It was 2014 when disaster struck. Yes, Ebola and ISIS took over the headlines. But, the discontinuation of Google Calendar Sync left behind two orphans — Microsoft Outlook Calendar and Google Calendar. The global tribe of productivity zealots attended the wake.
Don’t get me wrong. Both Outlook Calendar and Google Calendar are smart project management tools in their own right. So, there was something harmonious in banding them together.
Why keep both Outlook and Google Calendars synced?
Keeping two different calendars can be a time suck. But there are some situations which make this handshake necessary. Is it any one of these reasons? We would love to hear more in the comments.
- You work in two jobs that use either one of the calendars.
- The two calendars might serve different purposes – maybe, one is a personal calendar and the other is for work.
- You travel a lot and trust Outlook Calendar on the desktop more than the Google Calendar on the web. Though, Google Calendar can work offline too.
- You have set up a Google Calendar for collaboration on a special task and would like to see the information in Outlook.
- Maybe, you just love calendars and can’t get away from them.
In the busy-ness of life, you would want to see the events in both calendars – together. Keep them synced. These third-party tools have stepped into the chasm left behind by the official plug-in.
The Google Calendar Sync Replacements
Keep Outlook and the Calendar organized and it will boost your productivity as you begin merging data with that in Google Calendar with these tools.
Calendar Sync for Outlook and Google Calendar (Free & Paid)
Calendar Sync (ver.188.8.131.52) is a software that allows you to set up a one-way sync with either Outlook or Google as master. The one-way limitation is removed in the Paid version. The free version also limits you to sync appointments and events within the last 30-days.
The Pro version ($9.99) allows you a 2-way sync of all events and even use custom date ranges. The freedom to use multiple calendars and profiles is also an extra notch for the Pro version.
Both Free and Pro flavors are available as portable versions too. Let’s highlight the core features of the free Calendar Sync utility.
- Choose one calendar to sync.
- Sync Outlook Categories/Colors to Google Calendar.
- One-way sync supports deletions of duplicate events.
- Match Outlook Reminder to a pop-up reminder in Google with sync.
- Automate the sync in the background for every 5 minutes or set a fixed time.
- Supports Google 2-step authentication, when enabled.
- Sync events and mark them as Private.
Outlook Google Calendar Sync (Free)
Outlook Google Calendar Sync (ver. 2.5.0 Beta) is completely free and supports two-way sync. This is the feature that hobbles the free face of the first software on this list. Download it as an installer or as a portable app. The sync tool works in all versions of Outlook from 2003 to 2016 64-bit.
You can carry all event attributes from one calendar to the other. Events can be merged with existing ones in one calendar. Also, get a prompt before the tool deletes a duplicate event.
The calendar sync tool is a better alternative for the privacy mavens. Events can be flagged as private. Even the words in a subject line can be masked if you have security concerns. You can also make it work behind a web proxy.
- Select event attributes to sync.
- Configure the frequency for syncing calendar updates.
- Set custom date ranges to cover all past and future events.
- Sync the default calendar or choose from the other non-default Outlook calendars.
- Full CSV exports of calendars is supported.
- Syncs recurring items properly as a series.
Calendar Sync + (Free)
Calendar Sync + (ver.1.4.0) also supports bi-directional movement of entries from Outlook to Google Calendar and vice-versa. The description says that the tool is still going through improvements and more advanced features are on the anvil. It supports Outlook 2007,2010, 2013 and 2016.
- Sync multiple calendars and tasks.
- Use precise intervals for sync in hours and minutes.
- Set a specific number of days (past and future) for sync or give a date range.
- Synchronize event description, attendees, reminders, availability, and more.
- Merge calendar entries from one calendar to the other.
- Choose manual or automatic synchronization.
- Use with a proxy connection.
gSyncit (Paid & Trialware)
gSyncit is a paid software ($19.99) that syncs Microsoft Outlook with a slew of productivity apps like Toodledo, Wunderlist, Evernote, Dropbox, and Simplenote. You can use this to sync with Google account calendars, contacts, tasks, and notes.
The trial version is limited to one Google and Outlook calendar. And, you can just sync 50 entries and cannot sync deletions of any contacts, notes, or tasks. Automatic synchronization is also disabled.
- Available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
- Sync Google event colors with Outlook categories.
- Selectively choose to sync public and private appointments.
- Customize sync options to control how, when, and what you want to sync.
- Multiple account sync is supported.
Note: I haven’t used gSyncit myself, so I welcome helpful feedback in the comments!
G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook (for Google Apps Users)
If you are in a collaborative team, the G Suite is a recommended cloud productivity tool. The suite includes Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Calendar. The business software also gives you interoperability with Microsoft Outlook and additional security options like two-step authentication and SSO.
G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook sets up the gangplank between both tools. It was earlier called Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook.
A detailed comparison between both calendars is available on the G Suite support page.
- Sync multiple calendars to Google Calendar from Outlook.
- Include events, reminders, descriptions, attendees, and locations.
- Share a calendar from Google Calendar with other Outlook users.
- Free or busy status is synced across both calendars.
Microsoft Flow is designed to be the IFTTT killer. Like IFTTT, you can create automated workflows which connect two or more online services together.
Right now, there are a total of 151 connectors for different online services and one of them is the bridge between Google Calendar and Outlook Calendar. The Outlook Calendar is one that’s included with Outlook.com.
You can use the Google Calendar to Outlook Calendar connector for syncing events between both. Or, use the Outlook.com calendar to Google Calendar connector for bringing a copy of an event created in the Outlook Calendar to your Google Calendar.
The cloud connectivity of Microsoft Flow is a simple solution to keep both calendars synced across all platforms.
Sync With the Smartphone Apps
This will need a change in your calendar habit. But it gives you the simplest solution while on the move. Like most things these days, the solution sits in your hand 24×7. Your smartphone. Pick one of the three methods.
1. Use the Calendar Mobile Apps
Outlook and Google Calendar both have apps for Android and iOS. Installing both apps is a simple solution, but with timely notifications and smart scheduling, you can configure both calendars for specific events.
Microsoft also introduced shared calendar support to its Outlook client recently. Now, your contacts can get access to specific Outlook calendars too.
2. Use the iPhone Calendar
The Calendar app on an iPhone and iPad can display a combined Google Calendar and Outlook Calendar. Go to Settings > Mail > Accounts > Add Account > Choose both Google and Outlook.com.
Log-in to both and allow the sync. Any events added to either calendar will appear in your Calendar app.
3. Use Outlook on Android
Install the Microsoft Outlook app from the Play Store. The app can connect to accounts on Office 365, Microsoft Exchange, iCloud, Yahoo, and Gmail. Choose Gmail with your log-in credentials to access both calendars.
Why Do You Use Two Calendars?
That’s the productivity question. Yes, it can help to keep all your calendars updated but isn’t it another overhead you have to handle? Both Outlook and Google support multiple calendars, so using that option may be simpler to managing events on two different services.
I suppose it comes down to productivity around your schedules and events. And, the leftover habits for a preferred calendar tool.
Tell us your reasons. And tell us in detail how you make two different calendars play well together. Which calendar do you prefer?
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