Getting My Google Calendars Onto The iPhone

Leave a comment

I know this is an older post, but it’s still applicable today. In fact, I had to share this with a friend recently, so thought it would be worthwhile to re-share it here as well.

 


I recently had to create a calendar, to share with a few other people.  I didn’t want to give them access to my main Google Calendar, and I wanted it to be visible from a mobile device (iPhones in this particular case, and it just so happened that all involved had an iPhone 5, 5C, or 5S).  So I created the calendar in Google, and then tried to view it in the native calendar app  on my iPhone, and couldn’t add it to the view on my phone.  I even tried deleting and re-adding my Google account, with no success.

After much hair pulling and a fair number of Google searches, I stumbled across this link:

https://www.google.com/calendar/iphoneselect

Then all I had to do was select the additional calendar I had just created, and save my changes…

iphonecalselect

 

… and then I was able to view my new calendar on my iPhone.

iphonecalsettings

Advertisements

Purging Stuff

Leave a comment

A huge step in embracing simplicity for me, was purging “stuff”. The fact that I was also moving helped motivate me.

I rented a 15 cubic yard driveway dumpster, and filled it. I was totally absolutely amazed that it only took my six hours!

dumpster 1

So I ordered a second one and filled it in less than five hours!

dumpster 2

I have to admit it was VERY freeing to actually throw out all of that “stuff”. And that’s all it was, just stuff. Stuff I was saving to haul off. Stuff I was saving to fix. Stuff I was saving as I may have needed it someday in the future. Stuff I was saving because I used to have an emotional attachment to it. I never realized the impact that “stuff” could have on my well being. It felt SO good to just let it all go.

It still feels great to have less clutter both inside and outside my home. It is more comfortable. It is easier to clean. It is easier to organize. I have a better idea of what I have. It is amazing that to me that I let so much “stuff” simply accumulate! I totally understand why people embrace minimalism now!

Tasks Revisited, Yet Again

Leave a comment

With the retirement of my vanity domain, and giving up my personal Exchange account, came some severe workflow angst, until I stopped and really thought things through.

I have to admit, I am missing Exchange Tasks.  And going Dave Ramsey on the budget, I wasn’t going to subscribe to another service.  So that left me with Google Tasks and iOS Reminders as my main alternatives. I looked at Remember the Milk, Todoist, Wunderlist, 24me, etc, but either the freemium version was too limited, or I just wasn’t comfortable with them for one reason or another.

Google Tasks has worked well for me in the past, if used within its respective limitations, such as the inability to schedule recurring tasks (ie; take out the trash every Thursday), and that to categorize tasks you have to use separate lists.  iOS Reminders is slightly better, in that I can at least create recurring tasks, though categorizing still requires multiple task lists.

To complicate matters, while I still have my desktop running Windows 8.1, I also acquired a Dell Inspirion laptop, running Ubuntu 15, and I wanted my new work flow to be compatible across Windows, Ubuntu, and iOS if possible.  What about Android?  I don’t really do task management on the tablet, so Android wasn’t a consideration as I reviewed my work flow.

So I decided to migrate my task management completely to Reminders.  That way, I could continue to manage my tasks on the iPhone, I could leverage Siri better, and I kept the ability to create recurring events.  Plus, I if I was working at the desktop, or from the laptop, I could log into iCloud, to perform task management.

It feels good to have my task lists back under control!

 

Getting My Google Calendars Onto The iPhone

Leave a comment

I recently had to create a calendar, to share with a few other people.  I didn’t want to give them access to my main Google Calendar, and I wanted it to be visible from a mobile device (iPhones in this particular case, and it just so happened that all involved had an iPhone 5, 5C, or 5S).  So I created the calendar in Google, and then tried to view it in the native calendar app  on my iPhone, and couldn’t add it to the view on my phone.  I even tried deleting and re-adding my Google account, with no success.

After much hair pulling and a fair number of Google searches, I stumbled across this link:

https://www.google.com/calendar/iphoneselect

Then all I had to do was select the additional calendar I had just created, and save my changes…

iphonecalselect

 

… and then I was able to view my new calendar on my iPhone.

iphonecalsettings

Task Management and Evernote

Leave a comment

One of the things I really like about Microsoft OneNote is the tight integration with Outlook, and the ability to create a task in OneNote, and have it show in my task list in Outlook automatically. This works wonderfully well for me at work.  However, I use Evernote for my personal use, and I unfortunately understand Evernote is likely to never reach that level of integration with Outlook.  As I leverage Outlook and Evernote extensively throughout my day, I find I am capturing more and more tasks, that I then have to transfer to Outlook (Outlook being my trusted system for managing my various task lists, both at work and at home).  It’s not a great process, given I am constantly looking for ways to streamline my workflow.  I toyed with the idea of migrating back to OneNote for my personal use as well, but I have grown dependent on the ability to apply multiple tags to items, and search on tags when looking for archived items.  So I decided that ultimately, that wasn’t an option for me at this time.

So what to do?

I turned back to gSyncit for a solution to automate some of my tasks.  I created a note book in Evernote, called “Tasks”.  I then set up a sync in gSyncit to copy any note from “Tasks” to Outlook, and put a copy in my default task list in Outlook, where I can then manage them.

gsyncit1

 

gsyncit2

For example, I type a note, full of takeaways from a conference call, that I want to discuss with Bob.  I move that note to “Tasks” notebook, which when gSyncit fires off, creates a task based on the note title, with a link back to the note in the task body.  Then, when I address the item(s) on the note with Bob, I can move my note to the archive notebook, and mark the task as complete in Outlook.

It’s not a perfect process, as I still can’t create multiple tasks per note, but it’s a good start.

Task Management Woes

Leave a comment

I love my task lists. But recently I had some major issues going on with my task management. For some background information, I currently use Outlook 2013 and OneNote on my desktop to manage tasks and projects, and my primary email address is on a hosted Exchange server. For my Android devices, I use gSyncit to sync my task list to Google Tasks, and was using the gTasks app to manage them. And for my iOS devices, I use HD gTasks to manage the Google Tasks. I was also using Google as my “system of record” for contacts, and calendar items, as well.

I had dabbled using Siri and syncing the iOS Reminders app directly with Exchange, but found Google Now! to be just as effective for me, and geo-fencing worked (I still cannot make geo-fencing work on my iPhone 5).

So I had everything working. Until I added a second Android tablet. I was testing it to see if I liked it enough to replace my Nexus 7, and had installed all of the same apps. At first everything was OK. But then I noticed that anytime I completed a task on any of the mobile devices, or my desktop, my task list would show 1 completed item, and at least 2 brand new occurrences of the task I just completed.

I had to delete gTasks off of the second Android tablet, and clean up the task list on both Exchange and Google. I re-added gTasks to the second tablet, and sure enough, within hours, I was right back where I started. So I again deleted the task app from the second tablet, cleaned up my lists again, and really sat down to ponder my work flow, and if I really needed the task lists on the mobile devices.

I decided that:

  • I needed task management on my phone, since I always have it with me and I would be sure to hear / feel the alarms.
  • I didn’t really need task management duplicated on all the tablets.
  • I wasn’t happy that Google Now! reminders don’t sync to Google Tasks to make managing them easier.
  • I could live without geo-fencing, as it wasn’t a frequently used feature.
  • Most of the tasks I captured via Google Now! were more of a reminder, and not a task in nature.
  • Siri would work just as well as Google Now! for me, for capturing new reminders via voice.
  • I had noticed more than once over the years, that if I completed a recurring event in Google Tasks, Exchange did not correctly create the next instance.
  • A Windows tablet is a near future possibility for me.
  • I would make Exchange my “system of record” instead of Google.

So what I have done, and seems to be working well for now, is:

  • I eliminated all task management from the Android devices.
  • I uninstalled HD gTasks from the iOS devices.
  • I enabled “Reminders” syncing on the Exchange account on my iPhone.
  • I created a new default task list called “Siri” on the iPhone, to keep the items created on the phone organized.
  • I created tasks lists based on the categories I was using in Outlook, so that everything wasn’t lumped into a single task list in Reminders. This also makes it easy to find any real tasks that may have been generated and move them to the appropriate task list.
  • Every day, as part of my daily review, I review the different task lists, and instead of moving items to an @ACTION list, I give them a due date and if needed, a reminder.
  • I use the “Scheduled” view in the Reminders app to see what tasks are actionable for the day.
  • I use the “To Do Bar” in Outlook 2013 to see what tasks are actionable for the day.

 

 

My Note Taking Experiences at GLS14

Leave a comment

I just wanted to share with you my experiences with note taking at the recent Global Leadership Summit.

I had originally decided I was going to limit my note taking to Evernote (and if Evernote let me down then I was going back to my trusted standby, OneNote) with the iPad and a Bluetooth keyboard. I also brought the Day Runner as a back up. At the last minute I threw the Nexus 7 in my bag as well, though it doesn’t play well with my cheap eBay keyboard at all.

So I settled into a seat at the Summit, set up the iPad and the keyboard, opened Evernote, and… And I never had to resort to OneNote or paper. I lived in Evernote both days, and I was impressed.

Prior to the conference, I had created a separate note for each speaker, with links to their websites, Twitter, TED Talks, etc. Then as the day progressed, and I was typing my notes, I was also inserting pictures and tweets, and found Evernote was serving me so well, I never even resorted to OneNote.

I use OneNote daily at work, and prefer OneNote’s user interface and notebook like structure, but this was my first real attempt at using Evernote for much more than an archival system. Yes I had used it for some limited note taking, but it was more of a glorified sticky note the way I was using it for notes.

I will admit the cheap bluetooth keyboard was frustrating at times. In fact by the last half of day two, I had given up on the physical keyboard, and resorted to the onscreen keyboard. I almost dumped the iPad at this point as well, and was going to use the Nexus 7 for the Google Keyboard and the gesture typing. But for some reason, I stuck it out with the iPad.

Overall, I think Evernote performed well, and exceeded my expectations for capturing notes at the Summit.

I also want to mention, that just looking around the conference room, it seemed to be fairly evenly spilt between people using tablets versus those using pen and paper, and note/net/ultrabook users were severely outnumbered.

Older Entries