Sometimes I wish that dates were the things that only grew on palms. But alas, it stares back at us from calendars too. Apart from the walls, we have them everywhere”¦online, offline, iPhones et.al. And with all that comes the task of managing them. It seems such a chore at first, but the payoffs if we can keep at it with discipline, is a more organized life.
Which are your two favorite calendar apps? I hope its Microsoft Outlook on the desktop and Google Calendar on the web; because this is what the post is all about. Both are full blown calendar utilities and adopting any one decidedly makes our life a whole lot easier.
But what if you decide to use both, like I do? One reason is that both have their own features and also I like to store my my plans in two places (offline and online) for all time access. As I said before, maintaining one is a chore”¦two could be a headache. Thankfully no, because there are some ways we can sync Outlook with Google Calendar.
The Little But Handy Outlook/Google Calendar Sync
A 684KB tool from Google takes away the pain of keeping both calendars updated. Google Calendar Sync works with Outlook 2003/2007 on Windows XP and Windows Vista. The utility not only allows us to sync Microsoft Outlook calendar events with Google Calendar, it also allows us to set the direction of flow (1-way or 2-way). Also we can specify the sync frequency by giving a time interval.
Google recommends deciding on the calendar which will act as the source and the one that will be the sink. The source will be the main calendar and contain most of the information. It’s better to clear the other calendar of all events and start with a clean slate.
Now, let’s install and sync. Close Outlook if it’s running. Installation is clear cut and simple.
- The Google Calendar Sync window looks like this ““
- The first part covers the log-in details of your calendar account. The second part is about how you plan to sync between Outlook and Google Calendar. You have three options to choose from which are pretty self explanatory.
- 2 – Way: The data flows both ways. Change any detail in one calendar and it gets updated in the other too.
- 1 – Way (Google Calendar to Outlook): Information flows from Google Calendar to the default Outlook Calendar. Any changes in the Outlook calendar will not be shown in the Google Calendar automatically.
- 1-Way (Outlook to Google Calendar): Information goes from Outlook to Google Calendar. Any changes in Google Calendar will not get updated Outlook automatically.
- All that’s left is to set the update/sync interval. The bare minimum is 10 minutes while the default is 120 minutes.
- Google Calendar Sync runs from the system tray and you can access the settings with a right click. For instance, a manual sync is right click and Sync.
When the syncing operation is on, you will notice swirling arrows in the system icon. It’s a simple solution and probably the only thing that would make it more complete would be a date range selection feature.
Did You Know You Can Subscribe To Your Google Calendar In Outlook?
Outlook offers an easy way to add internet calendars like Google. Google Calendar obliges by giving us a private URL to use. Using this private URL we can view updated Google Calendars within Outlook. This is just one way as any changes in our Outlook Calendar will not get reflected in Google Calendar.
But here’s how you can view your updated Google Calendar in Outlook ““
- Log-in to your Google Calendar account.
- On the left-hand side, click on Settings for the calendar you want to use under My calendars.
- On the Calendars tab, click on the (account name) of your calendar.
- The Calendar Details tab opens up. Go down to Private Address and click ICAL. Select the Internet Web address that appears, and then press CTRL+C to copy the selected text. This private link is intended for your use only.
- Open Outlook. Go to Tools – Account Settings. On the Internet Calendars tab, click New.
- Paste the Internet Web address copied from Google Calendar and click Add.
- Give a name to the calendar in the Folder Name field. Now, any changes made in Google Calendar will show up in Outlook.
A little utility called Google Calendar Sync does the synchronizing job for us. That’s the easy part”¦the difficult part is keeping to the calendar (as the multi-million dollar time management industry always tells us).
There are a few other tools which do the job. We have briefly covered OggSync before which also allows you to do a two-way sync between Outlook (and Microsoft Exchange) and Google Calendar(s). You can also try out SyncMyCal Lite which comes with all basic calendar synchronization features.
Do you use both calendars? How do you keep them concurrent? Let us know.
Download: Google Calendar Sync.