Embedding An Outlook Calendar Event in an Office Document

I received a request for the following how-to: “I want to embed an outlook calendar entry in a document to allow people to click on the object to add an event to their outlook calendar. How do you do that?”

So you want to create a Word / Excel / PowerPoint document and embed a calendar event in it? No Problem!

1. Create a new calender entry / event in Outlook

2. Click on the entry so it is highlighted or selected and then click FILE -> SAVE AS

3. Save it as an “iCalendar Format” or “vCalendar Format” type document. I saved mine to my desktop.

4. Open Word (or Excel, Or PowerPoint, etc) and there are several ways to embed the file:

a. Drag the file from your desktop into the document. This gives you the least amount of control over the format.

b. Choose INSERT -> OBJECT -> CREATE FROM FILE. Browse to the file and select it, and choose the “Display as Icon” option. If you have an icon you prefer select it. (C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12 has the office icons)

You now have an icon embedded in your document. You can right click on it to rename it (Select Package Object). When another user double clicks it their calendar event will open. All they have to do is select SAVE AND CLOSE!

Keep in mind, you can also email the file you saved to your desktop as well!

How To Get Alerts for Tasks on your iPhone

This is part 3 of the Outlook / iPhone Task syncing posts:

  1. How To Sync Outlook Tasks With Your iPhone, For Free
  2. How To Sync Outlook Tasks Between Two or More Computers
  3. How To Get Alerts for Tasks on your iPhone
  4. Sync Tasks: ToodleDo Free Link vs. the ToDo $10 application.

In part 1 you got the directions on How To Sync Outlook Tasks With Your iPhone, For Free. Assuming everything is working for you here is the “Holy Grail” – How to get alert reminders on your iPhone for tasks that are due.

UPDATE: ToodleDo has released an application to the iTunes store for $3.99 Check out Sync Tasks: ToodleDo Free Link vs. the ToDo $10 application.

Step one:

*One way* computer to iPhone can be done by sending (brief) email messages to iphonenumber@txt.att.net These come to the phone via SMS messaging.

We need to figure out your Email to SMS gateway address. Sounds confusing? Not so much. In the US all iPhones are currently AT&T so your address is:

@cingularme.com
@txt.att.net

Preface it with your phone number so it looks like 1112224567@cingularme.com or 1112224567@txt.att.net

To test it, simply send yourself an email from outlook or whatever email program you choose. Once you send the email (Subject: Test, Body: This is a test, etc). You should get an SMS message on your iPhone in a matter of seconds after sending it.

I found that both addresses worked for me.

If you have a different carrier you can try checking this list of Email to SMS gateway Addresses.

Step Two:

You figured out the address. Now log into your free account at ToodleDo and go to the CONNECTIONS SETTINGS. Fill it in!

Keep in mind that you are 100% responsible for any fees charged by your carrier for receiving SMS messages. For this reason, you may want to set a daily limit. If you do not want a daily limit, just set it to 999.

Step Two and a Half:

Go to ACCOUNT SETTINGS and find Your Date / Time: – Make sure you have the correct time zone. This is key!

Now everything is in place to receive SMS reminders for tasks with due dates and due times. Did you catch that? Only tasks that have a due date and a due time will send reminders!

When you create a new task you have one of three programs to choose from. Outlook, ToodleDo or the ToDo application. Only Outlook and ToodleDo give you a field that has Due Date and Due Time. Hopefully the developers of ToDo will fix this oversight in the next release of their application. Their FAQ states “Todo does not currently support specific due times. We are planning to add support for this in a future release.” (You can email them and request it here. Might expedite the process.)

Ok, let’s create a new task:

In Outlook the Due Date and Due Time are called REMINDER.

In ToodleDo it is called . . wait a minute? Where is it? Yup, Due Date and Due Time are not displayed by default! No problem, simply go to your ACCOUNT SETTINGS: and select Fields Used:

Add Due Date and Due Time!

I set up an test appointment with the subject of “8pm” so in the example below imagine that instead of “8pm” it said “Don’t Forget To Buy Dan A Beer.

Sync Outlook Tasks Between Two or More Computers

This is part 2 of a 3 or 4 part series. . .

  1. How To Sync Outlook Tasks With Your iPhone, For Free
  2. How To Sync Outlook Tasks Between Two or More Computers
  3. How To Get Alerts for Tasks on your iPhone
  4. Sync Tasks: ToodleDo Free Link vs. the ToDo $10 application.

I’ll update the links in the posts so everything is cross referenced as I go.

To get Outlook tasks to sync to more than one computer just follow these steps on all the computers you want to sync:

Step 1. Set up a free account at Toodledo.com The direct link for a new account is right here.

That should have taken you about 15 seconds. Let’s move on to step 2.

Step 2. Close Outlook, download Chromatic Dragon’s Toodledo Sync Application and install it.

Almost done! The sync application will want your Toodledo ID number. Leave it open on the tab that wants the ID number.

Step 3. Log into Toodledo and from the menu on the left select Account Settings. On that page you will see your Unique ID, simply copy and paste it into the sync program that you left open.

On the Synchronization tab you can change your Automatic Synchronization to whatever works for you. I don’t add tasks very often so once every 60 minutes is fine for me. To close the Options window select File -> Close. You will see a green checkmark icon in your tool tray. Right click it and hit Manual Sync.

Outlook is now synchronized to ToodleDo. For every computer you do this to, they will all fall into lockstep with one another. Change a task on your work computer? It will sync to ToodleDo, which will sync to your Home computer.

And, as addressed in How To Sync Outlook Tasks With Your iPhone, For Free – you can see the whole shebang on your iPhone!

Next up – getting alerts for task reminders on your iPhone!

Comments and Observations are encouraged – Let me know if you have found a better way if if this works great for you!

How To Sync Outlook Tasks With Your iPhone (For Free)

This post is going to be divided into several parts:

  1. How To Sync Outlook Tasks With Your iPhone, For Free
  2. How To Sync Outlook Tasks Between Two or More Computers
  3. How To Get Alerts for Tasks on your iPhone

Let’s start with how you can sync your Microsoft Outlook Tasks to your iPhone for free.

I have read several articles about how to do this but I found the process to be convoluted. Let me make it very simple.

Step 1. Set up a free account at Toodledo.com The direct link for a new account is right here.

That should have taken you about 15 seconds. Let’s move on to step 2.

Step 2. Close Outlook, download Chromatic Dragon’s Toodledo Sync Application and install it.

Almost done! The sync application will want your Toodledo ID number. Leave it open on the tab that wants the ID number.

Step 3. Log into Toodledo and from the menu on the left select Account Settings. On that page you will see your Unique ID, simply copy and paste it into the sync program that you left open.

On the Synchronization tab you can change your Automatic Synchronization to whatever works for you. I don’t add tasks very often so once every 60 minutes is fine for me. To close the Options window select File -> Close. You will see a green checkmark icon in your tool tray. Right click it and hit Manual Sync.

Outlook is now synchronized to ToodleDo.

Ready for the iPhone part?

Ok, 2 ways to do this. The Free Way and the $10.00 way.

The free way? Toodledo now has an iPhone optimized version of their powerful, easy to use task manager. Just point your iPhone webbrowser to http://www.toodledo.com/slim and book mark it to your iPhone Home Screen. (Hit the + and select Home Screen, I renamed mine to “Tasks”)

Now you have the tasks that were in Outlook right there on Your iPhone screen!

Make a change on your iPhone and it will sync back to Outlook!

There is also a third party iPhone / iPod touch application that will synchronize with Toodledo and allow you to work offline. This application is called Todo and is available from Appigo on the iTunes App Store for about $10 but to be honest I don’t see the advantage of paying for it.

Do this for me, use the free way I described. I have the Todo software and will write another post later about the differences and let you know if it’s worth the $10.

UPDATE: ToodleDo has released an application to the iTunes store for $3.99 Check out Sync Tasks: ToodleDo Free Link vs. the ToDo $10 application.

So look for 3 more articles coming up:

  1. How To Sync Outlook Tasks Between Two or More Computers
  2. How To Get Alerts for Tasks on your iPhone
  3. Sync Tasks: ToodleDo Free Link vs. the ToDo $10 application.

Questions? Let me know and I’ll answer them in the comments for this posting.

Send, Receive and Manage Twitter Messages in Microsoft Outlook

If you are a Twitter user and and Outlook user, why not combine the two? Personally I find myself using Digsby to look at other people’s tweets on my PC (I’ll post instructions at a later date) and Twittelator on my iPhone – but the Outlook plug-in OutTwit does come in handy for quick messages and archiving. And it’s free.

What can it do?

  • Update your Twitter status directly from Outlook.
  • Receive your friend updates as Outlook messages.
  • Archive, manage and search your tweets the same way you manage your email.
  • Track keywords. OutTwit will automatically download ALL tweets matching the keywords you specify, even if you are not following the tweet sender. This feature is perfect for keeping up to date with the the Twitter buzz on your name, brand, interests, etc.
  • Assign custom folder and categories to new messages.
  • Automatically sort new tweets into per-sender folders.
  • Shorten URLs with tinyurl.
  • See graphs of your Twitter usage statistics.
  • Tweets sent to you (@replies and direct) are marked with high importance, so you can see them at a glance.

How do you do it?

Download OutTwit, Close Outlook, Install Outwit and Restart Outlook. You’ll now see a bar that looks like this:

Hit the dropdown and select OPTIONS. Enter your Twitter username and password.

Ready?

Now SELECT FOLDER -> PERSONAL FOLDERS -> NEW… -> and Name: name a new folder “Inbox Twitter” Like this:

I also changed the “Check For New Messages Every” to 20 minutes instead of 5. Figured I’d take a load off my server. Season to personal taste.

Final steps, In Outlook you have your mail “Favorite Folders” at the top on the left and your “Mail Folders” underneath that. Go to the Inbox Twitter that you just created, right click on it and select Add To Favorites.

Rearrange your favorites folder to taste. Here’s what mine looks like:

Ta-da! Twitter away!

How To Add Holidays To Your Outlook 2007 Calendar

The Situation? Outlook does not display holidays in the calendar.

Want the holidays listed?

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. From the tools menu, click Options.
  3. Click Calendar Options.
  4. Click Add Holidays.
  5. Place a check beside the appropriate country/countries.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click OK to close the Calendar Options dialog box.
  8. Click OK to close the Options dialog box.

Sync Two Microsoft Outlook Calendars – With Google!

I have a personal laptop at home that has my personal calendar stuff in it. At my office I have a different laptop that uses Microsoft exchange and has my work calendar information.

I want the two to merge – to be the same – to show evening appointments in my work calendar and daytime meetings in my home calendar. (The exchange server detail isn’t important, it just happens to be what my company uses. This will work on any plain old Outlook calendars)

By synchronizing the two,  when I dock my iPhone at home I get both my personal and business appointments on it. If I change jobs I can just decouple the business laptop calendar and life moves on.

Easy Cheesy McPheesy:

Now, when you add an appointment at home, it syncs to Google Calendar, in a few minutes your work laptop syncs as well and ads the appointment to your work computer. Delete an business appointment, it syncs to Google, then Syncs with home and the appointment is removed from all three!

Another added benefit is the ability to see your complete calendar online.

One note: Mark any personal appointments you don’t want the world to see as Private and when your boss looks at your calendar in Exchange he won’t see that you are taking banjo lessons every Tuesday at 11 or going to Office Supply Kleptomaniac’s Anonymous twice a week.