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Listener Feedback on Question of 2 iPhones / 1 Computer.
This is a solution I developed for my family - it sounds obscure, confusing and a bit involved - but once it is working it has been great for us! It does have some cons and isn't a perfect solution - but it demos a neat tool Google provides.
4) Multiple Windows Users - for this example let's say me and my wife - each user has their own iTunes library under their own Windows login, each with their own music, calendar and contacts. Each user also has their own Outlook profile and calendar established under their windows username/login.
5) Each family member has a G-Mail account and a Googlel Calendar that is "shared" with other family members. Sharing these calendars is done right through Google Calendar settings.
So far, this is fairly typical of most setups - nothing special - except the addition of the Google Calendar Sync Application.
Basically, this method uses Google Calendar as the synching point by and through which Outlook Calendars are shared between users.
User can add items to their Google Calendar by hitting the plus sign when they are viewing their Google calendar. By adding an item it is instantly added to the Google Calendar on the server side. The next time the Google Sync runs on the home PC - those items are pulled down and added into the local Outlook Calendar of that user. Users could also add something directly to the native iPhone calendar - but these items would not be sync'd with the Google Calendar until the phone is plugged into the home PC, sync'd and the Google sync runs again. The first option is the better way. By adding the Google Calendar item, this item is then visible on the user's Google Calendar and because the user has shared that calendar with another G-Mail user, say my wife, it immediatly appears on her Google Calendar. Google even permits "color coding" the calendars, so when I view my Google Calendar my items are blue whereas hers are red.
User can add the item directly into their Outlook Calendar, next time Google Calendar Sync runs, those items are fed up to the Google Calendar, and because they are shared, appear for everyone. User could obviously also add it directly to Google Calendar from the home PC. I can also send Outlook Calendar Items from work to my home email address, when I "Accept" them at home in Outlook they are added to my shared Google Calendar via the Google Calendar Sync application. (I happen to have it set to run every 15 minutes.)
You do need seperate Outlook profiles - which requires a PC with more than one user created on it. It sounds like other listener made have been talking about syncing to just one single Outlook profile on the same computer. Also, the computer has to be running under the particular user's login at least for a bit each day (in my case the sync time is 15 minutes - so at least that long) in order that at least one sync occurs for items that weren't added to Google Calendar directly. Since my home PC is always on throughout the day and my wife logs in at least once a day, this is not a problem - but might be for some. To avoid this, we have trained ourselves to add calendar items to Google Calendar directly, our Outlook calendars on the home PC are then updated the next time we are at the PC and signed in. We see each other's new additions immediatly.
Small warning: If you use Google Calendar Sync incorrectly at first, you will end up causing a duplicate entry to be created of every calendar item you have. I had this problem once and it is not for the faint of heart. I basically had to remove my Outlook database and create a new one. I then had to re-import all my calendar items from a handy-dandy backup .PST folder I made, of course, PRIOR to trying this.
All and all it took some experimentation - but it works GREAT for us now. Perhaps a bit convoluted for a PodCast "how-to" but with a bit of thought and other perspectives - their may be a way to clean this method up. Of course, the alternative is to just simply work in Google Calendar (both from the PC and from the iPhone) all of the time and let the sync application make everything move seamlessly over to Outlook so it's available their when you sit down at home.
Lastly, alerts become an issue. Obviously, things in the native iPhone calendar can generate an audible reminder alert. Google Calendar will not, per se. However, Google Calendar has added a feature that allows you to have reminder emails sent to you for Google Calendar items, so set your iPhone to fetch every 15 minutes and be sure to set longer reminder periods - all set! If you don't want to go that far and make things too complicated and if you are patient then - the completion of the circle.... drum roll.... if your Google Calendar items are syncing back to your Outlook and you regularly sync your iPhone on your PC using iTunes, those Google Calendars which ended up in your Outlook then end up sync'd with the native iPhone Calendar resulting in a normal native iPhone reminder! (If that makes any sense)
I don't expect to hear about this long drawn out method on your show - but perhaps there is a take-away with the Google Calendar Sync application. For us it was setup and forget - it's the setup that takes some thought!