Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Setting up Google Calendar sharing

An easy way to share your Microsoft Outlook calendar with others for free is via Google Calendar. This will automatically synchronise with Outlook, so you do nothing once it's set up which is easy to do. Many clients use this to share their calendar with their PA, and allow their PA to add or amend appointments remotely, and here are the instructions and links I normally send then to help them set up calendar sharing:
  1. Register for a Google Account, so you can access Google Calendar... goto www.google.co.uk and click "Sign  In" (top right on menu bar)... then click "Create an Account Now" and follow instructions
  2. Once signed in to your account, click "more" (on menu bar) and then "Calendar" from the drop down list - you should now be in your Google Calendar screen.
  3. To synchronise Google Calendar with Outlook, you will need to download and install a small piece of software... goto the Sync With Microsoft Outlook page (you can also get there by clicking the gear symbol (top right on menu bar) and then click "Calendar Help" - "Sync" - "Sync with Microsoft Outlook")
  4. Follow the instructions to download & install the software. Be sure to select 2-way sync if you want your PA to add or amend appointments on your behalf.
  5. To share your calendar, at your Google Calendar page click "My Calendars" (if not already expanded) and click the little arrow to the right against your calendar... now click "Share This Calendar" from the drop down menu
  6. Next, enter the Google email address of the person you wish to share your calendar with and select the appropriate "Permission Setting" (ie. for them to view or make changes) from the drop down menu to the right first... now click "Add Person", then click "Save" and its done.
Finally, have a play with the Google Calendar to familiarise yourself with it and run some tests between you and your PA to make sure it's set up correctly and the 2-way sync works.

It is worth noting the blue/grey rectangular "Google Calendar Sync" icon in the System Tray (bottom right in the desktop tool bar). You can force the synchronisation after a test or at any time - rather than wait for the regular timed sync - right click the icon and then click "sync". You will also see "Options" in the list, which is where you can change the Sync directions and timing options.

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