Syncing calendars and contacts for the married.
January 18, 2012 4:34 PM   Subscribe

Help my wife and I wrangle our address book full of contacts, phone numbers, and calendars across our two iPhones, two individual Gmails, and a few shared GMail email addresses with Google calendar's each. Plus, we use a shared OSX account. Snowflake details inside.

We have two iPhone 4's with iCloud, a shared OSX account, we both have's, we both have individual's, a few's, and I have a work Exchange account.

We have no issue with combining our all of contacts as we mostly have the same set of friends.

Ideally, it would also be great to auto-import in Facebook events for things we "Join" (I've been Exporting the .ICS files and saving them as private events in my work Exchange account, but I'd like them to be saved to my Google Calendar.
posted by wcfields to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
So, you want all of the email accounts to have synchronized contact lists and calendars?

In an ongoing basis, or a one-time only event?

For a one-time only event, you could save off all of your gmail contacts into spreadsheet files, then open and merge them manually. Then import them into back into each gmail account. You can also add in your exchange account if you want that merged also.

For calendars, do you need them all synced? Can you just make a rule to just use one of them? Alternatively, you could just use gmail's calendar sharing features. My wife and I do that. We manage our own calendars but can see each other's. For contacts, we looked at each other's and picked some to copy, but didn't want to sync them as each has a lot of people the other doesn't care about. Like my professional contacts.

Do they iPhones have their own contacts that aren't currently synced to any of the gmail accounts? Does the OSX computer?

Why do you have so many gmail accounts though? That seems like a lot to manage...

I used this software (gsyncit) in the past on a Windows machine and it worked really nicely to sync multiple accounts to my iPhone. But there's no OSX version.

However, I think that Soocial may be the thing you're looking for. It doesn't rely on any one computer like gsyncit does. But it only does contacts.
posted by reddot at 6:26 PM on January 18, 2012

With this many different gmail accounts, have you looked into setting up a domain and managing the mess through a google apps account? (set up the gmail accounts to forward) This will allow you to set up a global address list, as well as manage calanders across the various accounts.
This article describes subscribing to your facebook calender in gmail. The iphones would talk to google apps through the exchange interface (you can have multiple exchange accounts on the iphone), and you can sync calendars and contacts with the phones.
posted by defcom1 at 8:27 AM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

RE: Calendars. You can add both calendars to iCal without overwriting each other's stuff. If you have an iCal account you wish to preserve, export everything from that account as an .ics file, then delete the account completely. Next, add a new account, using your Google account username and password. Import .ics file back into that calendar. Bingo, all iCal events are also on your Google calendar, and that will be auto-synced to the Google cal site and to your phone (if the GCal account is set up there as well). Repeat for as many calendars / accounts as necessary - for example I have my own personal calendar plus read-write access to a shared work GCal too.

In Address Book on your Mac you can choose the option to sync Address Book contacts with your Google account. You may need to back everything up first. I would (1) make sure you have backed up all data from your iPhones; (2) back up your Mac address book; (3) sync iPhones and ensure that iTunes is set to sync contacts as well; (4) back up Mac address book again and re-sync iPhones after consolidating/weeding out duplicates; (5) enable Google account sync (may need to do this one account at a time - don't know if you can sync with multiples!) and after sync, use Gmail web interface to detect and consolidate duplicate contacts, then (5) re-sync iPhones and hope for the best.

If you don't mind sharing an iCloud account it will be easier in the future to keep contacts synced between Apple devices, but Google will still be an issue. There's an answer for that here which requires you to sync directly between your iPhone and Google; this will keep things synced but will cause problems if you edit the contacts outside of your phone.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:17 AM on January 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

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