>We have all been there at some point.
The Calendar at work is great, I got all my meetings neat and tidy to make sure I don’t miss out. But what good is a calendar with reminders and meeting locations if I only can access it from my computer?
Many workplaces does not allow for any remote access and even syncing with your mobile device might be impossible. The reasons are often one out of these 2 (or both): Security and support.
Security is not my strongest skill but I don’t find it that hard to understand that every connection with the world outside your LAN is a potential security threat (working for the Armed Forces installs Paranoia 1.0 on your mental hard drive after just a short time :)
When we talk support however I’m more in my native environment and strongly agree with every IT department that has realized that “We can’t support everything”. Just don’t offer support on those services you say? This will always confuse the end-user, when you have an IT problem you should always know where to look for support: Single Point Of Contact. Basic ITIL for those of you who are familiar with it. Your IT Department will also get the calls for support and when not being able to help, well let’s just say it doesn’t look good. Customer satisfaction has nothing (hmm, well something) to do with how good your support are, but rather how good you live up to the expectations from the customers. In an office the expectation will most likely be, “IT Support helps me with everything IT related”. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that the services and software on every computer matches the one you can support.
To get my non-mobile calendar into my mobile device this is what I do, simple yet effective. This assumes you are using Windows and Outlook and have some possibilities to install software on your PC (which to be honest you shouldn’t have but very often do).
I use Outlook 2007, Google Calendar and Google Calendar Sync.
As seen in the picture, my workplace uses Outlook.
I then synchronize this Calendar (only calendar so security risks are really at a minimum) using Google Calendar Sync.
This gives me my entire work calendar in Google Calendar.
Google Calendar is not nearly as troublesome to synchronize with as many Exchange/Outlook environments and getting that calendar to your mobile device will most likely work (see mobile devices and supported services at http://m.google.com). Another sweet thing about this is that the synchronization can take place OTA (Over The Air) and no connection to your computer is necessary.
Please note, I’m not encouraging any breach of IT use policies or rules. If you are uncertain if this is ok, check with your IT Department. This is merely a workaround that I started to use when the services offered didn’t suit my needs. Since the amount of software and connectivity required on the desktop is at a minimum my techies just tried the install file, noticed that it worked and couldn’t do any damage (the application is very limited and doesn’t even speak to the Exchange server, just your local Calendar file). After that I was good to go in like 20 minutes.
I seriously need to find some new fun stuff to use that is not made by Google, you will think they pay me or something. At least the picture is not made in Picassa. MindJet MindManager and Gimp made it happen :)
Resources to pull it off:
Outlook to Google Calendar Sync: http://www.google.com/support/calendar/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=89955
Google Calendar to mobile device sync: http://m.google.com