Outlook synchronizes with Google Calendar for free
Google used to provide an Outlook add-in, called Google Calendar Sync, that enables users to sync its Google Calendar with Outlook appplication on Windows. As Google became a bigshot, this freebie was discountinued. In fact, it was not gone but was included in Google App for Work, which turned into GASMO and then G Suite.
I did not use the paid Gsuite after Google Calendar Sync and I turned away to iCloud instead. Some time later, I heard a free Outlook add-in called Outlook Google Calendar Sync aka OGCS was released. Based on my curiosity, I was trying it out and checked how good it was.
Installing and Configuring Steps
1. Download this Outlook add-in from the GitHub website. The most current version is 2.7.0 beta beside the 2.7.5 alpha. I will try it with Windows 10 and Outlook 2016 at the time of downloading and installing.
2. During software installation, there popped up a security warning and we can ignore it. After installation was complete, there would be window with several tabs for further configuration.
3. Click on Settings tab first. Select Google on the side. Click on Retrieve Calendars button.
4. When a Google OAuth window pops up, click on Allow button at bottom.
6. Then, an Authorisation Code will be passed back to OGCS. Next to Select calendar, there will appear the Google account previously selected.
7. Still under Settings tab, click on Sync Options on the side. Let's try configuring the following environment:
- Direction: Select Outlook <-> Google will make it bi-directional sync. Make sure to uncheck
- Disable deletions and/or Confirm deletions to have both Google Calendar and Outlook to reflect entry deletion in the sync session.
- Attribute to include: Check everything except Use Google default.
8. Next, click on Application Behaviour below Sync Options. Make sure to check both boxes of Start on login and Start in tray.
9. Click on Sync tab and click on StartSync button to see if Outlook calendar entries are being synchronized to Google?
Summary after using Outlook Google Calendar Sync for a few hours:
It took me 5 to 10 minutes to configure and test out what is what. The following points are for your reference:
1. The summary in the console is concise telling you what you need to know. It is good.
2. The Proxy Setting feature is quite useful for users in companies with proxy security.
3. Outlook entries created while Outlook Google Calendar Sync is turned off are still being synced. This is another plus.
4. Though a checkbox of Push Outlook changes immediately is not easily noticeable but still available. The immediate sync after I created something in Outlook is a plus.
1. Sync folder assignment on Outlook side is a bit obscure, not quite intuitive enough. It took me a while to realize that I need to define a mailbox to which invitations come in. Then, I get to define to which calendar folder synchronized entries would go.
3. The absence of an Outlook add-in in ribbon UI is a disappointment. I need to call out Outlook Google Calendar Sync console and literally click on StartSync button or call out OGCS's Sync Now from system tray to immediately sync what I just created on Google Calendar to Outlook.
4. I don't know about you but the shortest automated sync cycle is 10 min for entries on Google Calendar to be reflected on Outlook, which is a bit too long for me.
8. Software update as beta version is a bit slow since 2.7.0 has been out there since 2016. Software maintenance is not quite well managed.
9. Outlook Google Calendar Sync only synchronizes calendar. Other Outlook sync tools of its kind, such as gSyncit, EVO Collaborator for Outlook, OggSync and Sync2, are able to additionally sync contacts, tasks and etc.
In conclusion, OGCS does its synchronizing job as an alternative of Google Calendar Sync. In term of having demands on also syncing additional data other than calendar, such as contact and task, it is not recommended. Tech support wise, all that can be done is to create a new issue on GitHub.