Review - BusySync

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Calendar syncing is a subject that can strike fear into the hearts of anyone who uses it. If your calendar data is important enough that you must sync it, you also probably can’t afford to lose it. Unfortunately the very process of syncing calendars on computers often has that very effect. With my Treo it was really bad. Somedays I’d sync and lose all my appointments. Other times I would end up with four copies of every appointment. It got to the point where I would just plug in and pray.

Nevertheless, I desperately need a calendar syncing solution in my home. The Sparks home is a hectic place under the best of circumstances. Because we are all so busy, it is embarrassing how often we double book ourselves and end up having to cancel plans.

It was with this problem in mind that I found myself at the BusyMac booth at Macworld looking at BusySync. The developers told me this application could reliably sync calendars with all of the Macs in my home without these headaches and without an OS X server. This is something I had to see.

BusySync allows you to share calendars. You can pick and choose which calendars to share and what kind of access you are giving the other users. You can give read only or write access. You can require a password, or not. BusySync then goes out over Bonjour or the internet and Syncs with other iCal users. Over Bonjour the syncing is really fast. Within seconds. I’ve been using it for two week now and am happy to report it just works.

In addition to giving you the ability to customize your sharing, BusySync also give you the ability to restore from a backup. Indeed BusySync keeps ten backups of your calendar at all times so if things do get all kerfluffled, you can restore with one click. Thank You BusyMac.

BusySync is the brain child of John Chaffee and Dave Riggle. These guys have long Mac calendar roots and were the original developers of Now Up-to-Date for the Mac back in 1991.

Getting back to the Sparks house, we now can all see each other’s calendars and we have a new calendar called “Family” so when we are planning that trip to the mountains we can all see it. If my wife wants to “schedule” me to watch the kids while she goes crafting with her friends she can first check to see if I’m stuck in court. Suddenly we aren’t double booking on top of each other and peace has broken out. Well sort of.

It gets better though, BusyMac is about to release version 2 of BusySync that allows you to also sync your iCal data with Google calendars. So with this one product you will get networked calendar syncing and Google sync allowing you to view and modify your calendars from any Mac or (dare I say it?) PC.

A BusySync license will cost you $20 per computer. When version 2 is released, the price will go up to $25 per computer but the upgrade will be free to licensed version 1.5 users. Not only that, BusyMac has agreed to give an additional discount to readers and listeners. For a limited time, you can get a 20% discount on BusySync by entering the coupon code “MACSPARKY”. Just go to www.busymac.com/buy and enter the coupon code.