Thursday, September 24, 2009

iPhone Tips: Over-the-air Syncing with Outlook and Google Calendar

I use Outlook a lot to organize my meetings and appointments during the work week. Unfortunately, I am not always at my desk and am too busy to always remember to sync my iPhone or Blackberry to my Outlook using iTunes or the BB Desktop Manager.

That's when I came up with a 3-way syncing system between my Outlook, Google Calendar and my mobile devices, leveraging off Google Sync.

Basically, I use MS Outlook as my main scheduling tool. I use it to create and manage most of my appointments, including meeting requests that I get through email.

I then use Google Sync to synchronize the Outlook events to my default calendar in Google Calendar.

I then configure my iPhone and Blackberry to synchronize its calendars with Google Calendar. Viola! The iPhone and Blackberry calendars are now synchronized over-the-air and I don't need to worry about missing appointments now, especially on weekends when I don't have Outlook in front of me to alert me.

Here are the steps that you need to follow to set up Google Sync and your iPhone. I'll post the Blackberry sync instructions later as it's slightly different.

* Please do note that OTA syncing uses data services and will use data bandwidth in the background. So if you are on a pay-as-you-go data plan, you might want to reconsider using OTA syncing and just rely on the USB way to sync your calendar using iTunes.

  1. Download the latest version of Google Calendar Sync for PC from
  2. Install Google Calendar Sync
  3. In the Email field, enter your full Gmail email address (ie., not just username).
  4. In the Password field, enter your Gmail password.
  5. Under Sync Options, select 2-way to allow Google Sync to update both Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook.
  6. In the Sync every field, select a practical sync interval. I set mine to 60 minutes.
  7. Click on the Save button.
  8. Right-click on the Google Calendar Sync icon on your system tray, and select Sync to populate your Google Calendar with the events from your Outlook.
  9. The Google Calendar Sync icon's animation will stop once it has completed syncing.
  10. If you get an error while syncing, it might be because there are conflicting events in your MS Outlook. You can try to resolve these conflicts using Outlook and try resyncing. If you still get the same error, you might need to do what I did - delete all really old events until the error is resolved.


  1. Ensure that you are on iPhone OS 3.0 or higher. You can check this by going to Settings -> General -> Version. If you are not on OS 3.0, fire up iTunes and download the latest OS from Apple.
  2. From the home screen, select Settings.
  3. Scroll down and select Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  4. Select Add Account... .
  5. Select Microsoft Exchange (don't ask me why...).
  6. In the Email field, enter your full Gmail email address (ie., not just username).
  7. In the Username field, enter your full Gmail email address again.
  8. In the Password field, enter your Gmail password.
  9. Tap the Next button at the top of the screen.
  10. A new Server field will appear. Enter in that field.
  11. Tap the Next button at the top of the screen again.
  12. Ensure that the Calendars service is set to On.
  13. Tap the Done button at the top of the screen.

No comments:

Post a Comment