1 2 Previous Next 16 Replies Latest reply: Feb 8, 2010 5:06 PM by rrodriguez0907
macorin Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
Why is it that at this stage of development, Apple has yet to offer a solution to manage and sync iCal to-do's with the iPhone Calendar? Am I missing something? It seems obvious that Apple is giving third party developers the opportunity to write the many wonderful To-Do apps out there, and there are many. The problem is, this doesn't fix the problem of sync-ability. I know that there are ways to sync between these third party apps and things such as their own desktop software (Things), which will then sync to to iCal. There are others that will sync to Google Calendar and/or Google Docs, but this is hardly a simple solution. There are always complications when you start syncing too many things to too many places, as the software doesn't always line up pretty.

I'm basically just looking for a simple solution to use iCal, my iPhone Calendar and a To-Do function that will sync seamlessly with both. The most natural thing would be for Apple to include To-Do creation in the iPhone Calendar app with full sync capability with iCal. I find it shocking that Apple hasn't written for this.

There are nice applications out there such as Pocket Informant that integrates a beautiful (and much more powerful calendaring function) with a To-Do function within the same application, but they have no ability to sync with iCal, nor do they have a desktop version of their software.

If anyone has any ideas on this, or advice on the best way to integrate iCal, To-Do's and the iPhone Calendar, please let me know. In the meantime, I will post feedback to the Apple developers with a seemingly obvious enhancement request.

Message was edited by: macorin

Macbook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.6.1), 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
  • 1. Re: iCal To-Do's and the iPhone Calendar
    dir98 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I agree this is extremely frustrating. I want to have my to-do's on the same ical application on the ipod touch/ iphone, just as it is on the computer. I don't want to go in and out of an application to see my to-do's and then my calendar-- I want them to be all in one place. It's great that ical, address book, and mail all sync with each other, but I don't think it's too much to ask to have my to-do's show up on my ical on the ipod touch/ iphone. Apple's technology is amazing, so what's compared with all they've been able to do, what's so hard about this?
  • 2. Re: iCal To-Do's and the iPhone Calendar
    yet another dave Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Add my name to the list of users who feel the same way. How hard could this be? iPhone offers to sync my notes (useless) so why not my to dos?
  • 3. Re: iCal To-Do's and the iPhone Calendar
    macorin Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Well, things like this usually don't gain the attention of Apple, but hopefully they do something about it sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I've given up using the to-do function in iCal, as I see no point in having to-do's that I can't take with me. Yes, syncing notes in mail does seem pretty useless to me. I still do it, but I hardly use it and it seems like a silly thing.

    In the meantime, I've been using a nice third party app call Put Things Off for my to-do's. It doesn't sync, but I figure the only place I really need the to-do's is on my mobile device anyway, since my iPhone is basically with me wherever I go.

    If you haven't tried it, it is worth a look at the app store. It is simple to use and gets the job done.

    Cheers,

    Mac
  • 4. Re: iCal To-Do's and the iPhone Calendar
    JR Photo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Add me to that list, can't believe you still can't sync to-do's
  • 5. Re: iCal To-Do's and the iPhone Calendar
    sukioriginals Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I agree 100%. I used to use Franklin Covey Software - loved it - and it synced well with my palm treo. I am playing around with 3 programs in search of something that works. "Remember the Milk", "Things" and "OmniFocus" - The later is supposed to sync with iPhone...but I haven't gotten that far yet. Just switched to iPhone yesterday. The Remember the Milk program synced with my bb, even tho it is not linked to calendar - at least it was on my phone. I really do not understand why the importance of this is not realized by Apple developers.
  • 6. Re: iCal To-Do's and the iPhone Calendar
    macorin Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    I have given up hope that Apple will get around to fixing this. To be honest, it probably doesn't really matter if they do, unless they actually improve the To-Do functionality in iCal anyway. Right now, it is a pretty basic (= Lame) function.

    I have looked at some of the other apps that you mentioned, like Remember the Milk, Things and OmniFocus. There are some issues there as well. For one thing, Omni is incredibly expensive, especially if you want the desktop app to go with it. For all intents and purposes, you need to get that, or why use the app at all. Things is fairly nice, and the desktop app seems to be very nice. Still, it is also a bit pricey and things get a bit complex just to manage to-do's. I am not as familiar with RTM, but from my experiences, most of these types of apps offer a very round about way of keeping things synced. Meaning, there are very few, if any at all that have a direct link to iCal. Apple just makes it very difficult for developers to go there. Therefore, you are left with creating things in one app, having it sync to some site, or to google, and then some place else and finally into iCal (if at all). It is far too complex, and too many things to interfere with a clean sync for me to like it as a solution.

    My solution?

    Well, I started using another app called Put Things Off. It doesn't sync with my computer (at least not yet), but my new way of thinking is that the only place I really need to-do's is on my iPhone anyway. It is basically with me every second of the day, and with that kind of access, why do I really need to check to-do's on my computer anyway. It is a very simple app, and truly makes getting things done a snap.

    Anyway, good luck.

    Mac
  • 7. Re: iCal To-Do's and the iPhone Calendar
    richmedium Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I agree that this is a very frustrating gap that simply reinforces the impression that Apple application software is second-rate. I hope somebody somewhere inside Apple realizes that this kind of issue hurts them more than any possible that they can gain.
  • 8. Re: iCal To-Do's and the iPhone Calendar
    macorin Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    I disagree that Apple application software is second-rate as a whole. While the "free" apps such as iPhoto, iCal, Address Book, etc are limited, their professional grade apps like Aperture, Final Cut, Logic, etc are quite good. Apple charges a premium for everything, so it is no wonder that the free stuff doesn't get that much attention. The stuff they charge for gets plenty of attention.

    What drives me nuts is that they claim that apps such as iCal are the way they are because they want to make the user experience simple. Sure, I get that, but I don't buy it at all. Nobody is telling them to make apps like iCal confusing. It would sure be nice if they were a bit more functional though, and upgraded from time to time a lot more than they are. At least make them fully functional across all of their own platforms.

    That is my two cents anyway.
  • 9. Re: iCal To-Do's and the iPhone Calendar
    MarkyMarkQuebec Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Gentlements, with respect I believe many of you are wrong wanting to dos in your calendar, you are mixing events and tasks, which have different nature and purpose. Where would go all your none-dated task in your calendar ? Do all your to do have a date linked to them ? How/where would you handle the display for start/due/end dates, one iCal entry per occurance ? It's not that simple. Also, chances are that you prolly want to manage to do within projects, maybe with context too (if your tasks are business related). If all you need is a b c task tracking with a date on each, you could just use iCal events ! For serious to do management, I believe you need proper tool and proccess. A good approach is GTD (by Sir Allen), i found Omnifocus to be the absolute application (both for iPhone and OSX). For those talking about its price, your hourly rate isnt high enough and/or you under estimate your time value vs productivity (no offence).

    Remembre, there are events, and there are to dos. Still, Apple would be welcome to allow 3rd parties to at least push events in. Yet, its not something I crave for, but I dreamed about it few times
  • 10. Re: iCal To-Do's and the iPhone Calendar
    macorin Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    With all due respect, I completely disagree with you. Integrating To-Do's and calendar events is a very natural way of organizing things. There is an app called Pocket Informant which does a very nice job in integrating the two. Even Apple thinks they are (and could be related), or else why even include to-do's in iCal to begin with? You see, it is as if they went half way in their effort. They provide something because they think it could be a good idea, but then they put no time or effort into actually making it useful for the end user. The fact that to-do's and notes show up in mail is also pointless. Why do I need mail to see my to-do's on my computer when I could just look in iCal, which is where they were created in the first place.

    Omni focus is a very powerful app. I just think that it is way overkill. What good is an app that helps you get things done, when using it actually impedes getting those things done? It literally takes so much time and effort to work with Omni (if you really want to use it correctly), that you don't have any time left over for the things you need to get done.

    And by the way, don't talk about hourly rates when you use words like "Gentlements", "prolly" (for, I am assuming probably", "proccess" (there is one c) "offence" (it is offense, unless you are from the UK, which I am assuming you are not), to name a few. Anyway, spelling aside, you shouldn't really be judging what people make based on whether someone thinks an app is expensive. The fact is, Omni focus happens to be very expensive. I am not saying that it is not worth it. In fact, I really don't know. I know that it is powerful, but for someone looking for a simple way to manage the important tasks in life, Omni is not for everyone, especially when you are spending upwards of $80 when something like Put Things Off (which I like a lot better) costs around $3.
  • 11. Re: iCal To-Do's and the iPhone Calendar
    MarkyMarkQuebec Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I guess you took my post a bit personnal where I didn't to be rude.
    I wish you good luck and will not waste anymore of my precious time trying to help you.
    Still I'm wondering about the link between hourly rate and the way pple type on Iphone in a language which isn't their primary one.
    And Quebec in nickname stands for Quebec, Canada, a french nation.
  • 12. Re: iCal To-Do's and the iPhone Calendar
    dir98 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Oh quit your bickering, you guys. My hope is someone from Apple actually reads this, so they make the change. I have found no other way to give Apple any direct feedback, and this issue in particular drives me crazy. So rather than reading about personal accusations about spelling, hopefully SOMEONE at Apple will read about the need to integrate iCal to-dos on the iphone/ ipod touch. Anyone know of any other way to get this message across to Apple?
  • 13. Re: iCal To-Do's and the iPhone Calendar
    macorin Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Hey dir98,

    The forums are generally where end users congregate to discuss products and to get help from each other. There is a way to reach out to Apple directly and to request things like enhancement requests. You are guaranteed that they will read your message, but you will not receive a response from them.

    In order to do this, you can go to: http://www.apple.com/feedback/

    Then click on the iCal app or go to: http://www.apple.com/feedback/ical.html

    You can click on a variety of applications and/or products and provide information such as feedback or enhancement requests. I have done so many times myself. I guess if enough people request the same things it might get their attention.

    Good luck,

    Mac
  • 14. Re: iCal To-Do's and the iPhone Calendar
    Bruce Lutz Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Bickering aside here's what I want in terms of iCal improvements (or to learn how to do them if it is already possible). Back in my PC days, I used a program called Time and Chaos and it was wonderful. I am really looking for iCal to provide the same functionality.
    1. Synch To Do with iPhone so I have them with me (such as an ongoing grocery list - does me no good to have it accessible at my desktop where I do no actual grocery shopping...).
    2. Link a To Do to a Contact in Address Book. That way I can review history to see what I did with any person several years hence.
    3. Link an event to a Contact in Address Book so I can also see when a meeting was held (or I coordinated, called, etc.) with someone.

    The last two are essential when attempting to recall something that occurred several years ago and is very helpful (if not downright crucial) in my line of work.

    Thanks,
    Bruce
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