For about a year the combination of .Mac and Apple's iCal and Address Book applications worked passably for sharing home and club calendars. However, with my disappointing satellite connection to the internet, the number of connections is limited. This means that more often than not, .Mac synchronization fails. With dogged attention to the matter it seems to sync properly once a month or so.
This leads me back to the other gripes I have about iCal for this use anyway. What we need and the same goes for many small business people and professional couples, is a good way of tracking contacts, calendars and notes. It must be a hers, mine and ours type of arrangement. What I mean by this is I need to have easy access when buying concert tickets to see both of our schedules. My work appointments need to show up but not to everybody else, though if they want to look at them they can.
So far I've looked at several possibilities without much satisfaction. These include:
- Now-Up-To-Date and Contact
- Group Organizer
- Apple's iCal and Address Book with .Mac
A few more requirements factor in as well. The following traits for the solution are desired:
- Easily share and add calendar and contacts for each other
- Sync with 2 Powerbooks, 2iMacs and 1 Desktop G5
- Sync with Palm and ideally iPods as well
- Work both on-line and offline
Of course none of the solutions seems to do it all. The matrix below attempts to score each one and then provide some comments on the strengths and weaknesses of each.