Synchronizing the Family Calendar

For 11 years, we’ve used Microsoft Outlook as our family message and organizing center. But, Outlook has one very big limitation. It’s only available on one computer. (Unless you have a “network,” which I did consider…) So, every time my husband wants to schedule an evening event, he has to call me to check the calendar at home. This must stop. I can’t be bothered with this stuff. I’m, kind of BUSY – doing absolutely nothing. (Ha!) I can’t tell you how many times we overbooked things, with both of us working from memory on the dates. And, while I was at the lake, I had nothing. No calendar, no phone numbers — everything was stored on the computer at home.

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Now, with kids in 3 different schools, and don’t-even-get-me-started-on-the-sports-schedules, we truly are running in 16 different directions. So, I need an organizing system that can follow us wherever we go, instantly.

So, today I created a gmail account that fit our family’s name, and exported everything from Microsoft Outlook, and imported it into the google calendar, and gmail. Easy. It took less than 15 minutes to do the whole thing. You can learn to do it here, or here or here.

Now, we can all log onto google from any computer, and everything’s there on the google desktop. All of our friends phone numbers and e-mail addresses, and even appointments from 11 years ago. So now, we can check our calendar on:

  • the laptop I take to the lake,
  • my husband’s office,
  • the computer my oldest uses at middle school

And, I don’t have to spend money upgrading the latest version of outlook — I’m using google!! Constantly updated, refined, with all the latest gadgets. Free!!

Now, about letting everyone know about my new e-mail address… Thinking aloud here — you know, that’s not really critical. That can happen over time. I still have Outlook to use for e-mail, and I can always forward messages to google. The important thing is getting that family calendar synchronized. Done. So now, I’m off the hook — check it yourself!!

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13 comments on “Synchronizing the Family Calendar
  1. I love, love, love The Google precisely for all the reasons you mentioned. I also use the documents feature so that when I am working on a writing project I can access it from anywhere and don’t have to worry about attaching documents or making sure I have the latest draft on hand. I have not tried the calendar feature – that’s next!

  2. And it’s all free!! Now, I did not know about the documents feature — I’ll check that one out. I read somewhere that you can load all of your itunes stuff on google too, so you can play it on any computer. Cool.

  3. Sounds great. You can just have your current e-mail provider forward your e-mails to your g-mail account and you won’t have to change anything.

  4. Great suggestion! I need to switch. Right now, I use my calendar and address book and all that stuff from my Palm Pilot and the software on my computer and it’s just not working.

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