Ask just about anyone if they are as organized as they would like to be and the answer is likely to be an unequivocal "No." For information technology professionals, the answer may not be suitable for polite conversation.
Keeping track of meetings, tasks, events, and everything else in between is often handled by a calendar application like Microsoft's Outlook 2007. But, if you are like me, you want that calendar information to be available, up to date, and accessible at any time. Well, there are ways to make that commonly used application more useful by synchronizing it with a Web-based calendar like the one found on Google.
As you can probably guess, getting that synchronization to happen is not as simple as just clicking a button, but the configuration is not too onerous.
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Google calendarThe first step is to establish a Google account and navigate to the Calendar applet. The screen should look similar to Figure A. Note: this is a brand new feature on Google so there may still be a few kinks to iron out.
Google calendar appletClick on the Sync with Microsoft Outlook calendar link located at the top of the page to get to the screen shown in Figure B. Click the Learn More link to get to the screen shown in Figure C.
Calendar help screen
From this screen you can click the link to the synchronization software installer:
InstallationAt some point you will reach the screen shown in Figure E. Enter your Google account information and then choose one of the synchronization options shown. The two-way option offers the greatest functionality, but the best option is really up to you.
Choose your sync optionOnce you have made you choice, click OK and then Close to finish the install. You should now have a new icon in the task tray. (Figure F)
New icon in the task tray
Right click on that icon and click Sync from the resulting menu and your Outlook Calendar and Google calendar will synchronize.
The best partThe best thing about this Google synchronization applet is that I can now keep all my various installations of Outlook 2007 up to date with the latest meeting, event, and task information. (Figure G)
A busy calendar
Now if Google would just create an applet that would synchronize my Outlook contact list automatically, I'd be set.
Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.