One calendar to rule them all – Google, Nokia and Lightning

February 13, 2009...... at 1:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A while back I reluctantly abandoned Evolution as a calendaring solution for one simple reason: it didn’t automatically add meeting invites to my calendar. When you’re getting more than a hundred emails a day, meeting requests need to be immediately reflected in your calendar as inbox zero was something I tried to achieve before going home in the wee hours, which meant same day meeting requests were getting missed.

For this reason I switched back to Outlook and relegated Evolution to a VM. But my heart has belonged to Linux since my rite of passage and now that I am starting my own company, I would like to adopt an open source platform for the business. My requirements are simple, meeting requests have to be automatically added to my calender, my calendar should be with me at all times, so mobile / web / desktop and reminders should to be triggered 30min before a meeting begins.

Well I tried a number of solutions, I tried evolution subscribing to Google – but too slow and locked up the workstation sometimes. I tried multisync but couldn’t get it to work and it wasn’t automatic. I tried CalSyncS60 which seems really good but for some reason stops automatically syncing after I use the phone as a modem – which cost me a breakfast meeting on Monday. Today finally after much trial and tribulation I seem to have stumbled on a solution that works:

Web Calenda
r = Google calendar

Desktop Calendar = Lightning (a Thunderbird plugin)
Calendar Sync = Provider for Google Calendar (extension that provide read / write access to your google calendar) Delete your Personal calendar and every meeting you create will be sync’ed to Google
Contact Sync = Zindus

Phone Calendar = Nokia N82 built-in (S60 3rd)
Calendar Sync = GooSync
Contact Sync = Google Sync
Auto Sync = Swim

What this means is that I can add a meeting on any of my 3 calendars (web, desktop, phone) and know that it will be replicated to the other calendars. Furthermore, since Thunderbird is set up as an IMAP client for a Gmail account any meeting request that come in are added to my Google calendar automatically and replicated to my other calendars within 15 minutes. Life is good again, especially since Google SMSes me my upcoming meeting.

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