• Viewing my work calendar (but no email) on my iPhone

    I’ve been trying to be more intentional about setting appropriate boundaries between work and personal time. I use the Outlook app for email and calendars on my iPhone. Up until a few months ago I had my work email configured in the app along with my personal email account.

    The problem I noticed was that usually the first thing I do after waking up is check my phone a) to see what time it is and b) if there’s any interesting messages. That often included work messages that did not have to be acted on immediately. But it’s too late - I’d seen them, they were in my head and competing for my attention.

    And so I chose to remove my work account from the Outlook app. If it’s a work email, I’ll see it when I actually start work for the day and open up my computer.

    The only downside to that is not being able to see work meetings and appointments overlaid against my personal (and family) appointments. This is particularly handy when booking in to see that health professional (especially now I’m working from home) - will I have a car or I do I need to make other arrangements?

    But the Outlook app doesn’t let you choose to just display a calendar but not the inbox. It’s all or nothing.

    Option 1

    My personal email is hosted by GMail. You can add external calendars to your GMail account. Those will then show up as an additional calendar in the Outlook iOS app.

    To make this work you need to share your work calendar. If you’re using Microsoft 365 for work then do the following:

    1. Go to Settings
    2. Select Calendar
    3. Select Shared Calendars
    4. Under Publish a calendar, select the calendar and then choose how much you want to share (one of ‘Can view when I’m busy’, ‘Can view titles and locations’ or ‘Can view all details’) and then click Publish
    5. Two links are displayed - one for a HTML view and one in ICS format.
    6. Click on the ICS link. A pop-up menu appears.
    7. Select Copy link

    Microsoft 365 Outlook for web settings

    From Google Calendar

    1. In the calendar list, next to Other calendars click on the +
    2. Select From URL
    3. Paste the ICS link
    4. Click on Add calendar
    5. The name of the calendar defaults to the link. You can rename it to something more friendly by going back into Settings and editing the Name field.

    So this works, but I found there can be a significant delay between adding or modifying an event in your work calendar and when those changes show up in Google Calendar (and hence in the Outlook iOS app). I presume caching is happening and it seems it only refreshes once or twice a day. If you can live with that then fine, but I found it a bit annoying.

    Option 2

    Use the default iOS Calendar app. Not ideal as I’d really like to just use the Outlook app, but if it doesn’t do everything I want then having another calendar app is an option.

    The nice thing here is that in iOS settings, you can be specific about which services you want (so I select Calendar but not Mail)

    iOS Calendar settings

    And with the recent improvements in iOS (Windows Phone Live Tiles anyone?) that allow widgets to be a part of a normal screen, you can even have a larger Calendar icon on your screen to see upcoming appointments at a glance.

    Option 3

    Maybe one day Microsoft will implement this suggestion in the Outlook UserVoice for iOS. I’ve commented and voted on it!

    Option 4

    Have you solved this another way? Let me know in the comments.

  • Hello SixPivot

    Last Friday was my final day at RLDatix, which means I’m excited to announce that as of today I’ve joined SixPivot as a Senior Developer!

    My journey to becoming a “Pivot” started last year when I saw somewhere (maybe Twitter?) that they were looking to hire new staff. I reached out to fellow Microsoft MVP Bill who I knew worked there to find out a bit more about what it was like. I came away with a good impression so I got in touch with Sammy (their People & Community person) who coincidentally I’d just met through being involved with a Microsoft Australia feedback group (the one that Satya crashed!). I also reached out to Darren who works for SixPivot from Adelaide (to get the “based-in-Adelaide” perspective).

    It was all sounding like a great place to work.

    SixPivot’s interview process is up on their website: “an initial chat, a take-home technical puzzle, a technical interview and a cultural interview”. I was pleased to make it successfully through all those stages, and had some great conversations along the way.

    I’ll be working from home (something I’ve enjoyed doing so since March last year). Hopefully sometime in the future when interstate travel is possible I’ll get a chance to head up to Brisbane and meet everyone for real, but for now virtual will be fine.

    I’m really looking forward to getting to know my new colleagues (aka ‘Pivots’), settling in to my new role and responsibilities, and help bringing value to our clients.

  • Leaving RLDatix

    Just over six years ago I joined RL Solutions as a senior developer. A lot has changed since I joined the team in a small office in the Adelaide CBD.

    We moved to a larger office (still in the CBD), and likewise the company has also become larger. Around two years ago RL Solutions merged with UK-based Datix to become ‘RLDatix’, and has been growing ever since.

    I’ve loved working with my Adelaide team mates, and have also been privileged to be able meet with Toronto and Melbourne colleagues in person on a number of occasions. Remember when you could travel interstate or overseas? Seems like a distant dream!

    Even accounting for all the other significant things that were going on in 2020, I’ve had a growing sense of work-related restlessness, and discerned that it might be time for me to head off in a new direction.

    And so here I find myself in my last week of work at RLDatix.

    It’s the people I will miss the most - especially the Adelaide and Infection product teams. I have been very proud to work on the Infection Surveillance product and hope it continues to grow and have a significant impact on how hospitals manage and track infections.

    I’d like to pay a special tribute to my manager Tom: for his trust, listening ear and advice, encouragement and support, including his facilitating my attendance at the Microsoft MVP Summit, and for special times shared with him and his family.

    So where am I going next? Stay tuned for my next post to find out🙂