Software

How do I... Synchronize a Google calendar with an Outlook 2007 calendar?

Information technology professionals are notorious for being busy all the time. Many try to keep their lives organized by using calendars, task lists and other electronic forms of tracking meetings and events. One way to keep your calendar at your fingertips is to synchronize your Outlook 2007 calendar with your Google calendar. Mark Kaelin shows you how to set it up.

Ask just about anyone if they are as organized as they would like to be and the answer is likely to be an unequivocal "No." For information technology professionals, the answer may not be suitable for polite conversation.

Keeping track of meetings, tasks, events, and everything else in between is often handled by a calendar application like Microsoft's Outlook 2007. But, if you are like me, you want that calendar information to be available, up to date, and accessible at any time. Well, there are ways to make that commonly used application more useful by synchronizing it with a Web-based calendar like the one found on Google.

As you can probably guess, getting that synchronization to happen is not as simple as just clicking a button, but the configuration is not too onerous.

This blog post is also available in PDF form as a TechRepublic download and as a TechRepublic Photo Gallery.

Google calendar

The first step is to establish a Google account and navigate to the Calendar applet. The screen should look similar to Figure A. Note: this is a brand new feature on Google so there may still be a few kinks to iron out.

Figure A

Google calendar applet
Click on the Sync with Microsoft Outlook calendar link located at the top of the page to get to the screen shown in Figure B. Click the Learn More link to get to the screen shown in Figure C.

Figure B

Calendar help screen

Figure C

Sync software

From this screen you can click the link to the synchronization software installer:

http://dl.google.com/googlecalendarsync/GoogleCalendarSync_Installer.exe
Run the installer (Figure D) and answer the questions appropriately to complete the process. The installer will install shortcuts on your desktop and in the Startup menu if you wish.

Figure D

Installation
At some point you will reach the screen shown in Figure E. Enter your Google account information and then choose one of the synchronization options shown. The two-way option offers the greatest functionality, but the best option is really up to you.

Figure E

Choose your sync option
Once you have made you choice, click OK and then Close to finish the install. You should now have a new icon in the task tray. (Figure F)

Figure F

New icon in the task tray

Right click on that icon and click Sync from the resulting menu and your Outlook Calendar and Google calendar will synchronize.

The best part

The best thing about this Google synchronization applet is that I can now keep all my various installations of Outlook 2007 up to date with the latest meeting, event, and task information. (Figure G)

Figure G

A busy calendar

Now if Google would just create an applet that would synchronize my Outlook contact list automatically, I'd be set.

About

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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