MLA Online Program Planner is Available

The new online program planner for the annual meeting is available.  For the most part I like it.  The color coding helps a lot with browsing.  I also like the concept of seeing what programs your friends are attending and connecting the planner through Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and LinkedIn.  The planner imports into Google Calendar very nicely.  I did not test it the iCal/iPhone or Outlook import, so I don’t know how well it does for those programs. 

The one thing I do not like is the planner’s inability to add events/meetings to my personal calendar.  There are several things not on program planner that I need to add, such as my meetings as an incoming Board member, staffing the 2012 meeting booth, meetings with people, lunches, dinners, vendor events, etc.  Thankfully, Melissa tweeted that you can import your program planner’s information into Google then add the “other” events within Google.  That is good to know.  But if the whole idea is to make the program more social and to let peple see where you are and what you are doing (perhaps they want to schedule a time to meet) then the ability to add other meetings to the planner is essential.  If you looked at me in the official program planner you wouldn’t know that I am going to be in a meeting for part of Thursday and all day Friday.

**Update (4/20/11)
I wanted to update you about two things that people have emailed me about.

  1. You cannot choose multiple programs to program hop.  In other words if you want to see speaker A who speaks from 3:00-3:15 during a section program (that lasts from 3:00-4:30) and then want to quickly dash to another program (also lasting from 3:00-4:30) to listen to speaker B who is speaking from 3:20-3:35, you can’t do that on the online program planner.  You will have to add that stuff after you uploaded to Google.
  2. Importing your online program planner to Google Calendar, iCal/iPhone, or Outlook is NOT obvious.  It is nicely hidden.  You must click on My Profile and options to download should be listed below the Facebook “Like” thumb and Twitter icon and just above the pictures of My Friends. 

I hope this helps people.  I also hope that next year we can make changes to the online program planner, if we could add our own items and program hop, it would be much better than the old online program planner.

3 thoughts on “MLA Online Program Planner is Available”

  1. Can you share *how* to export the schedule into Google calendar? I can find no mention of how to do this on the planner page.

  2. Hi Mark, it is kind of wonky and not obvious. Click on My Profile, options to download should be listed below FB Like thumb and Tweet button and just above the pictures of My Friends.

  3. Oh, thank you, thank you! I simply could not figure this out. Nikki pointed me to your post.

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