Syncing Your Google and Outlook Calendars: Beware of GASMO!

I have dabbled with Windows 8 and Office 2013, but delayed actually paying either serious attention until now. I have a Microsoft Surface Pro, outfitted with Windows 8.1 and Office 13, but the screen is so small that trying to use it as anything other than a toy has proven frustrating. Yesterday, I acquired a new 15″ Dell laptop with a touch screen and Windows 8.1, prompting me to go beyond dabbling, since this Dell will be my main machine when traveling, so it behooves me to find out how to make it useful.

Using an add-on called Google Calendar Sync, I’ve been able to keep Outlook 2010 (running on my Windows 7 desktop and three Windows 7 laptops), my Android phone, and my Android tablet all in sync, calendar-wise. The question was: will Google Calendar Sync work with Outlook 2013. And, the answer is: Yes!

First—don’t do what I did. Do not confuse Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook (GASMO) with Google Calendar Sync. They are not the same thing. The former requires that you be a Google Apps for Business or Education user. I am not one. I mistakenly thought that Google Apps Sync was a new version of Google Calendar Sync. It is not. And, because I’m not a Google Apps user, after installing GASMO, I ended up in a confusing cycle of being prompted to create a profile each time I flipped over to Outlook after setting up a profile. See: loop, endless. Repeat.

Unless you’re a GASMO user, you want Google Calendar Sync, instead, which I downloaded from here: http://google-calendar-sync.en.softonic.com/download#. Once installed on Windows computers on which you have Outlook, your calendar items will automatically (at intervals you can choose) be sync’d between Outlook and your Google calendar. If you have an Android phone or tablet, this then means you can create calendar items in Outlook, and they will automatically show up on your phone or tablet… and vice versa.

If you have a Mac that runs Outlook for Mac, and an iPhone and/or iPad… you’ll need to look elsewhere for a solution. This article purports to show how to do it using iCal as an intermediary. But, I haven’t tried it.

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