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I really like OS X's iCal. Entering events is easy with the mouse and it also gives you a very real visual sense of how long tasks take to complete. We often work remotely in our organisation, so we use a few shared calendars between key individuals to provide us with an overview of hours worked, availability & schedule conflicts without too much disruption to our various, hectic workflows. It really is a neat solution, especially on shared tasks. How many times have you tasked a remote colleague and then lost the thread on whether that task was completed or not? With shared calendars you get a much clearer idea of what your people are working on without having to pick up the phone or compose a chat.

However, there are a few areas where this approach fails...

  • iCloud syncing often needs to be re-jiggered
  • The "view only" option on shared calendars does not seem to work, which makes all shared calendars editable by others
  • There is no decent reporting with this workflow
  • There is no task categorisation or tagging
  • Things get very busy in iCal when working with more than 2 shared calendars

I've looked at a few task management apps like Basecamp and Harvest, but nothing appears to let me edit my calendar natively and then sync with a 3rd party. Interested in solutions to improve the above workflow and enable us to elegantly increase the amount of users.

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I think Kerio could fit your needs. However, it's mail server and calendaring server together, so most probably a more robust solution.

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