One feature I’ve wanted for some time is the ability to reliably and easily synchronize the calendars I keep on my Mac in iCal with the calendar in my Blackberry so that I have the information in my pocket when I need it. The problem is that Blackberry does a poor job of supporting Macs and even the third-party software, such as Mark/Space’s Missing Sync, is unreliable at best.
So I set out to find a better solution and I did, even if it’s not exactly a free solution. The key is to use Google Calendar (Gcal) as the intermediary. Gcal is free to use and it has the benefit of allowing you to share calendars with others (like your wife, so you always know when her appointments are or when the kids have things scheduled).
The first step—and the part that’s going to cost you—is to download and install Spanning Sync. This product is a Mac OS X Preference Pane which as 15-day demo period. If you decide to keep it, you can sign up for a one-year $25 subscription or buy it outright for $65. I opted for the latter, because I’m betting I’ll still be using it in three years.
Spanning Sync simply allows you to synchronize your iCal calendars with your Google Calendars. The interface is clear and you can synchronize any number of calendars on both sides. It’s best to set them up with the same names on both sides, but if you’ve already got a Google Calendar, you can choose to sync some or all of your calendars no matter what they’re called. Just follow the instruction included with the software and you’ll be good to go.
From this point, by default, your iCal and Google Calendar will synchronize every hour. Now to set up the other half of the equation.
Using your Blackberry’s web browser, go to mobile.google.com and then either click “Download All” if you’d like the other Google mobile products too, or just the “Sync” link. The program will download and install.
When it’s done, click on the “Sync” icon that should now be on your phone’s screen. Open up the menu, and chooe “Sync Now” to initiate the first synchronization. Thereafter, depending on how you set your options, it should sync every hour.
That’s it! From now on your Mac’s calendar will always be handy in your pocket and changes you make to your phone’s calendar will automatically appear in your iCal. Worst case if you set them to synch every hour is that your phone and iCal won’t be synchronized for a maximum of two hours. That’s not bad considering you don’t have to do anything else.
- Mobile.jpg: Own photo
- Spanning_Sync.jpg: Own photo