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-   -   iCal Sync - Opinion (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=14589)

myndex 2009-11-23 12:59 AM

iCal Sync - Opinion
 
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Hmmmmmmmm.

Okay, I am just now evaluating on trial OmniFocus - I honestly thought something was wrong, when I tried to sync to iCal, because nothing showed up in the DAY where certain events (appointments) were scheduled.

I've now read here that such "scheduling" is coutner to the concept of GTD.

Okay, I get that, but:

Some of us DO have something called "appointments" and/or "meetings". :) These are fixed events, that need to be scheduled.

I don't see why, when they are part of a set of OF actions, that they are not able to be flagged as an iCal *event* (a simple check box would do in the inspector, for instance). And have the alarm automatically set.

On the iPhone, iCal will give audible alerts - these alerts are very important!! And I'll assume that OF iPhone does not do alerts (no backgrounding in iPhone) - I have not plunked down the cash yet to buy these apps, but this seems like a serious deficiency.

All you need in OF is a checkbox(s) like this:

[IMG]http://forums.omnigroup.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1167&stc=1&d=1258965546[/IMG]


Okay, maybe there's a bit more that needs to be done - for instance, event duration (pull down menu), and timing of alerts (default, or selectable times).

But even if I have an event that is NOT a meeting, I probably want an audible alert.

Say I have an action that is "pay gym membership" - I might want an audible alert on my iPhone a few days before it's due, as a reminder.

So, for an audible reminder, it needs to be an event in the calender - and iPhone's iCal does not show "to do lists" - so, what's the point? I read in the OF for iPhone that it does calender notifications, but I don't see anything like that in the desktop app, and I don't see what it notifies in the iTunes sales page (and I'm hesitant to spend $20 no knowing what/how notifications are scheduled or take place)


This is [I]not[/I] "syncing with iCal" functionality - sticking to do items in a list, and not the calender isn't really "syncing".



Cheers

Andy

whpalmer4 2009-11-23 10:06 AM

[QUOTE=myndex;70059]I've now read here that such "scheduling" is coutner to the concept of GTD.

Okay, I get that, but:

Some of us DO have something called "appointments" and/or "meetings". :) These are fixed events, that need to be scheduled.

I don't see why, when they are part of a set of OF actions, that they are not able to be flagged as an iCal *event* (a simple check box would do in the inspector, for instance). And have the alarm automatically set.
[/quote]
The general notion is that things with fixed times (the "hard landscape" as David Allen puts it) go in your calendar, not in OmniFocus. OmniFocus manages your tasks that occupy the rest of your time.

You can read the official Omni position on this in Brian's post (#49) in this thread: [URL="http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=2533"]http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=2533[/URL]
[quote]
On the iPhone, iCal will give audible alerts - these alerts are very important!! And I'll assume that OF iPhone does not do alerts (no backgrounding in iPhone) - I have not plunked down the cash yet to buy these apps, but this seems like a serious deficiency.
[/quote]
Your assumption is incorrect. The iPhone app can be configured to populate a WebDAV calendar with alerts for items with imminent due dates/times and subscribe the iPhone Calendar app to it so that you get popup notifications whether or not the OmniFocus app is running and whether or not you have network connectivity.

Right now, the desktop app doesn't populate this calendar, only the iPhone app (when it syncs), but that is due to be fixed in the next update (free), I believe.
I personally haven't found that to be an issue, but my iPod gets synced frequently.

[quote]
But even if I have an event that is NOT a meeting, I probably want an audible alert.

Say I have an action that is "pay gym membership" - I might want an audible alert on my iPhone a few days before it's due, as a reminder.
[/quote]
Why not just look at your Due Soon list each day? What good is an audible reminder if it comes at a point when you aren't able to immediately act?
[quote]
I read in the OF for iPhone that it does calender notifications, but I don't see anything like that in the desktop app, and I don't see what it notifies in the iTunes sales page (and I'm hesitant to spend $20 no knowing what/how notifications are scheduled or take place)
[/quote]
You can read about it here: [URL="http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=13131"]http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=13131[/URL]

[quote]
This is [I]not[/I] "syncing with iCal" functionality - sticking to do items in a list, and not the calender isn't really "syncing".
[/QUOTE]
Maybe not by your definition, but if you change those to do items in iCal the changes get synced to the OmniFocus, and vice versa. If that's not syncing, what is it? Also, those to do items do have dates if the corresponding OmniFocus events have them, and iCal will restrict their visibility to match the calendar's viewpoint, if you choose. I don't think it is unreasonable to say that the current implementation is not what you want, but to say it is not "syncing with iCal" is.

If my experience is any indication, with OmniFocus on both desktop and iPhone, you won't bother with the regular iCal sync, as there isn't any need for it. It was implemented as a way for those without iPhone/iPod Touch to get their OF info into some sort of mobile device.

jasonpittelli 2009-12-15 01:12 PM

[QUOTE=myndex;70059]Hmmmmmmmm.

Okay, I am just now evaluating on trial OmniFocus - I honestly thought something was wrong, when I tried to sync to iCal, because nothing showed up in the DAY where certain events (appointments) were scheduled.

I've now read here that such "scheduling" is coutner to the concept of GTD.

Okay, I get that, but:

Some of us DO have something called "appointments" and/or "meetings". :) These are fixed events, that need to be scheduled.

I don't see why, when they are part of a set of OF actions, that they are not able to be flagged as an iCal *event* (a simple check box would do in the inspector, for instance). And have the alarm automatically set.

[/QUOTE]

I agree 100% with Andy - it's a bit of a rip off for Omni to call this "syncing" when all it does is dump it into a "to do" list in ical and then lets the user take it from there. Again, a simple little window like the one Andy illustrated above would be enough to do the trick - come on omni!

whpalmer4 2009-12-15 01:36 PM

Go read the links in my post above yours and you'll see why it is how it is and why it is unlikely you'll see a change anytime soon. If this is a show stopper for you, Omni offers a 30-day money back guarantee for purchases through their store.


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