I just want to give a little shout out to one of my new favorite programs: Thunderbird. I have used in the past, but I never really could quite get the hang of it. I would always wind up going back to Outlook. I am a big proponent of open source software, but I am still willing to pay the devil his dues if it means I can get the job done. Until recently Outlook and its calendar were light-years ahead of the competition. Well, that is no longer the case.
With the newest revision of Thunderbird, 6.0.2, the pendulum has definitely swung in Mozilla’s favor. With a few simple add-ons like Lightning and Provider for Google Calendar, this email client becomes more of a home base for email and calendar activities. Thunderbird makes it easier to do everything in one program than having to jump around on the internet. Also, it is customizable with skins made by users just like you. Basically, you can make it as pretty as you want! Sure, you could technically do the same thing with Outlook, but it was no easy task. Also, with the aforementioned Provider for Google Calendar, you can sync both ways with your Google Calendar as well. Again, doable with Outlook, but far from easy or reliable.
So, if you are looking for a good email/calendar for your desktop, give Thunderbird a try. Don’t forget to donate if you like it. I think it is important to support open source software when we can.