One iCal to rule them all
July 29, 2007 12:58 PM   Subscribe

Help me write to the same iCal file, using a PC, a macbook and a not-bought-yet Symbian smartphone.

Here is the deal : I want to GTD my life using a single iCal file.

the machines are :

A - Plain vanilla XP computer
B - macbook
C - not bought yet smartphone. I'm eyeing the nokia E50 but if the hive has a similarly-priced better choice, I'm willing to listen

the software/web solutions are :

- Backpack paying customer with calendar enabled (solving the PC:Mac combination)

other tools on hand :

- phpicalendar on some web space I have access to
- sunbird (PC)
- iSync (Macbook)

Please help me find the software combination I need to be able to write new events in the same Ical file, using any of these three machines.

Is there a Symbian app (freeware prefered) out there that allows me to write to a web-based iCal file ?

Running separate calendars would be counter-productive. How can I read and write to the same file from these three machines ?
posted by Baud to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
For what it's worth, my set-up is as follows:

I use the iCal installation on my Macbook and enter appointments, etc. I sync this every few days or so with my Symbian smartphone (Nokia N73) and any appointments I've entered directly into the phone hence appear in iCal during the same process.

My iCal calendars are published to, which provides a place on the web to publish my iCal files from the program automatically. This is in turn synced with Google Calendar, for my friends' perusal.

This Google Calendar feed can easily be synced with Outlook on the Windows XP machine. I hope this helps. :-)
posted by PuGZ at 1:32 PM on July 29, 2007

The Google calender exports to iCal. I then sync my iCal to my Sony Symbian phone.

Works well for me.
posted by sourwookie at 1:35 PM on July 29, 2007

thanks - you can run your own private icalx using phpicalendar.
posted by Baud at 1:39 PM on July 29, 2007

Can I stress that I want to be able to *write* to an iCal file with my not-bought-yet Symbian phone ?
posted by Baud at 1:57 PM on July 29, 2007

iSync will cover keeping iCal and your phone in sync (assuming your phone actually works with iSync -- many do not). You won't get over-the-air sync, however.

Unfortunately the last time I looked, there was no good solution to being able to have two-way sync with iCal and Windows calendar software. The iCal publish/subscribe model is one way only -- that's it's greatest flaw and a huge pain in my ass -- and CalDAV isn't here yet.

Some of these problems are supposed to go away in OSX 10.5, with its support of CalDAV, but until it ships there's no guarantee it'll be there.
posted by majick at 4:16 PM on July 29, 2007

Spanning Sync syncs iCal, Google Calendar, and any mobile device supported by iSync/iTunes. Make a change on any and it reflects on all of them.
posted by bradbane at 4:35 PM on July 29, 2007

I'm currently using Plaxo to sync between my work and home iCal calendars as well as my google calendar. It works like a charm. I don't even have to manually sync between them. It also supports yahoo, outlook and a few others. I don't think it does Sunbird yet though.

I have a blackberry and use PocketMac to sync up with my home computer. Once I've done that, I've essentially synced up everywhere else too. And they support a good number of devices:
posted by ursus_comiter at 4:35 PM on July 29, 2007

Pardon my slight derail, but can one of you answer a general question about calendar syncing? I'm used to the Palm world of records management, which means that I can change an entry (an event on calendar, a particular contact's info, or a note pad entry) on my mobile device *AND* on my PC, and they WILL sync up without conflicts at the next sync event AS LONG AS I didn't actually try to change the SAME event/contact/notepad record in both places. What is the jargon for this feature in the calendaring world? This talk of iCal syncing makes me think that you can't actually edit in BOTH places between sync events, since it sounds like it's reading / writing an entire calendar files, not individual records.

I'm lamenting that I may have to leave my trusty old Palm behind soon, and I'm wondering what I need to look for to replace it. God Palm is so well done, it's a shame ...
posted by intermod at 9:42 PM on July 29, 2007

intermod: You can certainly do the same with iCal + iSync. I've no trouble making modifications using both sides of the sync and it works flawlessly.
posted by PuGZ at 2:36 AM on July 30, 2007

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