Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sync Google Calendar with Outlook

Google Calendar is a fantastic online calendar service I have been using for years. Its available from anywhere you have web access and if you work on multiple computers, its a serious time saver. For Windows users, especially in the corporate world, chances are good that you are using Outlook to handle your calendar. Through the use of a little program created by Google, you can import all of your Google Calendar events into Outlook and sync changes between them.

A word of note: this will work for systems running Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, with Outlook 2003 and 2007. I set mine up using Windows XP and Outlook 2007.

The first things to do, obviously, is setup a Google Calendar account (log in here) and install Outlook. Once you have that taken care of, download Google Calendar Sync. Close Outlook if its open and then run the program you just downloaded. When the installer finishes, the preferences menu will appear for the program. Enter your account information, choose what kind of access you want and the update interval. I want 2-way access to my account so changes made though Outlook or the web interface will be reflected in the other location. There is also the option for 1-way syncing, either way. The default update interval is for every two hours, which I think is probably too slow, but that's up to you.

Now Google Calendar Sync, which lives in your system tray, will start importing your calendar events. You can view its status by hovering your mouse cursor over the icon. When it finishes, you can open up Outlook and you should see all of your events from your Google Calendar. You can change the preferences and start/stop syncing by right clicking on the icon in the system tray.

If you decide to stop using your Google Calendar or for some reason uninstall Google Calendar Sync, all of your events will still be in Outlook. For more information on Google Calendar Sync, check out its homepage here.

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