syncing

I’ve been using MobileMe to sync contact & calendar data between my MacBook and my iPod Touch for a while now. It works pretty well. Today, I decided to go one more step, and set up MobileMe on my Vista desktop machine to sync with Outlook. The contacts were no problem; they synced up fine the first time through, and I then went through them and weeded out a few duplicates.

The calendar was a little trickier. I have three calendars in MobileMe: Home, Work, and Birthdays. The birthday calendar is populated automatically via MenuCalendarClock, a shareware program that just pulls birthdays from the Mac address book and puts them into iCal. These calendars all now show as separate calendars in Outlook. I had to basically push them down to Outlook, rather than doing a straight merge, though, to get them to show up.

There’s a default calendar in Outlook called “Calendar” that has now synced up the MobileMe (and hence my Mac and iPod). I never used the calendar in Outlook before, so this is just an empty calendar. There doesn’t seem to be any obvious way to delete it in Outlook, or to tell the MobileMe control panel not to sync it up. Not a huge deal, but a little annoyance.

And repeating events seem to be treated a little differently in Outlook vs. iCal. After I pulled stuff into Outlook, then synced back to MobileMe, then synced my Mac, every repeating event on my calendars showed as changed. I’m hoping this is a one-time thing, and I’m not going to have to push & pull every repeating event at every sync.

I’m also a little worried that, when I go to http://www.me.com/calendar/ to check my calendar online, I just see “Loading Events”, and nothing ever comes up. I think when something this has happened in the past, it would generally clear itself up overnight. Here’s hoping. Looking around online, though, this may have something to do with the way Outlook messed with the repeating events. I may have to do some work to straighten this out.

My reason for setting up Outlook with MobileMe, by the way, is because I’m thinking about replacing my old Motorola cell phone with a BlackBerry in the not-too-distant future. If I do that, I’m going to want to do full contact & calendar sync with the BlackBerry, and it seems like the easiest way to do that might be through Outlook. It seems like it’s possible to sync a BlackBerry directly with a Mac, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to set up my PC with all my data either way.

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