Friday, April 27, 2018

New in MLO5: Sync with Google Calendar

The series of articles on Task organizer for Windows v.5 continues now with one of the most requested and expected features — synchronization with Google Calendar.

What is it for? By and large, the feature provides for viewing selected MLO tasks on the days distributed over the calendar, together with the meetings from other calendars. This way, you can visually assess the whole load of yours and, on top of that, creating events there you automatically add subtasks to your MLO file. This is possible now with the two-way synchronization between a local .ml file and Google Calendar. This means that any change you make in Google Calendar – like editing an event name or changing the date – after the sync will be reflected back in MLO, and vice versa. Let us explore our feature further.

First, you should set up a connection between Google Calendar and MLO. Go to Synchronization-> Configuration-> Google Calendar. Click on “Connect to your Google Account” in the pop-up window:


Log in to your Google account.

Note. The connection process is managed by Google and your login credentials will not be transferred to MyLifeOrganized.

Next, you need to select a calendar to sync with MLO or create a new one, which would be the most desirable option. MLO tasks with date and time will be added as events to this calendar only.


Now you may also set up a filter for MLO tasks which lets you manually pick out only necessary types of tasks to be synced with the calendar. Here’s how it looks like:

Above all, you will be able to select a specific branch of tasks for sync to Calendar. Then, you may set another filter - sync tasks associated with a specific context or flag etc.

Tip. There is an option to show completed and hidden tasks in the calendar. If this option is not selected, after you complete a task in MLO and sync, the corresponding event will vanish from your Google Calendar.


Although by default all MLO tasks with both start and due date are synced to Calendar, you may select to include tasks with either a start or due date as well. If you like, include tasks without time, marked with a star etc. The number of filtered tasks to be synced with Calendar will be updated automatically.

Tip. There is a limit to sync not more than 250 MLO tasks to calendar. Tasks older than 30 days are not synced and will be removed from the calendar automatically.

Besides, as you will see, any events created in the selected calendar will be added to the branch you selected for sync in MLO or to Inbox (if no branch is selected for sync) along with the title and description (which is placed to notes), start/due date and reminders. In future you can always move tasks from Inbox to other tasks and projects.

Note. If you set up a reminder in MLO after the task has started, then in the Google Calendar the reminder will be placed at the beginning of the task since Google Calendar supports adding reminders only before event start time.

Finally, you are free to select a conflict resolution scenario you prefer and click “OK” to apply the settings:


When you are ready to sync, click on the corresponding button on the toolbar to start synchronization.

Note. There is a daily limitation of 500 requests to be sent to Google Calendar from a single user, this is why the sync process in MLO is manual now. We plan to improve the sync process in future.

This is what we have in our MLO file:


And this is how it looks in the corresponding Google Calendar after sync:


There are several more points to note. Only one .ml file should be synced to the same Google Calendar, so, even if there is a duplicate of this file synchronized through the cloud on another computer, such .ml file should not be synchronized with the same calendar in order to avoid the duplication of tasks. 

Moreover, tasks that no longer meet the sync criteria will be removed from the calendar, therefore the data that correspond the most up-to-date sync settings override all previous data. For instance, you set the checkbox “Include only starred tasks”. After synchronization, the calendar will not show tasks without a star from MLO (corresponded events will be deleted from the calendar), even those that have been displayed before synchronization, because this condition is no longer valid.

The detailed instruction will be available on our website soon.

We hope you will enjoy this handy feature of MLO5 and be able to make the best of the Google Calendar and MLO combination. Please share all your thoughts and impressions with us, we appreciate your support!


The MyLifeOrganized team
Life is easy when organized

2 comments:

  1. While this is a great start, until reoccurring tasks are fixed so they can be selectively include or excluded (in part to solve by fixing the fact that reoccurring tasks always have a start and end date hard coded into them by mlo) the calendar feature is still to limited to be used without a lot of extra effort by the user to customize their fixed time tasks to match the approach MLO has taken so far.

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    1. I agree. Moving recurring MLO tasks to another time slot by using Google's Drag n' Drop feature creates a duplicate of the parent task while keeping the parent task with it's child tasks unchanged. Not ready for full release until this is done.

      Another thing - there is no calendar sync for the mobile apps. Ideally, IMO, calendar sync should have been postponed until it could be integrated into all versions of the software.

      Like Reinvented said, it's a great start and I'm glad that it's being added - it just needs to be able to handle any type of task.

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