How Do I Sync Outlook and Google Calendar?

by Denise Hazime on July 21, 2016

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So you've moved your organization to Google Apps, only to realize that some of your business partners are still stuck on Outlook. You need to share calendars with them to ensure your mutual productivity remains unaffected. Here's how to share your calendars with them, and how they can share their calendars with you. It’s also a helpful way to transition all of your calendars from Outlook to Google for Work in a few easy steps when you are just getting started. This is a very easy process to implement for your IT department with Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook.

Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook does not work with the free edition of Google Apps - it is only available with Google For Work, Google for Education and Google for Government subscriptions. If you want to check it out, you can sign up for a free trial for Google For Work with UpCurve Cloud by contacting us. There are two ways to install Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook - as an individual user, if you’ve been granted appropriate permissions by your IT department, or as an administrator for your entire organization.  

How to Get Started as an Individual User

To get started, visit Google’s support page for individual users and download and install the tool. From there, use Google’s getting started section for help on what gets synced, what doesn’t, and any special considerations and systems requirements. Google has a full walkthrough for anyone making the switch from Outlook to Google Calendar - take a few minutes to read through it and bookmark it to refer back to if you run into any issues.  

Getting Started as an Administrator

You can either choose to push an .MSI file to all users to get your entire organization set up, or choose to allow users to install Sync themselves as above. If your business is actively using Microsoft Outlook, the .MSI file push is the best solution to make sure everyone’s events get imported properly from the legacy MS system. Get more information here.  

Seeing Calendars From Outlook-only Users who Don’t Have Sync Installed

If you need visibility over calendars from users not in your company, such as clients or contractors, and they only use Outlook, there’s a way to do it with minimal work on their end. The only catch is that this can only be done with Outlook 2007 and up. Bascially, they are creating a link which they will send to you to add to Google Calendar.  

Outlook Calendar User  

Click “Share”, then “Get a Link”. They then decide if they want to show you event details or not, and then click “Create” once they’ve made their choice. The type of link they choose to create after that is important - they should choose the “Import into other calendar apps” option. Then, they send you the link.

Importing Into Your Google Calendar  

Once you have the link, go to “Other Calendars”, then select “Add by URL”. You will then be prompted for the link. Paste it, and you are good to view their calendar in Google Calendar. You can do the same thing with other applications, such as Zoho Projects - generate a link within Zoho Projects to see what’s happening with them right from Google Calendar.  

A Note on Ongoing Dual Use

If you choose to use Sync to enable using both Google Calendar and Outlook at the same time, be aware that some functionality may be limited. For example, if you choose not to receive responses from invitees to an event in Outlook which was created originally in Google Calendar, you’ll still get responses by email. Minor items like these, plus the full collaborative power of Google Calendar, may eventually sell you on using Google Calendar alone - but using Sync to get yourself up and running with Google Calendar is a great first step. Google Calendar is ultimately less cluttered and easier to use than Outlook, and offers more features such as:

  • attaching files to eventsu
  • avoid scheduling conflicts with different time zones by adding a new time zone in the calendar grid to reference
  • automatically decline events when you have a scheduling conflict
  • have a shared team calendar

  If you are interested in test driving Google Calendar and how easy it is to import everything from Outlook, contact UpCurve Cloud today to get set up.

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