Benjamin Wagener writes:

At Christmas I received my first smartphone and there are two problems that I have to manage. It’s a Samsung Galaxy S3 mini running Android Jelly Bean in Version 4.1.1. I’m also using Windows 8 and Xubuntu 12.10 on my PC.

My two questions are:

How do you manage your dates cross-plattform? I would like to be able to manage my dates from all three of my working systems. You once said that you don’t like to use Google Calendar. So what is your alternative?

It’s annoying that my smartphone notifies me about new emails and new posts from the social networks during the time I’m working on my computer. But I don’t want to switch the notifications off, because of short messages, WhatsApp, ChatOn, and other services that only run on my smartphone. So what is your advice to handle this best?

CalendarCongratulations on your new phone. If you’re not in the Apple ecosystem where iCal and iCloud dominate the landscape, you might find that Google Calendar is actually one of the best solutions there is. It syncs natively with a wide range of third-party calendar programs as well as the included calendar app on your Android device(s).

What I found particular discouraging about Google Calendar is the Web interface. You don’t have to use it, though. The data itself can sync with most calendar apps for Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android with very little issue.

There are some great alternatives to Google Calendar out there if you prefer to access your data through a browser. Zoho is an excellent alternative that works a lot like Google Calendar without tying you to the Google ecosystem. You can sign into it with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account and use it from your browser with little issue. An Outlook plug-in is also available if you prefer to use Outlook to manage your dates on Windows.

You could also set up an Exchange server to manage your calendar, email, and other information. There are applications and plug-ins for just about every platform out there that works with these server types and can help you keep your data synced across multiple devices. This is a pain in the neck to manage yourself, and can cost you some money if you want someone else to manage it for you. This method is preferred by a lot of businesses because it’s inherently self-sustaining.

If you really just want to sync your data across multiple platforms, Google Calendar might be the best place to start looking. You don’t have to use the Web interface to use Google Calendar. Even iCal on OS X can sync with Google and make your experience fairly seamless.