The State of Online Calendaring, Part 1

As part of my overall effort to make myself “location-less”, I’ve been evaluating online calendaring sites. For good or bad, I’ve chosen Outlook as my “home” calendaring, contact management, task and note system. There’s a lot to debate about choosing a “home” system (meaning the system you use to maintain your base set of information and the one whose information is your long-term storage choice) so suffice it to say I’m constantly reevaluating my choice of “home” but, so far, Outlook is the winner. Not for feature set or universality but because it continues to exist!

OK, anyway, on to the real subject of this. I’ve got a lot of information to post (for me) so I’ve decided to break this into two entries: part 1 will just cover online calendaring sites and syncing with Outlook while part 2 will cover mobile devices — syncing and access over the web.

I’ve looked at both free and commercial calendaring systems. In the free category, I’ve looked at Calgoo, ScheduleWorld, HipCal (acquired by Plaxo), Google Calendar, Yahoo! Calendar, SyncMyCal and AirSet. Of these, the one that I’ve chosen is AirSet. Why? It syncs easily with Outlook. It can sync on a schedule or manually and it just works. Plus, the AirSet calendaring concept is a good one — it was built understanding that we have multiple calendars. This makes it easy for me to maintain a work calendar and a personal calendar. I can have my agenda sent to me each evening, meeting notices sent to me by email or by text message and the layout and user interface is pleasant and easy to use. It understands recurring appointments and the sync from Outlook will carry those recurrences over. The others were in beta (Calgoo) or just didn’t carry the ease-of-use that AirSet does (Yahoo, ScheduleWorld), may be orphaned (HipCal) or didn’t provide online calendaring at all but just a sync service (SyncMyCal).

I’ve got lots more to post but have to run off to do some other things so I’ll come back to this shortly. Thanks for bearing with me.

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