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  1.    #1  
    Okay, basically, I'd been playing around with Outlook and a trial of CompanionLink for Google in order to have a local version of my contacts, calendar, and email from Google on the computer.

    I quickly remembered why I hate Outlook so much. Mainly because if you don't use Exchange, it's horrible. It's IMAP support is subpar, you can't map the junk email folder on the server, it doesn't support IMAP Idle, and a bunch of other reasons. I also didn't really enjoy having a separate program running in the tray in order to sync Google to Outlook.

    I looked around for other solutions, and in the past had used Thunderbird for strictly email, so I first dismissed it because it had no calendar functions. But then, I started to look at things that had changed since I last used Thunderbird.

    Namely, the Lightning add-in was released. It adds a calendar to within Thunderbird, just like how Outlook has a calendar integrated. And, more importantly, that calendar has iCal and CalDAV support, and wouldn't you know it, Google gives you the option for two-way CalDAV sync just by configuring things properly. The public calendars I'm using also mostly worked. I was able to add the US Holidays calendar from Google, and I have two sports teams' calendars imported into Google. These were original ical links anyway, so I just linked to the iCal calendars similarly to how I set up the main Google Calendar. The one calendar I had an issue with is Google Calendar's "Weather" calendar for my location, I'm going to work on that another time.

    (Note that this does not sync Tasks either though, sorry.)

    Now, there was the issue of syncing Google Contacts. As it turns out, that's pretty easy too, with the Google Contacts add-in.

    Then, it was only a matter of a few visual tweaks. Namely, I customized the bar in the bottom left to remove tasks, since that doesn't sync with the Pre, and also installed a Minimize to Tray add-in.

    I also want to be notified at all times by Thunderbird if I'm on my computer, so I made a shortcut to it and put it in my startup folder with the instructions to start minimized, so it's running even if I don't see it.

    So there you have it. Completely open source syncing with Google Calendar, Google Contacts, and Google email (which you can set up using IMAP and then get new messages pushed to your Thunderbird just like you have the option for on the Pre) and therefore to your Pre as well, without buying any additional programs or having anything extra running in the background.

    Edit: Okay, I take one thing back. I am not able to get it to start minimized yet, another thing I'll have to work on. But otherwise, this is the perfect solution for me.
    Last edited by jhoff80; 06/05/2009 at 12:19 PM.
  2. #2  
    I gotta say, I've never been a fan of Outlook, and have been a long-time Thunderbird user. Thank you so much for the guide, I never used Thunderbird for more than ISP pop3 email, but with synced calendar and contacts that may change
  3. IMethos's Avatar
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    #3  
    Good Write up.Thanks! I just synced my gmail calender with outlook and intented on trying thunderbird, I will definitely have to try thunderbird today now!
  4. tuz
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    #4  
    And why is this better than simply using CalDav (or webdav or whatever it's called) and iCal? If this whole Thunderbird setup really brings me closer to a desktop sync interface I'll definitely try it but I can't really see the difference right now. Gmail in Firefox, calendar in iCal (synced w/Google and therefore Synergy via CalDav) and Address Book synced with Google contacts (which I haven't done yet but I'm sure is simple).

    Is it just having it all in one program?
  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by tuz View Post
    And why is this better than simply using CalDav (or webdav or whatever it's called) and iCal?
    ...
    Is it just having it all in one program?
    Uh, because not everyone has a Mac to use iCal? And yes, as far as I'm concerned, there's a huge advantage to having it all in one program.
  6. tuz
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    #6  
    I thought that might have something to do with it but you were talking about iCal so I figured that there was still something on top of that. I'm not trying to be cynical or doubting, I'm considering whether I should do this myself, and why I should take some more steps beyond what I'm already doing with caldav and ical. (although I can't get Mac's address book to sync).
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by tuz View Post
    I thought that might have something to do with it but you were talking about iCal so I figured that there was still something on top of that. I'm not trying to be cynical or doubting, I'm considering whether I should do this myself, and why I should take some more steps beyond what I'm already doing with caldav and ical. (although I can't get Mac's address book to sync).
    iCal is also a standard for web-based calendars, not just the name of the Mac program.
  8. #8  
    You can use this setup to view as many google calendars as you want as well. Our organization uses a customer specific google calendars to track projects for each customer. Using Thunderbird I can add each customer specific calendar using the calendar id (xxxxxxxxx@group.calendar.google.com) within the CalDAV link above as well as my personal calendar. By color coding each calendar I can easily see what is going on and weather I add an event on the Pre, google web calendar or Thunderbird they all sync up.
    Palm Pre
    (formerly TouchPro, iPhone 3G, Curve, 8800, Treo800p, E61, N9300, Treo 700p ,Treo 600, I500, I330, Treo 300, I300, 6035)
  9. #9  
    OK, one thing I have NOT been able to do is get my Exchange based Outlook Calender to publish live in google Calendar. Not the static way of exporting an .ics file from Outlook and importing it into google calendar...that works. I want live synchronization of my Outlook/Exchange Calendar changes to show up in my google calendar. And idealy be able to edit them in google.....and sycn...both ways.

    What I tried:

    - publish my outlook calender to MS Office Live, using my Live account. This worked fine I could login to Live Office and see/change my calendar

    - Tried several ways to import the published calendar to google but was unsuccessful at getting it to work.
    * imported the https://live...........xxxxxx.....xxxxxxx...my cal.htm
    > import appeared successful but no calander items imported = fail

    * imported the webcal://live............xxxxx.xxxx...mycal.ics
    > same problem seemed to import but no entries appeared = fail

    * Tried various permissions, public, not public, etc but it did not work.

    Any ideas? Besides google sync tool. I don't want the sync to be dependant on being logged in to my desktop if possible.
    Palm Pre
    (formerly TouchPro, iPhone 3G, Curve, 8800, Treo800p, E61, N9300, Treo 700p ,Treo 600, I500, I330, Treo 300, I300, 6035)
  10. #10  
    ^^?
    bump
    Palm Pre
    (formerly TouchPro, iPhone 3G, Curve, 8800, Treo800p, E61, N9300, Treo 700p ,Treo 600, I500, I330, Treo 300, I300, 6035)
  11.    #11  
    Sorry, not using Exchange right at this moment.
  12. IMethos's Avatar
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    #12  
    Finally upgraded to thunderbird from outlook.
    Took a while to download all the various plug-ins and such but Contacts, mail and calender are all integrated. Best solution for Local syncing in my opinion.
  13. #13  
    Thanks! I don't (yet) need the calendar stuff, but the Google Contact plugin is great. Now if I add a contact on my Pre, it automatically ends up in Thunderbird.
    Units - Unit conversion for webOS!
    Treo 180->270->600->650->Blackberry Pearl->Palm Pre
  14. #14  
    Thanks jhoff80 - great thread.
  15. #15  
    anyone using the T-bird 3.0 beta (I think Lightning is fully integrated)? Any issues relative to the stability of 2.x?
  16.    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by greenawayj View Post
    anyone using the T-bird 3.0 beta (I think Lightning is fully integrated)? Any issues relative to the stability of 2.x?
    Lightning isn't integrated into the 3.0 beta yet. They decided not to for now:

    Lightning-in-Thunderbird status update @ david ascher

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