In the same way that a map is a natural choice for displaying data with a geography element to it I’ve long opined that a calendar is a natural choice for displaying data with a time element to it, my main output on this topic is at Thinking differently about BI delivery.
With that in mind I recently watched an interesting talk by James Whittaker entitled A New Era of Computing where he opined that that the era of searching and browsing for information is dying and we are now moving into an era of doing; its an interesting talk and if you have an hour to spare it might well be worth watching, you can find a video of the talk here: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/ALM-Summit/ALM-Summit-3/A-New-Era-of-Computing
James gave an example of using a calendar as a canvas for booking a holiday and it really struck a chord with me. In this hypothetical example the steps of finding an appropriate time for a holiday, clearing the decks of all other appointments, finding flights and activities….they were all done within the context of a calendar. There were no 3rd party apps involved, no web pages – the calendar was the canvas upon which all of these tasks were done. To someone like me who strongly believes that calendars are massively underutilized as a means for displaying information the notion that a calendar could also be used to get stuff done was both liberating and illuminating.
If, like Scott Adams and I, you agree that calendars are criminally undervalued in an era of information discovery then you could do a lot worse than spend an hour watching James’ presentation. Really thought-provoking stuff.