Things 3 not working out the way I thought it would —OR — Why I shouldn’t put everything on the Today view

February 14, 2020

It’s my fault because of how I am using Things, but I’m not sure how to fix it just yet. If I’m being honest with myself, I knew switching to Things from OmniFocus would not solve my overarching task management problem.

The problem is that I mark things as “Today” so I don’t lose sight of those tasks, but I have zero intention of actually doing them today. In fact, they may even be things I don’t intend to do for over a week. I think I do it “so I don’t lose track of them”, but all it does is clutter my “short list” and make it long and difficult to see what I actually need to do right now. Things 3 allows you to organize the tasks into any order you want, and in the beginning I was doing that so the things I need to focus on first were at the top of the list descending in order of priority or order to complete.

So, to fix this I really should clear out my “Today” list of everything that I don’t intend to complete today. The question is: How do I not lose track of tasks? Or, maybe more importantly, how do I break the habit of thinking I will lose track of things if they are not in front of my face??

Maybe I can utilize some of the things I am learning from Atomic Habits in my task management processes. I feel like I will lose track of things because I don’t religiously review and plan. If I am reviewing and planning, then I won’t miss something and I’ll be more intentional with my time. So, the real problem is that I don’t religiously review and plan.

How do I make review and planning a habit… Make it something that is completely automatic and regular?? I have been successful in making journaling a daily habit (using my modified 5-minute journal AM & PM templates in DayOne), as well as my Daily Stoic practice with my good friend JJ in a shared note in Apple Notes.

Habit Stacking, talked about in Atomic Habits, may be the way I can do this. Habit Stacking is essentially adding habits to the end of other habits you already have. As an example, you want to increase fitness by doing pushups every morning. Maybe (hopefully) you already brush your teeth every morning as an automatic habit. You could specify that, after you brush your teeth you will drop to the ground and do your pushups.

For my needs, since I already have a morning and evening habit/ritual of doing my 5-minute journal, both in the AM and PM, I can stack reviewing my tasks directly after writing in my journal. So far I have written in my journal every day for the last 141 days, so that is a pretty solid habit now. I will try this starting tonight.

Productivity, a Journey – Part 1 of… Forever

Originally written on February 14, 2020

In the beginning, there were things to do…

…problem is, those things often got overlooked, forgotten, or procrastinated on.

I didn’t mean the title of this post to seem ominous or depressing. On the contrary, it is meant to be a great journey or quest where you always look to improve upon something as you evolve over time and your needs change or you learn new ways to do things more efficiently.

A Productivity System for People with Analysis Paralysis

I am one of the unfortunate people that can’t ever seem to get a system to consistently work for themselves. I see other people who have systems that work for them and I am jealous. I try to implement their system, and maybe it even works for a few weeks, but inevitably it fails for me because I don’t keep up with one or more important pieces of that system. I’ve thought I had the right system several times. Maybe even kept up with something for months. Ultimately it fails and gets too overwhelmed, whether email or task lists, and becomes paralyzing.

I think one problem is a lack of both planning and review on a daily basis. Another problem is indecision, especially around deciding on what to do… including what to do with emails (do I archive, delete, take action, save somewhere for reference, etc.).

To make this easier to talk about, I am going to break things into two topics. One will be calendar/todo, and the other will be email. Because email has a lot of action items it will be similar in discussion points, but it is still different. Also, if an email happens to be an action item outside of email, then it should get placed into the regular todo system.

All of what I will talk about will be a bit of a work-in-progress, which goes back to the title of this post. Productivity systems, for me at least, are constantly evolving. The techniques I mention are a result of various things I have tried or got from other peoples systems that seem to work for me to some degree. However, I am not perfect at following my own advice, or others, and am human. Even with my latest system I falter and usually have to try and “catch back up”. I hate being reactive, but my new job role has me rather busy and same with personal life. The key seems to be scheduling time for both the planning and review that I mentioned earlier. That way, if you are starting to fall behind on things, you can schedule some blocks of time to get things back under control. And similar to ensuring that “taking care of yourself” is a priority, which I am also not good at, you need to make “staying organized” a priority. You are at your best for both yourself and others when you are not running around like a chicken with its head cut off, so it is worth your time whether other people, or you, agree with that or not.

The “part 1” portion of the title relates to there being many more posts to come after this one pertaining to productivity. I will try to categorize them all as such and maybe even link between some of them where it makes sense and is directly related to the topic of discussion. Ideas are coming to me all the time, and to be timely I will try to post things as they come to me… but some of my intended posts require more thought and planning, so they won’t be coming out in any truly organized fashion. One post I am working on behind the scenes is my overall current system I am trying to use and stick with. I already have a side-note post around one of the applications I am using called Things 3 that I will probably post before I get the overall system post published.

I welcome feedback and questions if you decide to come along with me on this journey. Hopefully I can learn from others as well.

Task & Email Management – Inbox Zero!

Inbox Zero!

A little over 2 weeks ago (writing this on September 21, 2019) I decided I needed a clean start with email. My inbox literally only had maybe 3 months worth of clutter because 3 months ago I tried to get a clean start back then. The problem the last time, and several similar attempts before that, was that I didn’t fundamentally change the way I was processing email. When I couldn’t or didn’t need to take immediate action on an email, I left it in my inbox so I knew I had to deal with it still. Other things I just didn’t know what to do with. They weren’t really a task, nor immediate if it was a task (like something to read or reference), so I just left them in the inbox marked as read so I could get to them when I needed to. Finally, for things that I absolutely needed to take action on, I might flag as well as mark unread so I knew I still needed to take action on it.

What a HORRIBLE freaking way to use email!!

I have read and watched countless videos on how to obtain inbox zero nirvana… but I never made the decision internally of how to deal with email and be consistent with it. I’ve read GTD by David Allen and many other blog articles and self-help productivity books and articles. But until you change they way you look at email and can compartmentalize it in your head quickly, you will most likely fall prey to a cluttered inbox like I have for decades. My physical desk is similar, and that’s something I still need to tackle.

What did I change?

I had to come up with a method to process my emails in a very simple and tidy fashion. This means that emails need to fall into one or more categories, and each category has a processing action associated with it. I’m not saying this methodology is perfect, and I expect it will morph as required while I use it and find inefficiencies. In fact, over the last couple weeks I have already made some changes. The categories and actions I am about to list are current as of September 21, 2019, but I started this out using Microsoft Todo as my task management solution, which I’ll explain later and why I switched. Where I list OmniFocus below (I use this on my Mac and iOS devices, but they recently released a cross-platform Web version too!), it could be whatever task management app you want to use.

Categories = Process Actions

  • Immediate Action of less than 5 mins = Reply/Forward/Act-on as necessary
  • Garbage/Don’t Need = Delete/Unsubscribe & Delete/@SaneBlackhole
  • No action, but not trash = Archive
  • Reference material = Save to Evernote (unstructured) or OneNote (structured) and Archive email
  • Action item, but not immediate = If email related, forward to OmniFocus not changing anything in the subject line, then rename from within OmniFocus. If non-email related, forward to OmniFocus with appropriate task name as Subject Line
  • Something to deal with later in email = Either use SaneBox Snooze folders to have the email reappear in my inbox at the appropriate time, or the iOS Outlook app “Schedule” feature to snooze email to return to inbox at appropriate time SaneBox folders are universal across any email client —

How to start with a clean slate

Each person is going to have a different starting point/situation. The first ever time I tried to do this I had literally tens of thousands of emails in my combined inboxes. When you have something that massive, the only thing for it is creating a new folder in each email account labeled something like “Clean Slate” and dumping ALL inbox items into that folder. In this way you can start dealing with your inbox in an uncluttered way and follow the process you choose to deal with items. At the same time, you can go into that “Clean Slate” folder to start searching for things you may need to really deal with. If, like me, you have tried the clean slate approach before and only have a couple/few months of email in your inbox, you can use the method I used.

Sidebar: I have been using SaneBox for the last 4-5 years on all of my email accounts (the Dinner subscription is what it was called when I purchased it) to automatically filter unimportant email OUT of my inbox so I can deal with it later in batches. I get a daily digest every day around 4-5pm and opening that digest in a browser allows me to very quickly take action on those emails by seeing who they are from, the subject and a quick blurb of what’s in the email. From there I can chose to delete it (even delete many of the emails in one click), archive it, send it to my inbox just this one time, or train things to different folders (like maybe something should actually go to my inbox all the time, or maybe I want to Blackhole all future emails like this so I never see them again).

At first, you may think the cost of this service is expensive, but once you figure out just how amazingly useful and powerful it is, it is indispensable. It’s also universal, meaning it has nothing to do with any individual email application and is visible across all email applications as well! You can use Snooze Folders and create your own custom folders to do all sorts of things. I have some folders that filter stuff about hobbies and automatically forward all emails to Evernote where I can search for them later.

The link to SaneBox I am using is a special link that would put money towards my SaneBox account if you sign up for the free trial, so I’d appreciate you using my link if you decide to sign up. But even if you don’t, I’d still recommend you using this service.

While it will not completely solve your problems, nor get you to inbox zero, it definitely helps with inbox zero.

The first thing I did was filter my inbox for unread email, since these were things that I either literally never looked at or marked as unread because I needed to do something with them. I went through these very quickly and made decisions on how to deal with them based on the above categories/actions. Next, I filtered on flagged items and went through the same process. Finally, with only unfledged read items, I quickly scanned for anything that jumped out as important and processed those, and then selected ALL items and Archived.

Let’s Talk Task Management

While Inbox Zero has been working for email for over two weeks for me, I was worried that some tasks were getting missed. Using a tip from someone I respect that always has a clean inbox, I had started flagging emails with due dates and reminders. I was doing this in Outlook, which is what he uses… only on Windows, not a Mac. While I do like Outlook for Mac, it is NOT the same as on Windows and is missing one critical feature for this to work perfectly. That feature on Windows is the ability to have a task list below your calendar to see tasks that are either due or available to work on. I thought I had a solution, which was to use Microsoft Todo application, which is available for the Mac and iOS (and other platforms as well). This seemed to be working for the first week.

My work Exchange account seemed to be working fine with Todo, but my personal email accounts don’t seem to work with flagging and showing up in Todo. I believe it works with any Microsoft email account, like Outlook.com, but I have 4 other personal email accounts that aren’t these and there’s no way I am pushing all my email through my Outlook.com email (at this time anyway). What I started to realize was emails I was flagging to then show up in Todo and that I would not lose track of weren’t ever making it to Todo. That means Todo wasn’t my single source of truth!

You might say, just use Tasks within the Outlook app! That would only work if I only used the desktop version of the app, because Outlook on mobile only contains email and calendar… not tasks. I even thought about using Reminders, but again, only flagged emails from my work Exchange email were showing up in Reminders… and while Reminders has its uses in my family (shared lists) it is NOT my go to task management app.

I thought that I may need to go back to OmniFocus, which at least now tracks email IDs correctly (meaning, within the task notes there is a hyperlink that opens your default email app to the correct email, EVEN if you archive it or move it to another folder – this works on iOS and macOS!), but in order to do that I can’t edit the subject line or it treats it as a new email thread and you don’t get back to the original email. Since the subject line becomes the task name, this means forwarding emails to be linked don’t have a very descriptive task name. Also, this means I couldn’t possibly automate parsing the subject line with due dates and projects, etc. All email ends up in the inbox of OmniFocus, so the ONLY way I can make that work is to religiously clean out my OF inbox too. Up to this point, my OF inbox has been much like my email inboxes used to be, so that means I need to come up with solutions to clean it up quickly with very few decisions, similar to how I am processing emails.

I abandoned Todo from Microsoft recently because the app isn’t flexible or automated enough. There is no single view that automatically populates with stuff I should work on today. There is a “My Day” view, but you have to manually choose what goes on that day, which is idiotic! There is no unfiltered view to be able to see everything on a single page… so I’m done with it. Pretty much, the ONLY nice thing about the app is that it automatically imports flagged emails, but only from my work account. Which means that it’s inconsistent, and I was flagging emails from my personal accounts thinking they would be in Todo, but they never show up and I forget about them. It’s better to always simply forward the email to OmniFocus and clean up the OF inbox on a daily basis. At least that is consistent, if not the perfect solution.

My gripe with OF is that I can’t change the subject line of an email if I want to be able to get back to the email from OF. Since the subject line becomes the task name, the subject of the email almost never matches up to what the task should be called. There also is no native way in OF to parse inbox tasks based on tags/keywords in the subject line anyway, and even though there are some scripting automation solutions that can parse emailed tasks, since changing the subject would break the email link it is not worth it.

This means that I have to take an extra step later by looking at the contents of the emailed task to determine what the task actually is. I suppose if I emailed the task to OF and immediately opened OF and changed the task name it would still be fresh in my mind, but I tend to batch process my OF inbox.

Finally, if the task doesn’t involve actually replying/forwarding the original email and is simply something I need to get done outside of an email app, then I CAN change the subject line to the actual task name when forwarding to OF… because I don’t need the task to link back to the original email. Again, though, this requires additional thought at the time of the forward and is less “automatic”, and still requires me to choose if it should be deferred/due on a specific day and if it’s simply something I merely want to do.

Cluttered Task Management

I have owned and been trying to use OmniFocus for many years now. David Sparks (MacSparky) has some incredible field guides/videos and blog posts around how best to use OmniFocus, but he can’t fix my/your brain to process items appropriately. I have purchased two versions of his OmniFocus field guides, and they really are amazing and super useful… I would recommend them to anyone, and I get nothing myself for saying that. They are that good. His latest version is amazing and easy to navigate thanks to his new training site. You can jump around the content to get to what you want, which is perfect for review/reference down the road.

One of my biggest failures with OmniFocus has been a very cluttered view… to the point that I had so many things I could be working on that I couldn’t figure out what to work on. This is in part because I was trying to use David Allen’s GTD method of a single inbox to empty your brain. My problem was everything I put in was “active” and therefore “available” to be worked on. I suppose you have to understand how OmniFocus works to better understand this, but some of these things are what make OmniFocus so powerful and customizable.

I started to try and “defer” things in OmniFocus, but I also used a lot of due dates arbitrarily so things didn’t get lost in the sea of available tasks. I also would flag things that I felt were important, but didn’t have a timeframe I needed to get them done… this was another way I ensured I didn’t lose things. It just kept the clutter and I’d still waste brain cycles looking at those items to decide I didn’t need to work on them.

Not EVERYTHING actually needs to get done

I read an article from an OmniFocus user a while back that was having the same issue as me. His solution was essentially to only have two major categories for tasks: either Want-to or Need-to. The concept is actually quite simple. Either you want to do something, but there is no real hard time limit/due date or even penalty if you don’t do it, or you need to do something, which means there is either a hard time limit/due date or a penalty if you don’t do it. With this, Want-to items relate to Someday/Maybe from the GTD principals, and can therefore be “paused” in OmniFocus, which means they do not show up as available tasks. Need-to items are active, and therefore available, but sometimes things need to wait or at least don’t need to be worked on right away. So you use “defer until” dates to make them only show up when they should be available to be worked on. Other times tasks literally need to be completed on/by a certain day. For those you actually set “due dates”. And, if something has a due date but doesn’t need to be started right away, you can also set a defer until.

Using these two major categories, most things will likely end up as Want-to and therefore won’t clutter your daily task list. But then you may worry that they will get forgotten. For this, you can either schedule review times for certain projects or simply go through the list occasionally to see if any tasks should be moved into something more active.

Get over FOMO (fear of missing out)

Almost my whole life I have suffered from fearing that I was going to miss out on, and this translated to my email and task management. I think it has only been recently that I decided this fear was counter productive and I needed to get over it. The bottom line is, if something truly needs to get done, you will figure it out even if you “pause” that thing or don’t have it in your face all of the time. This has been a relief on both my brain and stress levels. I am okay if things get missed because I had other more pressing matters to deal with. Not everything is a priority. Focus only on what truly matters the most… the rest you can do in your spare time.

Nutanix Offering Per Desktop VDI Pricing with Guaranteed Performance

The first infrastructure vendor in the industry to offer something like this, Nutanix is blazing yet another trail! Introducing Nutanix VDI Per Desktop and Assurance.

chooseYourPackage

The biggest problems that plague VDI deployments can be summed up by a few key things:

  • Price
  • Performance
  • Uncertainty

Let’s leave price alone for a second, because we will talk about that once we go through the per desktop VDI pricing model. Instead, let’s talk about performance and uncertainty, because even if you get a great price these two things can torpedo a well-meaning VDI deployment.

Performance

Performance covers so many aspects of a VDI deployment. This is not just what any given infrastructure can provide, but also what your users actually need in order to do their job with any level of efficiency. It should also include the speed at which the VDI administration team can react to user requirements, change, and overall management of that environment.

Understanding what resources each desktop will need usually requires performing some sort of assessment of a subset of the users daily usage that will be using the VDI desktops. If the customer will have multiple different use cases, then a subset of users from each group should be assessed. This subset of users should be selected based on providing a solid average of that groups usage profile. An assessment should be a minimum of 2 weeks, while 30 days is generally more than enough.

An IT department’s ability to meet changing demands is generally dictated by two factors: The policies and procedures to implement change, and how quickly those changes can actually be applied to the underlying infrastructure. It is the opinion of this author that traditional architecture, like 3-Tier Architecture, creates added time and steps, along with potentially very costly upgrades that take even longer to implement, than a web-scale solution like the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform where you can add resource capacity dynamically as needed.

Uncertainty

Like performance, uncertainty covers many aspects of a VDI deployment. There is uncertainty of what your users actually need, including the performance required on their VDI desktops, and uncertainty on what infrastructure will best provide the resources for those requirements. There is also uncertainty on how large a VDI deployment will ultimately become, and a large portion of this depends on how well the VDI deployment is received by the end-users, whether or not more users/departments are requesting VDI, the associated cost that is tied to scaling out the infrastructure of your current VDI environment, and what that means from a datacenter perspective (environmental variables like power, cooling, space, etc.) as well as management requirements (do they need additional FTEs to keep up with management/deployment tasks, time to delivery, ease of management, time to value, etc.). This list goes on and on.

The most prepared customers will perform desktop assessments before trying to deploy a VDI environment (as stated above). This provides details on how your users use their desktops, what applications are being used, as well as what kind of resources they are using from CPU, Memory and Disk IOPS. Taking this data helps in appropriately sizing an environment, however too often people try to size for the average and run into issues when the performance ebb and flow of their users trends up a little too far and performance starts to tank for all of your users sharing those resources. The hardest thing to size correctly for performance is shared storage, and this has traditionally been because of the storage architectures in use.

Traditional shared storage is network based and has one to two storage processors (also called storage controllers) to answer and deliver on storage requests. You can have any number of hypervisor hosts attached to this storage array over the Storage-Area-Network (SAN), and many VM workloads on each of those hosts. No matter how many hosts you add in, and how many VM workloads you run, the storage array has both a finite amount of disk IOPS it can provide, as well as a finite throughput and processing capability of the storage processors providing access to those disks. Even the newer “software-defined” storage arrays have this limitation, although most of these vendors have tried to “right-size” the storage performance from both a disk IOPS to storage processor performance, as well as what the network capabilities are. But these solutions, like their larger SAN cousins, do not generally scale out and are like mini-islands of storage. When I mention scale out, I am mainly referring to clustered, distributed file systems that can grow both dynamically (zero downtime or disruption to running workloads) and exponentially (with no actual limit). With either model the customer has to make some sizing guesses that may need to be forecasted out 3-5 years in advance. Not only is that hardware CapEx spend depreciating before you can fully utilize it and get to your target ROI, but it’s practically impossible to hit your goal with that forecast method.

Most of what I’m talking about isn’t unique to VDI either… it applies to virtualization in general.

Price

Finally, with those two described, we can understand the true price of VDI. There is the cost of the infrastructure as well as the cost of administering that infrastructure and the cost of agility to meet changing demands.

While I’m not going to talk about specific prices in this blog (that discussion should be had with a Nutanix Partner or Account Manager in your area), I am going to talk about some ideas you need to consider when calculating your VDI desktops. With traditional architecture, like I mentioned earlier, you generally have to size for your end goal in advance. If you don’t, then you either have forklift upgrades as your environment grows, or you wind up with a disjointed and extremely complex infrastructure to manage that is essentially a bunch of different environments. This may be a slight exaggeration, but I’m hoping you get my point.

If you size for the future, you are spending a lot of money for infrastructure that won’t be used up front, which means your cost per desktop is insanely high until you start filling it up. An example would be spending $500K on infrastructure and then deploying 100 VDI desktops to start. That would give you a cost of $5K per desktop while that is all you are running! As you deploy more desktops, the price per desktop starts to drop… but how fast are you going to get to that planned capacity of desktops that you may have originally forecasted for and ultimately used to figure out your per desktop cost? All the while, that infrastructure is depreciating as well as getting older.

If you size for different deployments and buy different infrastructure for each deployment based on a certain performance profile and density required for each deployment, you will get a solid price per desktop but your administration of all of those environments will become a nightmare.

And what do you do when things take a left turn in either situation? It only exacerbates the problems!!

What if I told you that you could start your infrastructure out small and grow capacity only as you need it, while maintaining the same administration and architecture methods at pretty much any size and know that your performance will not diminish as you grow. But wait… there’s more! 😉 It’s even better than that, because you can do all of this dynamically with zero downtime or disruption and in small cost increments that provide a known fixed price per desktop that doesn’t ever change based on scale. And did I mention a single user interface to manage all of this infrastructure? How about the fact that you don’t need to overthink where to put the various parts of your VDI desktops (I’m referring to replicas, deltas, and user data) because there is live tiering of where data resides based on actual usage at any given moment. Does installation & setup in about an hour for a brand new installation sound good? What about dynamically expanding your cluster in minutes when you need more resources?

Sound too good to be true? Well then you haven’t seriously checked out the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform. The per desktop pricing with Desktop Assurance is simply icing on the cake. Sure, you could get all of these benefits, minus the guarantee, by just buying the Nutanix gear. But Desktop Assurance provides a guarantee that we will honor the promised performance or provide more hardware to make up the difference at no additional charge to the customer. You can’t get that anywhere else.

I have seen some pretty wild and far stretched claims on density numbers from the competition that get the forecasted price per desktop very low. However, I have never seen any of these promises delivered on, so the actual price per desktop isn’t realistic and is always more than promised in the end. Knowing that you can bank on a given price per desktop makes things very predictable, and finance and procurement people love that.

So, performance is something that we’ve already worked out the math on and are willing to guarantee or we’ll provide more hardware at no additional cost to meet the guarantee.

As for uncertainty, because you can add packs of desktops as you are ready to deploy more, which include the required hardware to run them, you don’t have to forecast what your end goal is. Buy what you need when you need it and pay as you’re ready to grow!

It really can be that uncompromisingly simple. #NutanixFTW

Sorry Amazon, you missed your opportunity with the Fire phone

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Amazon’s new Fire Phone

Well Amazon, I think you missed your opportunity to enter the smartphone market.

While the phone itself could be nice, even great, the idea behind it is to sell more stuff through Amazon. Most of the features you touted in your keynote were all about how to sell more stuff through Amazon. The Firefly feature, while cool, is really just a way to make it easier for someone to buy something on Amazon.

All of this is well and good. I get it… you need to make money and these devices are a great way to help you do that. Make it easier to buy things, and people will generally buy more. Remove roadblocks… smart.

What I don’t get is why you didn’t take this opportunity to subsidize part of the price of the phone yourself to help lower the initial buy-in for your customers. $199 WITH a 2yr contract for a 32GB phone is not a great price. It is a better price than your competitors 32GB smartphones, but you can’t even claim compatibility with all the apps in the Google Play Store. So you are offering a somewhat crippled Android phone for the same entry price as your competition. I just don’t see people clambering for this phone. I could be wrong.

Personally, I think a $99 price tag would get people to buy it, even knowing what it is designed for. Keeping the 32GB of storage, you could maybe get away with $149, but I still don’t think it’s compelling enough.

Here’s hoping I’m wrong and you sell millions of them.

See Shared Google Calendars in Native Apple Calendar Apps!

My company uses Google Apps for email, calendaring, etc. What bugged me was that I couldn’t figure out how to see other employee’s shared calendars in the native iOS/OS X Calendar application. So I would have to use Google’s web calendar app to see these, and that always seemed like a PITA to me.

On iOS I found a couple apps that allowed me to see these shared calendars on my iOS devices, but never found anything for the desktop (other than web-based apps). My favorite of those apps are Calendars 5 by Readdle and Sunrise. Sunrise actually has a desktop app via the web, but I’d rather have something native that I can use offline. Both apps were decent (I started to use Calendars 5 by Readdle as my main/default calendar app), but they seem a little slow to sync which slows down how fast you can use the app to check something or make changes.

Being frustrated, I happened to do another search today. Perhaps I used different keywords for my search, but I actually FOUND something that worked!!

The blog post is here by Google App Tips from Refractiv and outlines the steps required to set up a Google Apps account on both iOS and OS X Calendar apps to see all of the shared calendars you want to. The key step I was missing was Step 5 which has a link to a Google Apps sync setup page that allows you to choose what calendars you want to enable for sync. You have to browse to that link from a desktop web browser (I believe), but one of the commenters shows a link that works from a mobile device as well.

caldav-sync-settings

Also, I had to close my calendar apps (on the desktop and mobile) in order for the changes to reflect. They may show up over time, but I didn’t feel like waiting. You can then pick and choose which calendars you want to display in your calendar app, so you can set up all calendars to sync, but only display the ones you want to see at any given time. This would offer you the best availability.

I know it may seem silly, but I am SO excited that I can now view these calendars in the native Calendar apps, which I like better than any other calendar app (so far). Enjoy! 😉

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Update: Just in case the post goes offline in the future, wanted to capture the URL from Step 5 to select the calendars to sync.

https://www.google.com/calendar/iphoneselect

And the URL that commenter Michael Dweck listed (I never tested this one).

https://m.google.com/settings/iconfig/chooseCalendars

This mobile link doesn’t seem to work, however the first link was accessible from my iPhone, so just use that link.

May the 4th Be With You!

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Well, it’s that time of year again… Star Wars Day!

I started my Star Wars movie marathon at 1pm today… at this rate, I will not finish all 7 of the movies (yes, I’m including the “Clone Wars” in this marathon) until around 3am! But so worth it. 😉

Hope every Star Wars fan is having fun doing something Star Wars related today.

I am COMPLETELY excited that the main character actors will be in Episode 7. You can find more news about it here. Cool pic of the cast!

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Click on image to open full size