Tag Archives: iCal

Another Sync Option

Things seem to be moving on in the calendar synchronisation arena with the release today of an official Google solution to synchronise Outlook calendars to their online Google Calendar.

In reporting the release, whilst he said it seemed good, Scoble suggested that Plaxo was a better option as it synchronised to a whole raft of other platforms too, rather than just a single platform – he is apparently using Plaxo to link Outlook through to his Mac, and keeping his iPhone in sync too – almost the same setup that I am trying to get going. Now if you’ve read my blog recently, you’ll know that I’ve found a pretty big problem with the Plaxo synchronisation of recurring appointments – my assumption is that Scoble doesn’t have any recurring appointments in his calendar, or that he hasn’t noticed the problem…

Anyway, from my point of view using the new Google Outlook Sync on the PC end and Spanning Sync which a Mac owning friend has recommended on the other would accomplish what I need and get my calendar across, so I thought I’d give the new Google option a go.

Unfortunately the first attempt doesn’t look good. I installed the software onto the PC end, and set it going. The software has a nice little tooltip that keeps you informed as to what it is up to. The number of appointments that it was synchronising seemed about right, and it claimed to have synchronised them – unfortunately when you took a look at the result on the online Google Calendar the view for March only had three appointments of any sort – considering that this month includes Easter, there should be nearer to fifty. My first thought is that maybe there was some sort of problem with the appointments – one of the other tools I’ve tried used to run into problems if certain punctuation characters appeared in any of the text fields of an appointment – but the Google Sync didn’t report any problems.

Suffice to say, as with Plaxo I’d recommend backing everything up, and carefully looking at your calendar if you give it a try – as with any synchronisation solution it has the potential to really mess things up! I guess I might take a look once it goes through a couple of revisions, but for my current task, it’s not really up to the job.

Google Calendar – shared calendars originally uploaded by Spinstah

Plaxo Gotcha’s

I’ve had my first nose around the calendar synchronisation between Outlook and Plaxo – unfortunately the news is not good. It seems that although it supports recurring appointments, it totally ignores exceptions. I tend to use these pretty extensively, for example for regular conference calls with customers, or for church services or events like Choir Practice. Like most recurring events, occasionally these things change – the customer may want to reschedule the call. Outlook can handle this easily – Plaxo doesn’t. Even worse, taking a look through after the clock change day, all my recurring events are apparently time-shifted by an hour… I suspect what I may be doing with my calendar will be using Plaxo to get a reasonably good copy, and then rebuild it by hand in iCal.