A few days ago, Omar Shahine wrote about the new features of Windows Live Calendar in a post entitled Windows Live Calendar gets To Dos where he writes
At long last, we have shipped To Dos. It’s been a long time since I worked on Windows Live Calendar and we were talking about building To Dos. The best part about To Dos is that they work with Shared Calendars. In other words, if you and your spouse have a “Family Calendar” you can now create and manage a shared task list… something Google Calendar still doesn’t have.
With the new release of Windows Live Calendar and the new Beta releases of the Windows Live Suite there is a ton of great end to end Calendar functionality.
- Outlook Connector to sync all your Windows Live Calendars to Outlook, including your Birthday Calendar for all your Contacts.
- Windows Live Mail now with Calendar Sync will also sync all your Windows Live Calendars
- Shared Calendars that you can create, share and manage with other Windows Live Users
- Calendar Subscriptions to public internet calendars that you can subscribe and sync to all the products above.
And of course now To Dos. Dare should be happy about this. He’ll need it when the baby comes .
One thing has been frustrating me for months is that there was no easy way to incorporate shared calendaring into my wife and I's workflow even though we both used calendaring products from Microsoft. Typically my wife would add an item to her calendar (in Windows Calendar) and then have to literally tell me about the appointment at which point I'd either enter it into my Windows Mobile phone which would synchronize it with Outlook + Exchange or I'd fire up my laptop and enter it directly into Outlook. The big problem with this "approach" is when she tells me about something and I don't immediately enter it into my phone (e.g. when i don't want to be inappropriate at our midwife appointments) in which case I forget and end up being late or missing shared appointments.
This has all changed with the usage of two free products from Microsoft. The first is the newest version of Windows Live Mail (Wave 3 beta) which now has a built in calendar with synchronizes with Windows Live Calendar which my wife now uses. The second is Microsoft Office Outlook Connector which allows you to synchronize email with Windows Live Hotmail and calendars from Windows Live Calendar directly into Outlook which I use at work.
Besides installing both pieces of software the only setup step needed was for my wife to share her calendar with me from Windows Live Calendar. Now that my wife has begun her maternity leave in preparation for the birth of our son, I'm glad I can fire up Outlook and see what's going on with her during my work day. For example, looking in my Outlook calendar for tomorrow shows an appointment I'd almost forgotten
That would have been embarrassing.
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