Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Time Zone Dilemma Revisited

Now that I am back in my own local, I find that a lot of my iCal appointments are incorrect. Scheduled appointments are now on wrong days and at wrong times. It even said that today was Thursday in my iCal calendar, when it is actually is Wednesday. This is not good when you have important engagements or appointments that you need to attend.

I checked out the System timezone settings and such on all my devices, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iPhones and iPads when I arrived home to the new time zone. Content that this would fix everything, I started getting reminder calls from my dentist and doctors for upcoming appointments. When I checked my iCal dates and times, they were all wrong.  So it seemed that something else was wrong.

This morning I checked the iCal preferences under "Advanced" tab and unchecked the option to turn on time zone support.  This helped with displaying the correct day of the week for my calendar.

So, I googled "iCal time zone support" and found a link to an excellent article posted online.  I wanted to share this link:
with everyone so that they can have a reference that addresses the time zone issues when traveling.

Enjoy! Thanks Jeff Gamet for a well-written article.

Update: You can benefit from  setting up "Time Zone Support" as ON when traveling if you are setting up phone calls from another location for certain times specified in the other person's time zones (i.e. not the current location's time). The burden of having to specify "floating" for all of your other meetings (e.g meetings where you are currently located) shouldn't outweigh the benefits of being able to set up a meeting in another time zone.

If you are traveling a lot, then ...

(1) Make sure you have turned on Time Zone Support on all your devices and laptops and computers.  On an iPad or iPhone, select Settings> Mail: Contacts, Calendars> Time Zone Support

(2) Whenever you create a new event in iCal, you will notice that there is a new pop-up menu to choose from where you can associate a time zone with your events. IMPORTANT:  you will have to manually choose the appropriate time zone for every one of your appointments.

(3) Then, while you're traveling, in the upper right-hand corner of iCal, there is a global pop-up menu that lets you choose which time zone your entire calendar is currently based in. As long as you have manually edited all of your appointments with the appropriate time zone, you will have an accurate calendar. But if you did not manually choose the right time zone for even a single appointment (or if you forget to change the global pop-up menu while you're browsing your calendar), your appointments will jump around and be very confusing.