I have decided that I want my work schedule available when I’m not logged in to work. Now you may think that is sad but if there’s a last minute announcement such as “new iPads are going on sale on X date” or “Apple are coming to town to demo their latest stuff” then I need to know if I’m free so that I can book a day off.
Ideally, I’d like to be able to have my Exchange calendar available on my iDevices and MacBook Pro (and if I was a Windows user at home I’d want to be able to sync my work calendar with my home PC and/or mobile devices too so this is not an Apple-only issue) and theoretically I should be able to do this via MobileMe (or other service for Windows users) but the powers-that-be at work don’t allow it so I’ve come up with the following workflow…
1. Export Exchange calendar to a CSV file via Outlook
2. Import CSV calendar to a Google calendar
3. Subscribe to the Google Calendar from my MacBook and sync the iPad/iPhone using MobileMe
Because the import is “an import” and not a sync, every time I export from Outlook, I have to include everything from the beginning of the year (I have a separate Google Calendar for each year) and before I import the CSV into Google, I have to delete ALL entries from that year’s Google Calendar otherwise I get duplicate entries.
However, I’ve found a major flaw – Daylight Saving Time (or British Summer Time as we call it). Consider these scenarios…
I have an appointment in my Exchange calendar from 13:00 – 15:00 on April 5th. It displays in the CSV file as 13:00 – 15:00 but in the Google Calendar it is displayed as 14:00 – 16:00.
I have an appointment in my Exchange calendar from 13:00 – 15:00 on March 21st. It displays in the CSV file and the Google Calendar as 13:00 – 15:00.
In other words, between the end of March and the end of October (which is generally when BST is) any appointments will be moved on by 1 hour in the Google Calendar. In Google calendar I have my time zone set to “London GMT+0” – there is no “London GMT+1” or “London BST” option.
The only way round it, which is impractical given the number of times I run the export/import process (I don’t do it every time my Exchange calendar changes – that would be too much, but I do it on a regular basis), is to amend the data in the CSV before I import.
I’ve “Googled the Google problem”. There’s a lot of other people with the same issue (different time zones, different countries but essentially it’s a Daylight Saving Time issue) but nobody has found an answer, though Google come in for a lot of criticism for not fixing it.