Well, I’m testing it now, but looks like we might finally be able to get off of Exchange. Here is how to use Google Calendar as the hub of all your scheduling:

# Upload your calendar to Google Calendar. This is confusing because the Google Calendar user interface has been changing so radically but “Google Help”:http://www.google.com/support/calendar/bin/answer.py?answer=37118&topic=15286. The key point is that you need to upload the iCal format (.ics) since it allows recurring appointments and so forth. The fastest way to do this is to have Outlook 2007 (I know a Windows product). Hook it up to your Exchange, then click on the Calendar and Choose file Save as and select iCal. There are a huge number of options, but you want All Details, All Calendar and include attachments, this saves a gigantic ICS file. Then you goto your calendar and down on the lower left, there is an Add button. Click on it and then select Import Calendar on “http://google.com/calendar”:http://google.com/calendar
# Use iCal to view your Google Calendar from your Mac. It’s “complicated”:http://www.google.com/support/calendar/bin/answer.py?answer=99358 but basically you start iCal, to to Preferences/Accounts/Add and then login with your google email and password and then type this magic Account URL which is *https://www.google.com/calendar/dav/_yourusername_@gmail.com/user* and you can see everything in 5-7 minutes.
# Use iCal to view other people’s Google Calendar. This let’s you look at other appointments. You can of course do this in Google Calendar user interface itself, but this is convenient. You signe in and then look in Calndar Settings and locate the Calendar ID with is some big number. You add an account in iCal/Preferences/Account and under the Account, you put in _https://www.googel.com/calendar/dav/_giganticnumber_@group.calendar.google.com/user
# Use iPhone to view Google Calendar using Nuevasync. This is another one that “Nuevasync”:http://www.ianfernando.com/2008/sync-google-calendar-with-iphone-3g/. It emulates the ActiveSync protocol and connects to the iPhone looking like an Exchange server. This thing syncs both calendar and contacts in Google Calendar and from Google Mail respectively onto your iPhone. It is free and does appear to work!
# Use IMAP to look at your email. Now that In this configuration, you can sync Google Calendar and Contacts and then you take your regular mail via Imap.
# Get your whole company on Google Apps. As an aside, “Google Applications”:http://google.com/a seems like a very nice hosted email, contact and calendar system that allows sharing. $50/user/year to run. This gives you easy corporate shared calendaring, although you can do this easily with sharing of calendars. For instance, from your calendar you can share to other Google Calendar users. Wow, this is great!

I’m Rich & Co.

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