The Outlook Is Not Good

Fucking Outlook 2007 Calendar man, it's screwing me over three ways before breakfast (another breakfast, this one in the Qatar First Class Lounge in Doha).

I thought the new International Time Zone entry function would really make scheduling my jet-setting lifestye a shitload easier. (Remember when "jet-setting" was a still cool word, let alone a cool lifestyle? No? ... you're younger than I am, aren't you?)


One of the most annoying things it does is turn All Day Appointments into Timed Appointments (actually I think Outlook2003 did as well) so that St Patricks Day starts at 7pm in the 16th March and finishes at 7pm the next (the correct) day in Kuwait. What the fuck?

But more importantly it throws a Spaniard into the works whenever I try and synch with my Nokia phone calendar, because the phone doesn't have such a function. So then, when I re-synch, I end up with doubled appointments, one at Singapore time and one at Wherever time!


Also, all my appointments in other time zones change to follow the time of the time-zone I am in. Ya with me? So my 9am Dr's appointment in Singapore is displayed as being at 2pm when I am looking at the Monthly Screen whilst I am in Kuwait. [Oops I just re-checked - it's displayed as 4AM! That must have been from Perth time or something!] The real information is correct, but the blocked out areas on the calendar are shown in the *current* and/or local time! It would be so easy to double book myself this way if a request were to came through for something else on Monday morning in Singapore. Maybe this is just something to get used to (like not being able to customize the top menus in the rest of Office2007!!! - don't start me), but it strikes me initially as a bug.

Solution - either don't use the International Time Zones or don't synch to the phone, which defeats the purpose of having a PDA phone. Or I could just go back to my previous method when crossing into new times-zones of changing the displayed time on the laptop and the phone but telling them that I am still in Singapore. I could just synch in the one direction of course, but that assumes that things like the Notes I take and any amendments I make to the calendar on my phone don't matter. I have to think about things this way. Defeats the purpose of having a PDA!

The other hassle with this is that a) I am not using a function that should be really helpful (feel I am being gypped) and b) it doesn't calculate my flight time correctly. An eight hour flight to Kuwait for example gets calculated as 3hrs because of the 5 hour time difference. A bummer when I push for Business Class upgrade for 6+hr flights. (Still got this one though!)

I think my complaints make sense. Maybe I haven't explained them well here. Battery is low on the laptop must post now...

I will try and tidy them up and maybe send a suggestion to Microsoft. Hey, I'm certain they'll listen. Anyone got a legal copy of Outlook2007 so that I can quote a licence number?



Posted by: expat@large on Mar 17, 08 | 5:09 pm | Profile


i think the answer is simple, sugar: get an appointment book! paper & pen, you know, old school style. be hip & daring! walk away from the masses tied to their electronics! stand with the rest of us luddites! ;) best thing, never loses power and you always have a detailed record to prove your whereabouts on any given day (it can be important in proving innocence...don't ask)

Posted by: savannah on Mar 18, 08 | 1:05 am

Sav: one more thing to carry, one more thing to lose. If the electronics worked, I would have backups on my phone and on the desktop at home.

I used to have a notbook of all my patients back when I was scanning for a living, kept a private record in case anything went apeshit with an old study. Probably illegal these days, due to patient confidentiality laws, but the point is I am USED to using the old methods. I just didn't like them.

Posted by: expat@large on Mar 18, 08 | 5:11 am

I can see how your idea would work Expat, but in order to make that function work correctly it would need to include a trip planner and then you would have to put in when you where going to arrive and depart that particular place/time zone, to avoid affecting the appointments in other time zones in the calendar. Either that and/or an option to display in the current time zone, or native times zones.

Sorry to get practical here, I know it was probably not called for but after a week of hellish work hours I finally got some rest and woke with a clear head this morning.

Pick me up a bottle of duty free will you?

Posted by: sino man on Mar 21, 08 | 6:58 am

Sino: yeah, I found a "Set Home Time Zone" option, but that didn't help, merely threw every out again. I was hoping that the appointment would display in the calendar at the correct time for the Time-zone it was entered in for, no matter the current local time, but with a sign saying this was not the current local time-zones time. Know what I mean?

In other words I DON'T want the displayed booking to change when I move time-zones. Because now, even though I have I entered a booking in Singapore time, it is displayed at Kuwait time. So what does the International Toime Zone function do, if not just confuse the issue more, particularly if you are synching to another device.

It would also be just great if Outlook left the All Day Appointments AS All -Day Appointments, not 24 hour appointments beginning at whatever time... I don't specify a time zone for an All Day Appointment, yet it applies the Home Time Zone to it. St Patricks Day is St Patricks Day is March 17th and the Guiness is green no matter what time zone you're in. Except Kuait, where there is no beer.

Duty free what? White cofee?

Posted by: expat@large on Mar 21, 08 | 8:48 pm

Sino: just figured out I can display two time zones, but only for the Day and Week view. I usually use the month view. That helps greatly, but it is not perfect.

Posted by: expat@large on Mar 21, 08 | 9:02 pm

But it doesn't help if the there are timed appoinments across three or more zones - like if put in my flight schedules for the rest of the month...


Posted by: expat@large on Mar 21, 08 | 9:05 pm


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