If you're a Mac user who's stuck using a Microsoft Exchange Server at work like I am, you're probably drooling over Google Calendar, too. The other day I got so frustrated, I decided to replace Entourage with Gmail and Google Calendar. It's not a perfect system. I obviously have trouble scheduling meeting rooms—but then I had that problem with Entourage, as well. If you want to give Google a try, here are the steps I went through:
Step I. Synch Entourage calendar with iCal.
- In Entourage:
- On the Entourage menu, click Preferences.
- Under General Preferences, click Sync Services.
- Select both the "Synchronize contacts with Address Book and .Mac" check box and the "Synchronize events and tasks with iCal and .Mac" check box.
- Click OK. Select "Merge Entourage items with Synch Service items."
- Next, follow the instructions given by Google for migrating events from iCal to Google Calendar:
- In Google Calendar, ensure that you've created the calendar that you'd like to migrate events to.
- In Apple iCal, select the calendar from the list of calendars in the iCal window.
- Select "File" > "Export."
- Name the calendar, then save it.
- In Google Calendar, go to "Settings" > "Import Calendar."
- Click "Browse" and select the appropriate file, then select "Open."
- From the drop-down menu, select the calendar to which you'd like to import events.
- Click "Import" to complete the import.
Step II. Set Up Gmail to replace Entourage.
- In Gmail:
- Click on "Settings," then "Accounts."
- Under "Send mail as," click "Add another email address." Enter your work email address.
- Select "Next Step," then "Send Verification."
- In Entourage:
- Find the email from Gmail Team, and click the link given to verify your address.
- Go to "Tools," then "Rules." Click the Add icon.
- In the "Rule name" field, type "Forwarding."
- Under "If," leave "Execute" set to "If all criteria are met." Make sure "All messages" is selected in the pulldown menu.
- Under "Then," choose "Forward to." Type in your Gmail account.
- Make sure "Enabled" is checked. Then click OK.
Step III: Keeping Google Mail and Calendar Up-To-Date
This is the easy part. Now that things are set up, your Gmail account should receive all email sent to your work address. Gmail will display an "Add to calendar" link when you open any message with meeting or event information. Just click on the link to add the event to your Google Calendar.
You can also add event information to your Google calendar manually from Gmail:
- Open the email.
- Select Create Event from the More actions... drop-down menu.
- Edit and add event details as desired.
- Click Save Changes.
Ta-da! You're done. Enjoy!