Google Calendar syncing with Outlook

Google released an in-house tool yesterday for syncing Google Calendar with Outlook. Yay!

I have tried all the other free solutions, and none of them worked. They either synced n0thing or they duplicated everything every couple of days. The new sync tool works great.

How to get your cell to act like PIM . . . sort of

I recently purchased a new cell phone. Given the parameters of the deal I was offered and available funds, the phone I ended up buying did not have the ability to sync with Outlook (the software of choice for keeping our family organised).

Since then, however, I have found a way to get it a step closer to acting like PIM, or at least two of the most popular features I use in Outlook: email and event reminders. And Google helped me do it.

The key is setting up notifications in Gmail and Google calendar and having text messaging capabilities on your phone.

In Gmail, complete the following steps:

  1. Clcik on “Settings”.
  2. Click on “Filters”.
  3. Clcik on “Create new filter”.
  4. If you would prefer to not receive notifications on emails from mailing lists, type -{@yahoogroups.com} (or whatever the mailing list domain is) in the “To” field.
  5. If you would prefer to not receive notifications on emails from a specific domain (such as a newsletter), type -{@thedomain.com} in the “From” field.
  6. Click on the “Next Step” button.
  7. Make sure “Forward it to:” is checked, and in its text field, type in your SMS address (e.g. 4035551212@txt.bell.ca).
  8. Click “Create Filter”.

You will now receive emails on your phone. Keep in mind that some providers may truncate your emails (mine truncates messages to 160 characters).

Now for Google Calendar:

  1. Click on “Settings”.
  2. Click on “Notifications”.
  3. Make sure the SMS box is checked for “Event reminders”.
  4. In the “Notify me on my cell phone” section:
    1. Choose your country
    2. Enter your cell phone number (e.g. +14035551212)
    3. Select your carrier
    4. Click the “Send Verification Code” button
    5. Check your phone for the verification code and enter it into the “Verification code” field.
    6. Click the “Finish setup” button

Keep in mind that some carriers charge for incoming messages. Fortunately, mine does not.

Now if I could find a way to transfer my 400 contacts over.

Reply by chat in GMail

Google has released a new feature in GMail: reply by chat.

Reply With Chat

I have wanted to do this numerous times. On the surface it looks cool, to be able to see someone who has sent you email is online. There’s more however; it also groups the resulting chat log in with the email conversation.

Very cool.

Google Calendar Live

Google Calendar is now live. You may need to have a GMail or Google account to sign up. Here are some features I wish it had.

  • Delete all events without cancelling my account
  • Daylight Saving Time
  • Search events by time slots
  • Batch processing of search results
  • Scroll through search results
  • Sync with my PocketPC

Google Acquires Writely

I am so excited about this. InformationWeek announced that Google has acquired online word processing provider, Writely. The announcement has caused Writely to shut down new registrations as they do the migration. I am glad I registered when I did. All my non-work documents are created in Writely. I hope there is tighter integration with GMail.

GMail and Google Talk

If you haven’t heard, Google announced an integration between Google Talk and GMail. This means Google Talk users will now be able to chat directly in the browser. Even more, GMail users will be able to chat with each other, without having to install Google Talk. A step closer to complete web-based applications.

In addition, GMail now has an option to archive Google Talk chats. I am very excited about this. I could not even begin to tell you how many times I needed to reference an old conversation and could not recall if it was email or IM. Now it does not matter.

Google Maps Hybrid

Google recently implemented a new feature on their maps page that allows users to overlay roads on satellite images. Just click on the “Hybrid” button next to the “Satellite” button on the maps. It seems to be more accurate than swtichign between the two old views.