Keep iPhone, iCal, MobileMe and Google Calendar in sync with BusySync

Share |

2011 update: How to troubleshoot calendar syncing with Google Calendar, iCal, MobileMe and BusySync

If you need to share your calendar with colleagues in other offices, or in an Outlook-free business, chances are that you're using Google Calendar. We use Google Calendar and are delighted with it: it has all the usability of Apple's native iCal, but with much better workflow for teams who need to plan meetings and share schedules.

But I still prefer Apple's as my local client app for viewing and adding calendar. Before the advent of Google Gears (which now makes it possible to access your Google Calendar while offline), it was also the only way to access my calendar when (gasp!) separated from the Internet.

The combination of iCal and MobileMe is also the best route for keeping a desktop Mac or Macbook synchronized with your iPhone calendar. Sure, you can do one-way subscriptions in either direction, but BusySync provides a way to pass additions and edits back and forth between calendars. And, thanks to an application called BusySync, it's also a way of keeping your Google Calendar synced to your phone.

Even if you're not a fan of MobileMe or, you may want to use BusySync as a way of keeping Google Calendar synced to your iPhone calendar. It feels like a minor miracle that I can now view, add or edit a calendar event in any one of four places:

  1. Google Calendar
  2. MobileMe
  3. on my Macbook Pro
  4. Calendar on my iPhone

...and wherever I make the addition or change, it's available everywhere else within about two minutes. This means that my assistant can add something to my Google Calendar, like the address for an upcomign meeting, and it's available virtually instantly on my iPhone calendar.

The kind folks at BusySync have a very usable, step-by-step guide to getting this setup running for you. It looks daunting but all I really needed was the pointer towards the appropriate settings in each app, and it was quick and intuitive to setup.

And it just works. I've been running this setup for several months, and while I did have a brief glitch, redoing the setup resolved them and it's been reliable ever since. It's well worth the $30 for BusySync (the $$ for MobileMe is another story...but again, as an iPhone user, I find its contact and calendar syncing indispensable. Plus I really love the backup utility that acts as the primary safety net for my data.)

If you're an iPhone, Mac and Google Calendar user, this is almost certainly the setup for you. And if you're an iPhone and Mac user who needs to share schedules with family or colleagues, it's time to try out Google Calendar


Mike Kelly says

February 15, 2009 - 9:49pm

Thank you thank you! I was wracking my brain this weekend trying to recall the name of the program I used to sync calendars between my Mac and Google. I popped by to check out the new site (very chic!) and saw "BusySync" staring me in the face.

I'd like to add one little thing:

Google now allows you to sync contacts and calendars directly to your iPhone:

Which means, no need for MobileMe anymore! I'm going to set this up tonight and give it a shot.


The 9 software choices every Mac user needs to make | Social says

May 26, 2009 - 12:01pm

[...] for teams. So if you need to share calendars with your colleagues, use Google Apps, and use BusySync and MobileMe to keep your Google Calendar perpetually synced to your computer and your [...]

RG says

June 17, 2009 - 6:32am

all you techies out there :)

I am a newbie to all things tech and have just about plunged into the world of mac and iphone and synching my life. Need help with the following: My assistant uses PC and I use Mac. Is there any way that I can give access to my assistant to ONLY my work calendar (nothing more, no contact, emails, etc) - thus us driving me crazy!

help! and thanks if you do!!

SK says

July 3, 2009 - 1:50pm

My secretary and I use google cal and I sync my ical using Busy Sync (for syncing both ways).  My secretary uses a PC and has the power to schedule my appointments on google cal.  It has worked well for us.



Nev says

July 15, 2009 - 9:35am

There's no need to use the hugely overpriced and complicated BusySync to do this.

All you need to do is to make a Google calendar, and then subscribe to it using CalDAV, on the your desktop iCal calendar, and on the iPhone Calendar too.

Both people can view it, and edit it, and it will stay in sync between the two people's devices.

Rob Cottingham says

July 15, 2009 - 12:30pm

I'm glad that's working for you - for our team, though, Google CalDAV's iCal integration has proven to be way too flaky to rely on. BusySync has kept me from tearing out what few strands of hair I have left... and the time that's saved me makes BusySync easily worth the $25 I paid for it.

But if CalDAV is doing the job for you, then good stuff! (For anyone else who wants to check it out, Google's documentation is here.)

agartka says

June 7, 2010 - 7:20am

This is just what I was looking for. I currently use google calendar with my team, but am finding out that my PM software as well as good number of clients use Outlook and iCal. and I must do a better job integrating iCal to my Google Cal viewport and vice versa.

Social Signal on...

RSS feedTwitterFacebookGoogle+

Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.

Join Newsletter

Alex on Twitter