ADVANCED TUTORIALS

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Integration with Outlook Calendar

You can sync your FacileThings Calendar with your Outlook calendars. To do this you have to connect both applications using the “Calendars” connection box that you will see in the Integration section of your Account.

Outlook connection

Note: If you work with different Google and Outlook accounts to manage your personal and professional calendars, you can bring all these data sources together in your FacileThings calendar. You can connect as many Google and Outlook calendars to your FacileThings account as you need.

Once you give FacileThings permissions to access your Outlook Calendar data, the following configuration window will appear:

connecting the main calendar

Now you just need to add the calendars you need. The main calendar, or default calendar, will be the one among all the connected calendars that does not have a tag associated with it (it can only be one). All the items in the FacileThings calendar that don’t have a special calendar tag will go to Outlook’s default calendar.

When you connect an Outlook calendar there is a first synchronization, which can take some time if you have many items in the FacileThings calendar or in the Outlook calendar itself. From there, only each modification that takes place will be synced.

You can connect as many calendars as you need. Once you’ve connected the default calendar, continue adding the calendars you need.

Unlike the default calendar, any other calendar will need you to assign a tag so that the system can distinguish the events of that calendar:

connecting other calendars

For example, if you have a specific calendar to organize your running training and you associate the running tag with it, the events of this calendar will appear in FacileThings having this #running tag:

multiple calendars in Outlook

multiple calendars in FacileThings

Similarly, when you add an event to your FacileThings Calendar with the #running tag, it will go to the Outlook Running calendar.

If you add a calendar tag to a Calendar item, the event will be moved to the corresponding Outlook calendar. If you remove the calendar tag, the event will return to the default calendar.

Synchronization is automatic and bidirectional

Every time you create, modify or delete an event in your Outlook calendar, you will have the same result in the FacileThings calendar within seconds.

Similarly, every time you create, modify or delete an event in the FacileThings Calendar, the change will be reflected in the Outlook calendar to which that item belongs almost immediately.

If you move an item from the FacileThings Calendar to any other list, the event will disappear from the Outlook calendar — it will reappear if you return it to the Calendar list.

In the case of movements to the Done list, you can choose what should happen to the calendar event in Outlook. You have three options:

done tasks configuration

  • Do nothing: When you mark the task as done, the event remains in Outlook Calendar as it was.
  • Modify text: In this case, the event also remains in Outlook Calendar, but slightly modified. The “text” of the event is changed to “* [text]”, to indicate that it has been completed.
  • Delete event: When the action is set as done, the event is removed from Outlook Calendar, leaving both calendars exactly the same.

Recurring events

The recurring events of Outlook are integrated in a special way to be effective from the point of view of the GTD methodology.

Every time a recurring event is created in Outlook, the occurrences of the next three months are synchronized with FacileThings, turning the first one into an actionable item. That way you can work with the next action a la GTD, while having a complete view of your schedule in the coming months (the non-active occurrences can be seen in the special calendar views).

recurring events in Outlook Calendar

recurring events in the FacileThings Calendar

Only the first occurrence of a recurring event is a live action in FacileThings, the rest cannot be edited. If you need to modify an occurrence of the list other than the next one, you must do it in Outlook Calendar. The update will be synced to FacileThings.

As with the FacileThings own Routines, when you set that first occurrence as Done (or trash it), the next occurrence in the list will automatically become actionable. The Outlook occurrence list will also be synced again so you always have a real three-month planning window.

If you assign a Goal and/or Area of Focus to the active item in the sequence, subsequent items will be generated with the same Goal and Area of Focus.

Management of private events

You may not want certain events you have in FacileThings to be seen in the Outlook calendar, and vice versa. You can control this through a special tag:

setting private events

In this example, any item you add to the Calendar with the #private tag will not be synchronized with Outlook. Similarly, any event in an Outlook calendar with this tag will not be synchronized with FacileThings.

Things to have in mind

  • Before connecting any calendar you must make sure that it is configured in the same time zone as FacileThings (the time zone is defined in the Account section). If time zones were different, the defined time for each event will be altered in the destination calendar and you will have a little chaos in your schedule.
  • If you make changes to the FacileThings Calendar and you have the Outlook web page or app open, you will see that the Outlook Calendar events are updated within a few seconds. However, if you make changes to the Outlook Calendar and keep the FacileThings Calendar page open, you will need to refresh it to see the changes. This page does not refresh automatically.
  • When you disconnect a calendar, everything remains the same but the changes stop synchronizing. If you disconnect a calendar and connect it again sometime later, after some changes have been made to it, you can find there are differences (which you should manually adjust).

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