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In our company Outlook has become a tool we rely on. I am guessing that we are not alone here and that this is true of millions of companies. As someone in a small company, I want to avoid having to maintain two separate calendars for personal use and work but it turns out this isn’t as easy as it sounds? We also have exchange, so one would imagine this would make sharing information between us even easier but oh no that would be too sensible. Let me give you an example:-


07:30 Mail MySQL backup to Joe

10:00 Support call to Leeds

13:00 Dave Smith – Working Lunch

16:00 Dentist

19:45 Theatre – Stones in His Pockets

The events 07:30 to 13:00 are purely work, the Dentist is a personal appointment but does effect my work. The theatre is purely personal and my work colleagues do not need to see it, indeed if it happened to be take over discussions instead, I clearly wouldn’t want them to be able to see it at all.

So the first issue is, do I use 1 or 2 calendars.

Obviously the logical solution is 2, one personal and on company wide for all of us. However to date I have found no way of sharing events across the 2 calendars. What I mean is illustrated by the dentist appointment, one ought to be able to create the event in one calendar and share it on the other one so if the dentist rings to change the time to 16:45 one edit effects both calendars. Instead I have to create two separate events and then if it changes, remember to change both events. It may sound trivial but in the sometimes mayhem of the phone going etc it can be easy to miss.

So it’s one calendar. Now this could of course be one calendar for everyone but it would get impossible to read very quickly. So it’s one calendar each and change the permissions so that everyone can see it. By carefully using categories I can mark items as work or personal or both so that my colleagues can use them to create views that can screen out appointments such as the theatre. OK you say, what’s the problem with that. Well firstly bang goes recording the meeting about take overs,  just hope I remember to go. Next enter my personal life. My partner does not use electronic calendars so I need to print the calendar for her AND guess what? There is no way of excluding events from print jobs so she gets the whole lot very confusing. Just as well I’m not having an affair with a work colleague eh?

49 · May 22, 2009 · Irritations · Tags: · [Print]

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