01 April 2009

Syncing Multiple Calendars With Google Calendar

Calendars are important in my family. My wife and I are both busy professionals, I travel for work a fair amount and we have the events from our two kids as well. Given that we both use MacBook Pros at home this would be very easy. But for her professional life, my wife uses a Palm Treo phone and that's her master calendar. She (begrudgingly) syncs her Treo with her Windows PC at work. I use an iPhone which syncs easily with my MacBook.

So I hunted around a bit and found something called GooSync that can sync the Treo calendar with Google Calendar. This works great for her and all I had to do was sign up for a free account.

Syncing my iCal calendar from my MacBook was also easy using BusySync. This works great, but in the future it would really be nice if I could set up a CalDav server like the iCal Server from Apple.

At SpringSource we recently switched from using Zimbra to Microsoft Exchange (blech) which made me pull out Entourage again (essentially Outlook/Lookout for the Mac - happy, happy, joy, joy). When this change occurred I started maintaining my Exchange calendar via Entourage which gave me yet another calendar to maintain. Fortunately Entourage has a feature that will automatically sync an Exchange calendar with iCal automatically. Unfortunately this is a client-side solution so Entourage must be running for the sync to take place. Luckily, EasySync just syncs another calendar from iCal to Google Calendar and my iPhone just does the same automatically.

The whole point of all this syncing to Google Calendar is so that we can each share one another's calendars via Google Calendar. Each syncing solution syncs in a bi-directional manner from Google Calendar making all of this possible. We've been using this for nearly a year and so far we haven't had any hiccups with any of these solutions and everything has worked great.

Good solutions are good because you don't hardly notice them after the initial configuration and that initial configuration doesn't require a huge time investment.

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