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If you are like me, you have probably benefited greatly from the many calendaring applications that help you organize your life. As a university student, the ease-of-use and versatility of calendaring applications means that I can track my assignments, homework and any unusual classes with ease, providing me with a visual summary of what’s in store for the week so that everything can be done on time.

It is also sometimes a little bit depressing especially when you just want to take an hour off to watch a movie and get a guilt-trip when you see your calendar and all the activities and events that are supposed to be accomplished.

Calendar

Anyway, the benefits far outweigh this small problem which is why I still use the calendar today. In my case, Rainlendar is the calendaring application that I use and it’s clean, slick and simple and resides on your desktop so it does not obstruct anything.

But one major downfall of calendaring is that you cannot easily submit the data online and access it from anywhere in the world, unless you are using something like Google Calendar. But if you use Google Calendar, you need to be connected to the Internet at all times to get your data. Sure, there are ways to get Google Calendar on your desktop, such as installing Google Desktop, but it all depends on having a stable, frequent internet connection. As such, Rainlendar, with its slick user interface and simplicity, is often preferred over Google Calendar which still needs some work.

But now things are about to change. Meet Gcaldaemon, a small software that allows you to synchronize between different calendaring applications seamlessly. An example of how I use Gcaldaemon is to have it sync my home computer calendar with Google Calendar and then sync the online Google Calendar with my notebook, so that any changes I do at any of these three ‘points’ will be updated on the other two ‘points’. It’s tremendously useful and has brought a new meaning to synchronization. This time, I’ll show you exactly how it’s done.

First off, mosey over to Gcaldaemon’s website and get a copy of this application and install it. Just click Next till you’re done.

GCaldaemon

After installation you might run into an error if your computer does not have Java VM installed, in which case, grab the installer here. After installing Java, re-install Gcaldaemon. On a side note, if you are using Vista, it is recommended to install in a place other than Program Files, unless you are an Administrator and have turned off UAC. If you don’t understand any of this techno jargon, just install it in, say, C:\Gcaldaemon to make things easy.

Now it’s time to choose your poison; if you use Rainlendar or some PDA/Smarphones that support iCal files, then you need to use the File Synchronizer setting as these software write to a file on your computer that you need to synchronize. If you are using Sunbird or Mozilla Calendar, then you need to use HTTP Synchronizer. In this case we are using the File Synchronizer.

The full instructions step-by-step is provided in Gcaldaemon’s website. It consists of editing a .cfg file with your password (after encoding it), and some supplementary information such as the location of your calendar and how you want to synchronize (permanent internet connection or dial-up/non-permanent internet connection). It is a little bit complicated but read the instructions a few times then follow it and you should be OK.

Local Calendar

Gcaldaemon is capable of much more than this. For example, it can be used to notify you whenever you receive mail:

Mail received

It can also be configured to download RSS feeds and embed them into your calendar, so all your information can be transferred directly into your calendar and you can read them without ever leaving your desktop. It’s very powerful but so far I am happy using iGoogle for my RSS, which will be an article for another time. In the meantime, rest easy knowing that your calendar is synchronized should anything happen to your local computer; the data is safe in Google’s hands.

Now all I need is the Google phone…