Two-Way Sync between Google Calendar, Windows, OS X, and iPhone

Since my wife and I got our new iPhones, I’ve been playing around with a way unify our calendars. When we first got married we started to use Google Calendar. We have three calendars: mine, hers, and ours. Its great for staying organized, especially when we’re trying to organize two lives. It worked well for several weeks, except one thing…

We had to be on-line and on the browser to view our Google Calendars. Lot of the time when we needed to see our calendar we were with family or friends without computer access. Also, when I work I have twenty or so browser windows open, and it can be difficult to find my calendar in the mix. I also am biased towards desktop client applications when I’m using them every hour of the day. So I set out on my quest to find a way to sync across all the different mediums I use. Now that I think I’ve found my solution, I thought I would share my findings with the rest of the world.

When I tried to decide how to sync my calendars, I started with several goals:

  1. Google as my “main” hub for hosting the calendars.
  2. No “hosting” services on my end – I didn’t want to have to have a server or something on one of my PCs required to be on all the time for this system to work.
  3. Over the air syncing for the iPhone – I don’t want to have to plug in my phone to my PC to “update” my calendar.
  4. No hassle, “it just works” mentality.

Here is a diagram of how I’m syncing:


Here is how I set it up:

1) Google is the “center” for my calendar – I’m using google as the main hub for my calendars. It is a great source for hosting my calendars because I know they are always up to date, they have great apis for developers to use to implement with, and you can access them anywhere.

2) Calgoo on Windows – Since I don’t use Outlook for numerous reasons (mainly because it is a slow pig), I was flexible for my window client. I settled on using Calgoo because it was free, the interface is great, and it just works.

3) iCal and BusySync on Mac – I like the iCal interface for using a calendar, and BusySync allows for bi-directional syncing. It happens automatically without any manual intervention.

4) NuevaSync to iPhone – This is the best syncing system for the iPhone and Google (that I’ve found). It doesn’t require any third party software on your iPhone, it uses an exchange account to sync between Google and your iPhone. Best of all, it is over the air, so it work greats. I’ve set my iphone’s fetch to ever 15 for email and calendar.

How do I like it?

I love it. It gives me easy access on my phone, my work PC, my laptop mac, and anywhere with a browser. Depending on your sync frequency, it can take as little as 15 mins for a new entry to get sent across to my other devices. My wife can add something to our calendar and it will show up on my phone.

Let me know if anyone has any questions on how I set this up, but each of the websites explain pretty well how to do it.

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