iPhone + Google + Outlook + Facebook Calendar Sync

We have a real calendar problem in our family.  We just have too many to manage.  Here’s what we had:

  1. My work calendar – stored in Outlook on my work computer
  2. My A5 personal diary – that I can carry around to store my appointments/events outside of work, basically my cut down personal version of Our Home Calendar (see 5)
  3. My wifey’s work calendar – really big complicated thing with her class timetables, lesson plans, etc
  4. My wifey’s A5 personal diary – that she carries around with her to store her appointments/events and some of her work stuff, basically her cut down version of Our Home Calendar (see 5)
  5. Our home calendar – to store our family related events, kids activities, school activities, etc.
  6. Our Facebook events – some events that come up, that we sometimes transfer to the home calendar
  7. Our Facebook birthdays

This year, I’ve decided to try to electronicize some of this – it’s just getting too hard to keep so many diaries and calendars up to date with each other.  

So as a first step, instead of using my A5 personal diary, I’m using Google Calendars.  I tried to convince my wifey that we should use Google Calendar instead of our home calendar and her A5 diary, but she says that she likes to take her calendar with her and doesn’t want to go to a computer each time she has to see what’s coming up.

Oh well.  For me, to solve the problem of looking at the calendar on the go, I have looked at using the calendar on my iPhone 3G.

So after a bit of investigation, and setting up, I now have a system where my work Outlook calendar, my Google calendar and my Facebook events and birthdays are all sync’d to my iPhone!!   I can also access all my calendars on my laptop at home through Google Calendars.

Unfortunately, for now, my Outlook calendar at work only shows my work calendar and nothing else, but that’s OK – I’m not sure if I want to clutter it anymore.   And plus, I can always access my personal calendars at work through Google Calendars or on my iPhone anyway.

So how have I done this?  Here’s a diagram:

Calendar Syncing
Calendar Syncing

There’s several packages and ways of doing it, but this is what I’m currently using:

NuevaSync
I’m using NuevaSync to sync all the Google Calendars with my iPhone 3G.  It supports up to 8 multiple Google calendars, which is great, because I currently have 7 Google Calendars (including some generic ones like “Australian Holidays”).   Google has just released a beta version of Google Sync which is their solution which does the same thing, but apparently it’s limited to 5 calendars only (http://peterleshaw.blogspot.com/2009/02/google-sync-beta-vs-nuevasync.html).

FbCal
FbCal allows you to sync Facebook Birthdays and Events from Facebook to Google Calendars.  Seamless!

Google Calendar Sync
There’s several ways of sync’ing Google Calendars to Outlook.  I’ve seen posts on other solutions like Remote Calendar and Plaxo, but I haven’t tried these yet (Plaxo seems to be yet another calendar server – do I need yet another one?).  There’s also ways of just pointing Outlook at the Google Calendar for a read only version of it.  

I’m currently using Google Calendar Sync.  Unfortunately, it only syncs a single Outlook calendar with your main Google Calendar, but I don’t mind my work Outlook calendar being just for work only.   Since it only syncs with the main Google calendar, I’ve made my main one my work one, and placed my personal Google calendars as separate ones.

So, going back to our family’s calendar mess – it’s still slightly there – for my wifey 🙂  But for me, it’s all electronic in 2009!

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