Synchronizing with Google Calendar
Simple Instructions for SmartTime Pro 3.5 and SmartTime Tasks 3.5

You can synchronize both Events and Tasks from your SmartTime Projects, to individual Google Calendars* - and, from there, sync seamlessly to iCal, Outlook, and even your iPhone Calendar. Follow these easy steps.

*Note we do not sync with Google Tasks. That would defeat the purpose of combining tasks and events.

Setting Up

1. Set up your Google Calendar Account.
2. Check the validity of the account, and your wireless connection.
3. Go to Sync Setup to map Events from your Projects to Google Calendars.
4. Choose a Sync Window. Narrow window = faster performance.

Best Practices

  1. Map Events from your Projects first. You can map Tasks separately Google Calendars later.
  2. First, map just one Event to one Google Calendar. Test it out to make sure it works.
  3. Use a narrow Sync Window to start with. Start with One Week.
  4. After confirming it works okay, map additional Events to separate Google Calendars.
  5. Avoid using many "Repeating Events" in your calendars. If you have a daily meeting for the entire year, that will add 365 items to the database, and will affect performance as well as sync speed.

About Mapping

  1. Click on "Refresh" to view all of the calendars in your GCal account.
  2. Drag them up and down with your fingertip to map with your Projects (Events only).
  3. Tap on the Project name to "lock" a mapping. It will highlight with a blue-green color.

  4. Tap on the arrow to change a Project name. You can automatically change any ST Project name to match that of any Google Calendar name.

Now Sync!

Note: It may take up to a minute or more to sync large databases. Large databases can affect performance. Try a narrower Sync Window for faster sync and faster performance.

Synchronizing Tasks

  1. You can sync SmartTime Tasks separately to calendars in GCal.
  2. Be aware that SmartTime will "take control' of all calendars in GCal that you map to Tasks. After you sync, SmartTime will treat all items in those calendars as tasks and will MOVE them to find the most efficient time slot.
  3. If you mistakenly map a SmartTime task to one of your Google event calendars, you will lose the specific dates and times of those appointments.

Hint: Name your Google Calendars with '(Events)' or '(Tasks)' to make it easier to differentiate!

Troubleshooting

  1. Un-map all calendars
  2. Set Sync Window to ONE WEEK ("1W")
  3. Click Refresh
  4. Map only ONE SmartTime Event to ONE Google Calendar.
    (Remember, tap on the Project to confirm the map, the color turns light blue.)
  5. To be safe, make sure the Google Calendar that you map to is not a public or shared calendar, and that it is not synchronized to another third party app such as Outlook or iCal (sometimes those apps can cause problems because of strange characters).
  6. Test to see if that one mapping syncs ok.
  7. If it does, add more calendars, one by one. Test each time before you add another calendar.
  8. Once you have your calendars mapped successfully, increase the Sync Window out from one week to one month or more.
  9. If you have duplicated items, go to Setup and click on "Delete suspected duplicates"

Other Helpful Information

 

A few words about synchronizing 'Smart' with, umm, a plain Calendar.

Tasks don't normally fit in a calendar. That's why we created SmartTime, so Tasks and Events can 'live together.' But most calendars, including Google Calendar, Outlook, and iCal, only show Events. (They might show Tasks in a separate pane or window, but we would hardly call that 'living together,' would you?)

Another unique feature of SmartTime is that it looks at your Events, then finds time for your Tasks. So, Tasks are Dynamic. They don't just 'sit there.' SmartTime constantly moves them around to account for new appointments that you might make, or new tasks that you might add, or your changing priorities, or the passage of time. So SmartTime needs to 'control' tasks - both in SmartTime, and also in any plain Calendar that you sync with.

Given these two unique aspects, SmartTime actually does something very cool with Google Calendar: it allows you to synchronize both Tasks and Events. To do this, in GCal you simply create separate Calendars for Task and Events.

Note: It is important for you to first create the calendars in GCal, then map SmartTime to them. That way, we create a secure "lock" on that calendar for subsequent syncing.

Here is a diagram of how the Tasks and Events from two Smart Time Projects would be mapped to four separate Google Calendars:


In SmartTime 3.5 (Pro and Tasks versions), we have separate Sync Mapping for Events and for Tasks.

Best practices: We suggest that you set up specific Google Calendar names that differentiate between Event calendars and Task calendars. Use something like "[SmartTimeProjectName] [(Events)" or "[SmartTimeProjectName] (Tasks)". This will make it easier for you to map, and also easier for you to tell which calendar is which when you are using GCal.

Mapped Events
Mapped Tasks


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Now get SmartTime sound and pop-up alerts on your iPhone, even if you are not in SmartTime

Thanks to recent improvements in the new iPhone OS3 and Google Sync (which now supports MS Exchange), you can sync up to 24 SmartTime Calendars (12 for Events, 12 for Tasks) via Google Calendar, directly to your iPhone Calendar. All Event Alerts that you create in SmartTime as “Pop up on Google Calendar” get automatically transferred over to the iPhone Calendar as pop-up alerts with sound. These work better than Push because you don’t need to be connected to the internet to receive the alert (as long as you sync’d), and if you are traveling overseas, you will not get charged for SMS pop-ups from Google. Here’s how you do it:

A. Select to set up a new Microsoft Exchange account on your iPhone

Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Add Account -> Microsoft Exchange

B. Enter Account Info

  1. Email = your full Google Account email address.
  2. Domain = blank
  3. Username = your full Google Account email address.
  4. Password = your Google Account Password
  5. Press NEXT
  6. An “Unable to Verify Certificate” dialog may appear. Select Accept.
  7. A new Server field will appear. Enter m.google.com
  8. Press NEXT again
  9. Select the Google services you want to sync = Calendar
  10. Select “Keep on my iPhone” to retain other iPhone Cal calendars.

C. Choose which Calendars to Sync

  1. Open Safari browser on your iPhone, go to http://m.google.com/sync
  2. Sign in to your account, if necessary.
  3. Tap on the “Sync” icon
  4. Select your device from the list
  5. Select the Calendars to sync. That’s it!


Here is more information on Google Sync for the iPhone.

Test it out: Here are examples of how your Sync should work, creating one new Event in SmartTime and syncing it across:

1) Create an event in SmartTime; add a Google pop-up alert

2) Sync to Google Calendar. Here is how the Event should look:

3) Google Calendar will use Microsoft Exchange to automatically sync to iPhone Calendar. Note Calendar selects its own color for you. No matter, you are using SmartTime and Google Calendar for your work; iPhone Calendar merely delivers the alerts to you. Now go to iPhone Calendar. The Event should show up together with a pre-set Alert.

4) Here is how it looks when the Alert goes off, no matter what app you are running, no matter whether you are connected to the internet or not.

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