Idea #35: Gonna Be Out ( )

This is a simplified calendaring app for small teams that helps you/your manager keep track of who is supposed to be in the office and who is not.  Working on a virtual team as I do, this seems really useful, but I suspect it could still be useful to those who work in an office (or maybe part-time telecommute).  There would be a simple text field for entry of when you’ll be out a la the 37signals Backpack “Reminders” data entry field. Something like “out tomorrow afternoon” or “dentist appointment at 3pm” would work.  It has to be stupid easy and the field has to be pretty smart with parsing.  In Ruby, a library like Chronic goes a long way towards something like this.
Instead of a typical top-down org chart view of who is on which team, instead, people can make a team and share it.  Anyone can make a team and those teams that you make are automatically in your view.  If someone else has created a view for you which seems like what you want then you don’t have to create it yourself.   You might even offer subscriptions such that someone could be notified if your calendar changes.  Like say Sally in Marketing wanted to talk to me tomorrow afternoon but I have a dental appt.  So I put into the system, “dentist appt at 3pm”.  When I do this, since Sally has subscribed to my changes, she gets an email/SMS/Twitter DM that says “Damon has updated his schedule…he’s gonna be out at 3pm tomorrow at a ‘dentist appt'”.  Sally then could take corrective action in her schedule to make sure that she talks to Damon after lunch instead of waiting until later in the afternoon.
Why not just use a traditional calendar?  To me, they tend to feel pretty heavy weight.  I don’t necessarily want to list every appointment, but I might quickly type something into a field and hit save. Also, have you ever tried to take a team of 10’s calendars and overlay them to figure out who is *IN*?  It’s a royal pain in the ass. So having a view that was broken up into “right now”, “this afternoon”, “tomorrow”, etc… to see a view of a team seems like a really useful idea to me.  I guess we’d have to see if it really is useful by building something and iterating on it with some teams.
Known implementations: None