google calendar sync-1.jpgAt work I use Outlook to manage my email and calendar, but I was looking for a way to sync my calendar with Google. It wasn’t that long ago that Google decided to release an Outlook syncing tool so that you’re able to do exactly what I wanted. Well, almost what I wanted.

The only problem I was having was that it wanted to sync with the default calendar on my account. I use the default calendar for personal stuff, and I didn’t really want the two intermingled. Similarly I wanted to leave my personal calendar as the default since that is what I add the most events to.

So how could I get around this problem? I was casually talking with a friend and I brought up how unbelievable it is that Google wouldn’t give you the option to pick which calendar you want to sync with. This kind of thing seems like a no-brainer to me, but it’s ultimately their product and they’re the ones calling the shots. He ran into the same issue, and his workaround was rather clever.

What he does is use two Google accounts: one is his primary account and the other is a secondary account dedicated solely for work events and appointments. He syncs Outlook with the secondary account, and then shares that calendar (both read and write access) with his primary account. Pretty clever. Here’s a breakdown for those of you that like pretty numbered lists:

  1. Create an extra Google Calendar account, or you can just reuse one of the many you probably have already.
  2. Share the default calendar from the secondary account (a.k.a. the work account) with your primary account. This can be done in the Google Calendar settings, and you’ll want to be sure to give the user both read and write access to the calendar.
  3. Download the Google Sync tool, and get it installed on your machine. Configure it to use the secondary account that you just created.

That’s all there is to it. Once you’ve completed those steps you will be proudly syncing your Outlook Calendar to the non-default Google Calendar located on your primary account. It might sound like more work than it’s worth, but I guess it all depends how badly you want this kind of setup. Really though, it only takes a few minutes to get it going.