Join 3,514 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Calendar Editing and Syncing Between Two Mac Users
March 14, 2013 10:37 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to sync a shared event/appointment calendar with a work colleague, which we both can edit (not just view) on our iMac computers, preferably without having to go to an external website to make edits, or paying for an outside service. Details within.

We're both using using iMacs running OS 10.6.8. We are both running Outlook for Mac 2011, v14.1.4 (not on an Exchange server), and we also both have iCal. Our computers are on the same network.

Is it possible to set up a calendar which we both can easily view and edit in either of those programs? Or is there another program/app we can use (preferably free or inexpensive) which will give us the same functionality? I don't mind setting up a google calendar, but we would prefer to be able to edit it in a desktop calendar program, not on the google website.
posted by zarq to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
You can edit google calendars in iCal, as far as I know.
posted by MadamM at 10:51 AM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


iCal allows you to create a new calendar and share it through iCloud letting both users edit it.
posted by lite at 11:09 AM on March 14, 2013


MadamM: "You can edit google calendars in iCal, as far as I know."

For two people, though?

lite: "iCal allows you to create a new calendar and share it through iCloud letting both users edit it."

Unfortunately, iCloud is not accessible to us. We're not running the correct OS. You need 10.7.4 or higher.
posted by zarq at 11:15 AM on March 14, 2013


It's been possible to use Google Cal in iCal since 10.5 and has only gotten easier to implement since then. In 10.6, do the following (assuming you already have the calendar set up using a Google account):
  1. Open iCal. Go to Preferences and click the Accounts tab.
  2. Click the + button to add a new account.
  3. Under "Account Type" choose "Automatic" or "Google". Enter the user name (google-account-name@gmail.com) and password.
  4. Click "Add" to save the settings and the calendar should appear in your list.
For completeness, in Lion (10.7) and above:
  1. Open System Preferences, then open the Mail, Contacts and Calendars preference pane.
  2. Click the "Gmail" button to add a new account.
  3. Enter the account name ("Shared Calendar" or whatever you want), email (google-account-name@gmail.com), and password.
  4. Click "Set Up" to add the account.
  5. If you ONLY want to use this account for the calendar, make sure "Mail", "Messages", and "Notes" are left unchecked. Only "Calendars" should be checked.
And, should the need arise, in 10.5:
  1. Open iCal. Go to Preferences and click the Accounts tab.
  2. Click on the + button to add a new account.
  3. In the box that pops up, enter a description for the account (e.g. "Shared Calendar"), the user name (fscnlab@gmail.com) and password.
  4. Under Server Options, add the following URL exactly as shown: https://www.google.com/calendar/dav/google-account-name@gmail.com/user
  5. Leave the "Use Kerberos v5 for authentication" option unchecked.
  6. Click "Add" to save the settings and the lab calendar should appear in your list.
We have a Google calendar successfully shared between a dozen or so people, all with read-write access, mostly using iOS and OS X, versions 10.5 through 10.8. (If anyone wants the iOS instructions for the above let me know.) And note that you CAN do this through Outlook, but it's a huge pain and can really cause issues - last time I tried it, by default Outlook seems to want to import all shared events to your personal local calendar, and export all your local (personal) events to the shared one. Which can be embarrassing.

There are a few quirks with Google, mostly regarding default alerts; Google Cal does not support iCal's "Message with Sound" so any iCal events created with this setting will effectively have no alert set. You need to use the "Message" alert only. Occasionally there are sync errors such that changed events get reverted to the original setting, but this doesn't occur often enough to be much of a bother.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:23 AM on March 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


PS to make this dead-simple-easy, best practice is to create a new Google account specifically for this purpose, otherwise to access the calendar you'd need to share it with people (assuming they have a Gmail account already) or give them your account password.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:25 AM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


caution live frogs, you're awesome. THANK YOU! I set up a new gmail account, both of us set it up simultaneously on our computers in iCal and it worked. It took about 3-5 minutes to do, and your instructions were perfect. Was done without a hitch.

Fantastic. Thank you so much.
posted by zarq at 11:31 AM on March 14, 2013


Works on an iPhone, too: my wife has one, while I use a MacBook, and we share a Google Calendar. It's sweet!
posted by wenestvedt at 1:06 PM on March 14, 2013


caution live frogs, does iCal/Calendar.app use the soon-to-be-discontinued CalDAV protocol to sync up with Google? (Yes, we're all making more noise about the loss of Google Reader.)
posted by Brian Puccio at 2:29 PM on March 14, 2013


I think so. But note that Google isn't discontinuing CalDAV, they are just deprecating it (available to whitelisted developers but not new ones). CalDAV is RFC 4791, it isn't something Google authored or owns - it's simply a standard they can either implement or not. I can't foresee Google changing the protocol used to talk to the calendar without Apple either being whiteliested for continued CalDAV use, or implementing an access method for iCal using the new API.

Google never implemented full CalDAV anyway, just enough to make it mostly interoperable with iCal.
posted by caution live frogs at 2:40 PM on March 14, 2013


zarq - glad to be of service. :)
posted by caution live frogs at 2:41 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's to hoping Apple bothers to be a "whitelisted developer" or implements Google's calendar API ... instead of just saying "well, Google dropped CalDAV, why don't you all just join us here in our cloud service, it just works so magically!".
posted by Brian Puccio at 3:43 PM on March 14, 2013


Yeah, especially since some of us aren't running one of the newer OS's yet, and iCloud isn't supported!
posted by zarq at 8:22 PM on March 14, 2013


« Older I have attention deficit disor...   |  I'm looking for something slee... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.