International Flying and Outlook appointments…

A while back I noted how painful it still is to schedule appointments in another timezone when your computer is set to your local timezone. 

There have been a few people that i have spoken to about this, notably Rod.

This is a huge problem for anyone who wants to put appointments in their calendar, but only knows the time the meeting starts or ends in another timezone.

To do this today with Outlook 2003 you need to covert the start and end time of the appointment to your local timezone.  Then enter that as an appointment in Outlook.

The problem gets even more complex for international flights when you might take off in one timezone and land in another.

Travel agents give you an itinerary that has all times and dates in the timezone of the location.  Not your local timezone.  So you usually have to go through your flights etc... and convert them all ... then enter them.  Painful.

E.g. Say i was in New Zealand (which i am)

New Zealand to LA
Departs: 1 March 2006, 1
8:00 (NZ time)
Arrives: 1 March 2006, 15:00 (Pacific time)

For this you would need to convert the Arrival time to the New Zealand timezone (accounting for daylight savings time etc...), then enter it into my calendar.

Or... you can try out a rudimentary web based wee tool i knocked up to help with this:

Currently it is very Alpha.  It will breaks if you don't use it right etc...

This will take your flight details ... convert them to your local timezone and then give you the option to download a VCS (appointment) file.  Simply open it and save into your calendar.

It will save me a whole lot of time on some trips i have coming up.  I will probably get around to finishing it off at some point also 🙂

Comments (4)
  1. Gabe says:

    Have you tried just setting Outlook to display the other timezone and then entering the appointment? Jensen Harris describes this here:

  2. chjohn says:

    Yup.  It is ok … but it does not tell you what day the alternate timezone is in (could be over the international date line and be behind or ahead a day).  Additionally, when you are planning a big multi country trip it is a pain to continually flip timezones etc…

    It might work for some … but for anyone who does a serious amount of travel soon hits pain points with it.

    But yes … i do use it and have PST loaded all the time.

  3. Along with many others i have been frustrated at how Outlook does not have the ability to deal…

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