I love it when I think I’ve figured something out and it actually works the way I thought it would! I’ve been using Thunderbird (remember, the email client I keep nagging you about!) for a few months now and really love it. It’s a well-designed and powerful email client, which makes it super-handy for me to read and respond to all of my email accounts in one place.
I’ve also been delighted with Lightning, the calendar add-on to Thunderbird, and Provider, which provides bi-directional support for Google Calendar and Lightning. What that means is whatever system I use to post an event to (Google calendar or Lightning), that event is reflected on both systems. But of course, I’m not totally satisfied until I can also synchronize my mobile device (iPhone) calendar as well. For this syncing, I found NeuvaSync, a server that works with my iPhone, pulling and putting data from and to my Google calendar. So, again, whatever system/device I use . . . gCalendar, iPhone calendar, or Lightning, everything is synchronized. I can enter an event on my iPhone and within seconds that event is put on my Google calendar and Lightning calendar. And needless to say, it works on ANY computer. (One of the technologies that makes this possible is IMAP, an email protocol that Gmail offers.)
But I’m always trying to improve the system! It’s pretty easy to set up a calendar in Lightning using a Gmail address for your calendar. But when I tried to set up my Boise State Google Apps account (which ends in a boisestate.edu domain), Lightning wouldn’t recognize it as a Gmail account. Since Boise State will be migrating to Google Apps totally by the end of this year, I really wanted to use my Boise State email account and calendar.
Now, I’ve accomplished this feat with another protocol called CalDEV, a protocol that’s been around for a while, but is still evolving. So, when you migrate over to Google Apps at Boise State or any other Google Apps domain account, you can use the CalDEV protocol to synchronize your Google Calendar with Lightning, Microsoft Outlook, and I’m sure other programs as well. Here’s the info on how to create a new calendar in Lightning (click the “Enable Google Calendar in Mozilla Sunbird” link) and the NeuvaSync website to enable syncing on your mobile device. So the need for Provider is now no longer necessary. Just create a new calendar and put in the CalDEV URL from your Google Calendar, sync it with NeuvaSync on your mobile device and you’re good to go.
Take the time to set this up and you will reap the benefits of increased efficiency when it comes to scheduling. Hey, more time for playing. 🙂