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What's the best replacement for calendar syncing? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hello, everyone!

As many of you know, OmniFocus currently has the ability to sync with local iCal calendars. Over time, Apple has moved away from synchronizing local calendars in favor of simply storing those calendars in the cloud—and as people migrate their calendars to the cloud, they find they're no longer able to sync those calendars with OmniFocus (or any other app which uses Apple's Sync Services).

We know that a lot of you are using calendar syncing. But we've observed that calendar syncing is usually not an end in itself; it's usually a stepping stone which you're using to solve another problem. With that stepping stone starting to disappear, we could try to build another stepping stone which looks more or less the same—but perhaps it's time to take a step back and ask a more fundamental question:

What are people actually trying to accomplish with calendar syncing, and can we find a better way to accomplish that end?

Calendar syncing in OmniFocus has always been intended a stepping stone, never a destination. iCal doesn't actually do a very good job of handling a large number of structured tasks—if it did, we wouldn't really need OmniFocus! But we thought it was important to be able to take your errands with you on the go, syncing your errands list with a mobile device which supported tasks (such as a Palm or Nokia phone), and the easiest way to do that was to sync with something those devices already knew how to sync with, namely iCal.

But all that was before the iPhone and iPod touch and iPad existed. Now that they do exist, our mobile editions of OmniFocus (for iPhone and iPad) are a much better way to take your tasks with you, synchronizing them through the cloud and giving you much better access to your lists on the go.

So that huge benefit to calendar syncing is gone, but I know a number of you are still using calendar syncing, so... What else are you using it for? Syncing with mobile devices which can't run OmniFocus? Sharing tasks with other people? Is there something we can add to OmniFocus which would solve your needs more directly, rather than trying to shore up this sinking stepping stone?

Please let me know, either here in this thread or by sending me direct email at
Here's how I use iCal for Collaboration & Delegation:
. Create a Calendar on Mobile Me
. Share this Calendar
. Create a Project Folder in OmniFocus with the same name as the Calendar
. Create a bunch of Tasks and sync them to the MobileMe calendar
. Share this Calendar with 'N' User
. Have them create the same Project in their version of OmniFocus
. Have them Sync
. We now have a type of Delegation and Collaborative Task Sharing system in place.

I was doing this with BusySync, but ultimately decided against it since we could only use this workflow via Bonjour. I found myself wanting to Delegate from the iPhone or iPad and didn't want to always have to sync back to my Laptop to push these items to the Shared Calendar.
+1 for delegation it is something that I have always tried (usually unsuccessfully) to implement. I tried with Calendar syncing once and have not used it since then. I use Spootnik to get it done now with Basecamp.
My 2 Cents:
1. Code OmniCal :) to play nice with others. Use the same syncing engines in Focus.
2. Or simply build it into Focus.

Love what you guys are doing.

Originally Posted by jarrodjob View Post
My 2 Cents:
1. Code OmniCal :) to play nice with others. Use the same syncing engines in Focus.
2. Or simply build it into Focus.

Love what you guys are doing.

I'm all for it. OmniFocus is my preferred app of this source, but lately I've been considering a move from OF and OmniPlan to SharedPlan Pro instead. One reason is the integrated calendar.
Calendar view is useful when a task that's part of a OF project really does have a must-do date.

"Prepare for concert" is an OF Project with lots of little tasks. "Pick up tuxedo from tailor" must be done Wednesday at 2:00, but is still part of the project.

Anyone remember "In Control"? The task list was an outline, but there was a calendar to the side. Any task could be dragged to the calendar. All very pre-GTD, but I remember loving it.
I use multiple calendars hosted over MobileMe, CalDAV and Exchange at the same time. If OmniFocus were able to sync with my GoogleApps CalDAV calendar task list, that would be nice.

However, I'm not sure how much I would use it since it is so convenient just to have the OmniFocus App on my iPhone and iPad.
I am using BusyCal at the moment as a replacement for iCal. I would LOVE to see better integration with BusyCal if you could work with them...
I would like to be able to use the sync in order to get access to my omnifocus tasks from my Windows pc at work through mobileme online. I don't need access to all the functions, just enough to be able to see what's there and be able to put in a task which I can modify later.
Originally Posted by joeworkman View Post
I am using BusyCal at the moment as a replacement for iCal. I would LOVE to see better integration with BusyCal if you could work with them...
Hear, hear! BusyCal is a fantastically useful program...

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