semicolon). View this article that I wrote on more details about how the Quick Add feature works.
  • UPDATE: I have added the ability to change the icon to the Google Calendar Icon along with removing “Mozilla Firefox” from the title bar.
    Google Calendar Icon

This wasn’t exactly rocket science to do yourself but I figured it may be a little easier if I just let you download my profile which already has all of the above features implemented.

  1. Download Firefox Portable or 2.0 Beta 2 (The Quick Add extension is not compatible with 2.0 Beta 2 so it will be disabled).
  2. Extract Firefox Portable.
  3. Now you have to download the custom profile that I have made just for using with Google Calendar.
    1. Download the profile that I have created.
    2. Delete the current Data folder that is located in the Firefox Portable directory (the same place where the FirefoxPortable.exe is located)
    3. Extract the ZIP file and copy the Data folder to the FirefoxPortable directory. This folder contains my pre-made Google Calendar profile.
    4. OPTIONAL: If you want to allow Firefox Portable to run at the same time as your other Firefox installations then you should also copy the FirefoxPortable.ini file and place it in the same folder that the FirefoxPortable.exe is located.
    5. OPTIONAL: If you want to remove the Firefox icon and replace it with the Google Calendar icon you will have to open the GCal-Icon.xpi file in Firefox (it is located in the profile you downloaded). Just go to File -> Open File and browse for the GCal-Icon.xpi file. After that successfully runs you’ll need to restart Firefox to see the new icon.
  4. OPTIONAL: I chose to place the Firefox Portable folder in my Program Files so that it doesn’t get in my way. I then created a shortcut for the FirefoxPortable.exe file and placed that in my Windows Startup folder so that it will start each time my computer boots up.

Hopefully you are starting to see how useful the Google Calendar can be. I’ve been using it so much lately that I couldn’t imagine going back to the standard calendar applications like those found in Outlook.