Organizing your life digitally is hard.
When it comes to e-mail and calendaring, I’m very picky about keeping it universally accessible. I want my mail available whenever I need it, regardless of where I am and what computer/mobile/OS is the current flavor of the month. My mail and calendars are the most important digital bits of my life.
When it comes to e-mailing, I’ve pretty much found a working solution where I can access my mail anywhere, anytime. A big part of the solution was the switch to a web-based mail solution: GMail (once again, Google comes to rescue). It lets me store all my mail on secure and reliable servers, while at the same time allowing me to access it using Mozilla Thunderbird. It’s a very good combination. If I’m at work or at home, I use Thunderbird and has direct access to all my mail, both sent and received. It doesn’t matter if I’m running Windows XP or Linux, because Thunderbird can share your mail on a dual-boot system. When I’m on the road (actually the rail), I can access my mail using the web browser of my mobile. While it’s not nearly as convenient as using a real computer, it works. Sometimes, it’s a lifesaver to be able to send a quick e-mail when you’re not in front of a computer. It even let me keep contact with my friends while on the Azores.
Now, to the problem: there is no universally accessible calendaring solution.
Since Gmail proved to be so successful in fulfilling all my mailing needs, picking Google Calendar as my calendar of choice was only natural. It has a great web interface with drag-and-drop functionality, multiple calendars support, and the ability to subscribe to public calendars. It also allows you to export your calendars if you would like to switch calendar service in the future. However, you can only use Google’s web interface to modify your calendars. While there is support to display your calendar in e.g. Mozilla Lightning, any attempts to modify it within Lightning will only result in error messages. That’s because Google’s calendars are read-only for other clients. To be fair, I regard Google’s web interface far superior usability-wise compared to Lightning, but not being able to modify your calendar while offline is a great limitation. Also, I have not yet been successful in synchronizing Google Calendar with my mobile, even though there is a program called GCalSync that claims being able to do exactly this.
So my question is, what is the perfect calendaring solution? Is there any free calendar solution out there that supports editing your calendars in any client, and has a decent web interface for those occasions when you’re not using your own computer? Or am I better off trying to set up a CalDAV server myself in Linux?