DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

August 31, 2010

Google Calendar Sync

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , — Ron @ 4:36 am

I do not like to write columns that relate to only a small segment of my readers but sometimes it is necessary.  Because of email requests these things pop up from time to time.  I have received several requests about this over the last couple of months.  So today I will explain an online application that will relate to people who use two products and wish to combine them.  Wouldn’t it be clever to combine calendars in Gmail and Microsoft Outlook?  For the past few years we have been able to do just that with this product.

For instance, I use Outlook for my main email application and have for many years.  For the majority of my personal email I use Gmail.com.  There is a lot to recommend Gmail.  Although I have written about Microsoft Live, my personal preference is Gmail.  That could be due more to familiarity with it and not that it is significantly better.  But if you care, try both and form your own opinion.  It is mostly personal preference.  And yes, before I get a bunch of emails from you other geeks, I know that I can read Gmail and all other email in Outlook.  That is what I do. 

OK, now back to the calendars.  I use Outlook’s calendar for all of my appointments and scheduling both for work and home.  Whether it is a meeting at work or a doctor’s appointment I post it there so that I will be notified at a time of my choosing.  I also use a BlackBerry which will sync to my Outlook calendar.  If you have a smart phone you need to check with your cell provider or phone manufacturer to find out how to do it( if you don’t already know.)

However, when I am online on a computer without Outlook on it or surfing the net and don’t want to start up Outlook it would be good to be able to use my calendar while online.  In steps a free application, Google Calendar Sync (bit.ly/google-cal-sync).  Once installed it will allow your two separate calendars to communicate with each other.

SNAGHTML50be6fIt is fairly easy to set up.  Follow the instructions on the site and you will be up and running in no time.  There are basically three settings you need to apply.  First, your Gmail account name and password (to access your online calendar) need to be entered.  Next, you will need to enter how you want to sync the two calendars (see the next paragraph) and how often you wish to sync them during the day.

The Sync Options have three choices.  First, would you like to sync the calendars both ways so that if you make a change on one it is updated on the other?  The next way syncs changes on your Gmail calendar up to your Outlook calendar.  The final way is to sync all of your Outlook appointments to your Gmail calendar but not to Outlook.

I run this application on several computers and they are all tied in to my main calendar in Outlook.  If you use Outlook 2010 there is an extra step that you will need to Google for a "how to" – isn’t that appropriate?

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