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Calgoo lets you take Google Calendar offline

CalgooThe web has been abuzz with the recent "First Draft" release of Calgoo, a calendaring solution whose claim to fame is full synchronization with Google Calendar. While I can report that Calgoo definitely works, that's about the best thing I can say about it right now. To be fair, Calgoo is recognizing that this is a very early release (they're avoiding the word "beta" like the plague) and the product has a long way to go before it's ready for prime time. That being said, here's my personal feedback for Calgoo - I hope it helps you decide if you're interested in trying it now.

The Good

Two-way synchronization with Google Calendar
'Nuff said.

After the jump we'll cover The Bad and a few more screenshots.

The Bad

The OOBO, or out of box experience
When you launch Calgoo, it's not immediately clear that the application is working. No calendar comes up on screen; you simply get a big grey space in the middle, like this:

After clicking around for awhile, you might get lucky and expand the My Calendars tree icon on the left, and finally show the name of the calendar that you initially configured. Double-clicking on that calendar name will finally show you your calendar. Ugh.

User Interface Ugliness

The UI in Calgoo is fugly. I don't know what's going on exactly, but the text inside Calgoo looks terrible compared to the text on every other application on my system. It could simply be a very unfortunate font choice, but I'm worried that it's an artifact of the way in which the whole application is rendered. All window elements, like tabs, buttons, headers and even the minimize / restore / close buttons look, well, awkward.

UI Problems Continued

How the hell do I do stuff in this program? Unlike Google Calendar, Calgoo chooses not to pop up appointment details in an obvious manner (something that's dead simple to do in a windows-based application), instead choosing to try to integrate appointment details into the main screen. This just makes for added confusion, and an uncomfortable user experience, since the screen real-estate dedicated to appointment details is cramped, to put it lightly. Also, how do I show multiple calendars at once? I know it's possible, but it's not at all obvious. These are just a couple of examples of user interface questions that the developers need to ask themselves, while they go back to the drawing board.

The Verdict
So you've probably deduced from my comments that I'm not (yet) a big fan of Calgoo. So will I keep using it? Well, despite how incredibly ugly and difficult to use it is, I will probably continue to struggle with it, since it's the only way I've found so far to have my Google Calendar information available to be read and edited offline, and synchronize back. I'm just glad this is such an early release, since there should be plenty of time to scrap this UI and try again. Really, there's nothing there worth keeping.

Tags: Calgoo, freeware, Gcal sync, Gcal synchronization, GcalSync, GcalSynchronization, Google Calendar, Google Calendar synchronization, GoogleCalendar, GoogleCalendarSynchronization