Outlook 2007 & Gcal

I’m one of those stiffs who loves his Power­book, but is forced by neces­si­ty (and Cor­po­rate IT) to work in Win­dows XP and Out­look all day. Meet­ing requests come in and tasks are assigned, all using Out­look. How­ev­er, because I rely so much on Gmail in my per­son­al life, I store per­son­al events online with Google Cal­en­dar.

Every­thing works seam­less­ly on my mac, as Apple’s iCal soft­ware allows sub­scrip­tions. But there is no way to get Out­look 2003 to sync or share data in the iCal­en­dar for­mat… in fact, I think that Out­look stores its infor­ma­tion in some Microsoft pro­pri­etary for­mat, by default. I think you can import/export ICS files, but there is no sub­scrip­tion or pub­lish method.

Gcal Subscribe

Gcal allows subscriptions to iCalendar feeds

I shouldn’t for­get to men­tion the excel­lent open source project Remote­Cal­en­dars, which allows you to sub­scribe to iCal­en­dar feeds, with a bit of tweak­ing. But, this wasn’t quite what I craved – I want­ed to not only sub­scribe to my Gcal cal­en­dar, but also allow Gcal to pick up my work appoint­ments. That way, I can get reminders of ear­ly meet­ings, etc., when I’m away from my work desk.

Outlook 2007 beta 2

Enter the new Office beta. Not only is this ver­sion the Bravest Soft­ware Upgrade Ever, it also added a lot of great func­tion­al­i­ty to Out­look.

Out of the box, you can sub­scribe to iCal­en­dar feeds, such as those pro­vid­ed by Gcal, 30Boxes, or oth­er online apps. More impres­sive­ly, you can pub­lish your cal­en­dar to either your own Web­DAV serv­er, or to Office Online direct­ly. Then, you can sub­scribe to the pub­lished iCal­en­dar feed in any online cal­en­dars that sup­port the stan­dard. Out­look will peri­od­i­cal­ly update the pub­lished file as you make adjust­ments or addi­tions to your cal­en­dar.

Publish to Internet

Outlook 2007’s Publish to Internet feature

So, now I have access to both my per­son­al and work cal­en­dars at all times, no mat­ter where I am. (Hell, if I want­ed to pay Cin­gu­lar for band­width, I could use Gcal­Sync to push every­thing to my RAZR.)

The only real caveat is that you have to pub­lish your Out­look cal­en­dar with “Unre­strict­ed Access”—because Microsoft uses their LiveID tech­nol­o­gy to grant access on a per-user basis, and Gcal (or any oth­er ser­vice) won’t be able to authen­ti­cate unless it’s pub­lic. I’m not sure how secure this is yet, but for the moment I’m too in love with this set­up to let that both­er me.

Anoth­er minor caveat – you’ll have to unin­stall Acro­bat 6, as it caus­es Out­look to crash a lot.

Oth­er than that, it’s a pret­ty sta­ble beta.

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1 Response to “Outlook 2007 & Gcal”


  • Anoth­er way to increase the val­ue of MS Out­look is to access trough it to anoth­er plat­form like Google.

    We just launched KiGoo, a free tool that allows Google users to ful­ly man­age (cre­ate, read, update and delete) their Cal­en­dar and Con­tacts from MS Out­look.

    Also KiGoo man­age the Free Busy infor­ma­tion of your Gmail con­tacts for appoint­ments if they shared their FB sta­tus.

    Cur­rent­ly we sup­port Win­dows XP and office 2007.

    http://www.getkigoo.com
    ReplyReply

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