Mail and contacts consist of my personal communications powerhouse and at first it was all I needed. But suddenly my needs stared growing: I was in the middle of migrating the two mentioned components when I noticed I’ve lost some events from my horizon and decided it was time for an upgrade.
Imagine you have a calendar. Now two. Now three. Now you have more mail accounts with more calendars. There has to be a pattern here, I just don’t see it. Maybe all those mailboxes and calendars are getting in my way.
As stated in one of the first posts, Kolab Now offers a Lite subscription which consists of mail and contacts only. If you have this one, you won’t see the other applications in the WEB UI. You need to log into the cockpit as the account administrator and uncheck the “Lite” option. A new invoice will get generated and as soon as you log again into the webmail, you’ll see all the additional programs ready. I admit it’s a nice sight! 🙂
Approaching calendars and tasks
I wanted to tackle calendars and to-do’s as they actually are contained within the same open format: iCalendar. If you ever received an invitation for a meeting or had to click a to-do you most likely interacted with it. It’s an easy to read and understand textual format that’s also lightweight and really popular.
Upon opening in a text editor it looks like this:
EGIN:VEVENT CREATED:20101214T191446Z LAST-MODIFIED:20101215T190530Z DTSTAMP:20101215T190530Z UID:9316fab5-dd66-42e4-9803-0a3d41681ef3 SUMMARY:Electrician DTSTART;TZID=Europe/Warsaw:20101216T180000 DTEND;TZID=Europe/Warsaw:20101216T190000 X-MOZ-GENERATION:1 TRANSP:OPAQUE END:VEVENT
As you can see, reading it is really straightforward, so you can go through a calendar from start to end checking for anything interesting. You can then delete the unneeded entries or decide to ignore this calendar altogether and often that was what I did.
Data export from Google Calendar
Before you export anything, ask yourself a question: is it worth it? Most of my calendars were messy and full of old entries, without almost any future events. Actually I used electronic calendars only from time to time, which kind of defeated the purpose: if you’re not accustomed to checking the calendar regularly, you keep missing events and end up rejecting the idea altogether. Some people are die hard users of paper notebeooks and calendars to organize their meetings but: you can’t collaborate over the Internet with dead trees.
Go to the calendar settings in Google Calendar and download them as *.ics files.
I was unsure if I setup some important event into the distant future (like someone’s birthdays etc.), so downloading and checking the files as text seemed the fastest solution.
Importing to Kolab is really simple, you can do it directly from the main screen of the calendar application.
This is a great moment to reorganize your calendars, so be smart and do it right the first time.