How to synchronise your calendar across devices

My calendar "infrastructure" is probably over-engineered as a consequence of being added to over time. Undoubtedly, recent offerings from Google could dramatically simplify it, which I will cover later on in this post.

Nonetheless, my system works as follows and has done so trouble-free for over 2 years.

1. Blackberry. My calendar on my blackberry is one of my entry points for appointments when I am out and about. This gets synchronised almost every night with an old version of Outlook on my old desktop at home.
2. Outlook synchronises with Airset, which acts as my online corporate and personal calendar, via a desktop application provided by Airset. Both are available at no charge.
3. Airset is my primary calendar when I am in the office, and all of my calendar entries are entered into Airset directly.

So this set-up provides a 3 way synch with Outlook. It also allows my wife to enter "family commitments" into the desktop at home, confident in the knowledge that it will be automatically included in my schedule. Similarly, she can check on my whereabouts when planning things.

In addition, I operate a 2 way synchronisation between Airset and Google Calendar. This serves three purposes.
- If Airset went offline for any reason, I can revert to Google Calendar, notwithstanding the other calendar instances I operate
- If I haven't synchronised my blackberry recently, I can check google calendar whilst on the move using my blackberry browser knowing that it will be up-to-date. Sadly Airset deem mobile access to be a premium chargeable service, but don't charge for the access to the calendar via ical and so this simply gets round their tariff [they detect you are trying to connect from a mobile device, which decent web services/sites should in order to render content appropriately, and so block access]
- Many more online services have been built to integrate with Google calendar than link to Airset.

This configuration has the disadvantage that the calendar versions can be out-of-synch for hours at a time, especially from the blackberry to the other calendar instances.

Calendar spaghetti or robust backup? Both is the honest answer. But if I were starting again, what would I do?
- Use Google calendar rather than Airset and synchronise it with Outlook using the free synchronisation application from Google
- Synchronise my blackberry with Google calendar using the free synchronisation application from Google

I would still need to link my blackberry to Outlook for my contacts information, because there is no similar facility via Google as yet................

The only thing holding me back from changing is that I prefer Airset's interface and features. But perhaps one day.

Of course, if you aren't a blackberry user but have internet access on your phone, then using Google calendar is even more compelling.

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posted by John Wilson @ 9:25 AM Permanent Link newsvine reddit


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