You’ve probably gotten invited to more than your share of Facebook events, and if you’re like me, you tend to lose track of them fairly quickly. Either you RSVP that you can’t make it, and when you change your mind, you can’t find the event to save your life, or you did let the organizer know you’d be coming but promptly forgot until Facebook reminded you the day of the event.
With seemingly everyone using Facebook events to plan everything from baby showers to beauty pageants, I’ve thought there has to be a better way. So did the developers of Going, a menubar app that keeps track of all your Facebook events for you and even syncs up with Calendar. With the ability to RSVP, create events, and event post to Facebook, is there anything Going can’t do?
Go, Go, Going!
You’ll need to first sign in to Facebook via Going before you can get started. This is pretty obvious for a Facebook events manager, so get that out of the way. As soon as Going and Facebook are connected, all of your Facebook events will appear in the Going dropdown in the menubar.
There’s only basic information in the upcoming events list view. You’ll get the title of the event, along with the date, time, and location. You can also see your RSVP denoted as a check for going, a question mark for tentative, or an X if you don’t plan to attend. There won’t be a mark next to it at all if you haven’t responded yet. You won’t get any more information than that without digging further, but it’s a nice snapshot of what you’ve got coming up.
To find out anything more about a particular event, click on it, and it will open up in the Going window. Same as on Facebook, you’ll see who the organizer is, who’s invited, and any information posted about the event. You can also RSVP in this view.
Clicking on anyone’s name will open their Facebook profile in your default browser, especially handy if you need to contact the organizers or any fellow attendees privately or just want to make friends before the big day. If you click on the location, a Google map will open in a new browser window, and if you click the date, Going lets you toggle whether the event syncs to Calendar.
Going also comes complete with all of the normal Facebook event accoutrements, such as the wall. This, the event info, and a list of attendees are all accessible from the left sidebar. Just click any of those links to bring up the view you want. Within the event in Going, you can not only comment and reply to others, but the application also provides the ubiquitous “like” button, maintaining the seamless Facebook experience.
If you want to see more about a past event, that’s easy enough in Going, too. Back in the upcoming events list view, click the left arrow at the top. That takes you to your previous events. It doesn’t go back in time indefinitely, and it only seemed to hang on to events I’d replied to. Still, it’s great to have those events so close at hand, whether you want to connect with someone you met or want to use a previous Facebook event as the foundation for your next.
Creating an Event
Beyond managing your events, you can also create new events in Going. To get started, just type the event title in the text field above your events. A new event window will open up, and you can start plugging in all of your information. Besides the date and location, you can also add a description for the event and even upload an event picture.
Going also allows you to create your guest list right in the app. Just start typing your friends’ names, and Going will do the rest. You can also browse through your friends and check all the invitees off. Once you’ve got everyone invited and all the event info squared away, click the Create Event button. That makes your event real on Facebook and sends out your invitations.
Really Great Stuff
Not only are all the events you’ve already sent a confirmation to listed in the main Going view, but so are all the events you haven’t responded to yet, the events you said you might attend, and even the events you’ve declined. I was really pleased to see my declined events so easily accessible in Going, as they can be difficult to find on Facebook. If your situation changes and you want to attend an event after all, if can be hard to change that negative RSVP. Going makes it easy to see all of your events and update your RSVP if necessary.
Going also makes it really straightforward to add events to Calendar. There are other ways to go about this, such as creating subscription calendars based on your Facebook events, but it’s not incredibly simple. Going’s application preferences allow you to automatically sync events to Calendar as you RSVP, and you can even choose the default calendar to use. If you don’t want events synced automatically, you can toggle whether they show up in Calendar inside each event.
I love the utility of Facebook events; it’s a quick way to connect a lot of people, great when you’re trying to organize an event, big or small. However, I’ve never found Facebook events very easy to manage or participate in without going out of my way to keep an eye on them. Going, however, collects all of my events into one place, so I don’t spend half an hour playing hide and seek on Facebook with my best friend’s crafting party or the neighborhood walkathon.
Going is easy to use and a lot better looking that Facebook. More than that, it’s uncluttered and simple. With Going I can keep track of all of my events in one place and easily sync them with Calendar. Going fills a hole I didn’t know was empty and does it so well, it’s hard to imagine what I did before.