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December 5, 2017

Syncing Outlook & Google Calendars

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — Ron @ 5:08 am

I wrote about one of Google’s great apps called, “Google Calendar Sync” in 2012.  Then in 2013 they did away with it.  It was an easy to use add-on for Google that made it easy to sync between your Outlook (usually work related) and Google calendars.  That way you could have your business appointments in Outlook sent down to your private Google calendar to have everything available in one place.  Then you would not have your doctor’s appointment in your work calendar, etc.  You could also sync in the other direction or both at the same time.  Great app!  Check here “rd.dblclx.com/2AhTpJ8” (caps count in all of these shortened URLs) for a list of the many Discontinued Google Products.

In 2015 I wrote about a good replacement, “Calendar Sync +” which did the same thing but was sometimes quite difficult to coordinate.  I used it until about a year ago.  It is still available and you can read about it at “rd.dblclx.com/1MlSy85” from my old article.

At that time a friend referred me to “GO Contact Sync Mod” at “rd.dblclx.com/GOSyncMod” which I liked better.  As a matter of fact, I still use that application.  From the title you would think it would only sync your Contacts but not so.  However, it also syncs your calendars.

Once installed it will sit quietly in your taskbar’s notification area unless you have not set it to “Run Program at Startup.”  That setting only starts the program but not the actual process of syncing.  There are several items needed to successfully set up GCSM.  First, set up your Gmail address which you have to also enter the password.  Next, set “Sync Profile” to my computer.  The next checkboxes are whatever you choose and are self-explanatory. I check both “Sync” and “Prompt Deletion” settings so that all deleted items are matched up.  That way I get a warning in case something is being incorrectly deleted (has not happened yet).  Now decide if I want to also “Sync Contacts” which will pull all of your Google Contacts into Outlook for you, or visa-versa.  I personally do not use that at work, but I do at home.

GO Contact Sync Mod screen

Yes, last week I said I no longer use Outlook which is true.  However, there is also a version of GCSM for Thunderbird which also works well.

The final step is to decide how you want it to sync.  In other words, sync both ways between Outlook and Google or only in one direction so that one of them has everything.  You can also decide which app wins if GCSM cannot figure it out (rarely after the first couple of runs).

There are more setup details on the Go Contact Sync Mod site at “rd.dblclx.com/GoSyncSetUp” if you care to check.

There are other alternatives on the web but for now this is the one that works best for me.  Of course, in another couple of years I may be writing about a better option as I have done this time.

November 21, 2017

July 17, 2012

Google Calendar Sync

After last week’s column about Google’s calendar I could not believe the number of emails I received.  The great majority of them were asking about tying that calendar to others, mainly Outlook for people who use Microsoft products in the office.  I wrote about this several years ago but the response deserves it again, along with some updates.

It would be really brainy to combine calendars in Gmail and Microsoft Outlook and someone has.  I believe they have done a very good job of it, too!

For instance, I use Outlook for my main business email application and have for many years.  For the majority of my personal email I use Gmail.com.  Many great features serve to recommend Gmail.  To see what I have recommended, read a few of my most recent articles at DoubleClicks.info

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 alerted/alarmed/reminded at a time of my choosing.  I also use an Android phone 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 this (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.  In steps a free application, Google Calendar Sync (bit.ly/google-cal-sync).  Once installed GCS will allow your two separate calendars to communicate with each other and to "sync."

It 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.

Link OptionsThe 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 the changes from your Gmail calendar up to your Outlook calendar.  The final way is to sync all of your Outlook appointments to your Gmail calendar, which is the option I use.

I run this application on several computers and they are all tied to my main calendar in Outlook.  Please note: currently Google Calendar Sync is only compatible with Microsoft Outlook versions 2003, 2007, 2010 and operating systems Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

July 10, 2012

Google Calendar

If you currently have a Gmail account you most likely already know all about the Google Calendar feature.  Also, if you are one of the many Android smartphone users you are well aware that in order to reap all of the benefits of the phone, you must have Gmail. Google Calendar is automatically added into the mix.

But if you are new to Gmail, (there are many of you out there according to the emails I have received,) today we will look at Google Calendar.  This is another of the excellent free Google features which come with a free Google account.

Once you have logged onto your Gmail/Google account page you can click on "Calendar" in the top Google toolbar to get there. 

Google Toolbar

The calendar will automatically open in a new window or tab.  Where it opens is dependent on your browser and how you have set it up.  You may also go directly to the calendar at "calendar.google.com" or "google.com/calendar."  If you have not already logged into your account you may do so then.  If you have, you will go directly to your main or default calendar. 

There are many views for your calendar so I cannot predict how your calendar will appear.  However in most cases, unless you have previously changed it, you will be in the Month view.  You will see the entire month laid out in a grid format just like the calendar on your wall or in your checkbook register.  You may also switch to Day, Week, Month, 4 Days and Agenda views.  I usually use the Month or Agenda views. 

Calendar View Choices

Most of the views are self-explanatory but I don’t understand why you would want a "4 Day" view.  Yes, I can understand the others or a "5 Day" view but four…oh well.  I like the Agenda view since it shows you a list of all of the appointments you have added to your calendar.  If you have nothing in your calendar for the day, there is nothing there but the following days will be plainly laid out.  Let me mention one last thing about the views.  The view buttons do not hold much weight, since there is a small month thumbnail-view calendar on the far left of the screen. The exception to this would be Agenda.  In the calendar you can click and drag the time range you want to see, so if you click and drag on three days, that is what will be displayed in full size.

Ron's Calendar

If you are an old e-Calendar pro the following items are very standard and have been for quite a while; however, this is for you noobs (Google for that definition if you need it) out there.

You can enter an appointment by clicking on a date/time and typing the specific information, simple.  However, you may also click the "Create" button on the calendar and enter in many extra details about the appointment.  You may even invite people to the appointment via their email address.  They will receive an invite and if they accept the meeting it will be entered into their default calendar program setting a reminder alarm (usually) and you will also receive an email notification saying they have either accepted, declined or tentatively accepted your request.  Slick, and did I mention all of this is free?!

There are many other features found in the Google Calendar.  If you use it let me know what your favorite feature is in this great "cloud app."

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