Gmail and Outlook are two popular email and productivity services, and many professionals debate which one is better. But what if you don’t care about the competition because you use both - and need to integrate them smoothly, especially when it comes to calendars? In this article, we will speak about the synchronization of calendars of Gmail/G Suite with Microsoft Office 365, Outlook/Exchange and Hotmail – for staying on schedule and not missing any appointments.
The two email giants
Gmail and Outlook are some of the biggest email services people use for business and private.
According to a recent survey, Gmail accounts for 43% of the email market and is the biggest email provider worldwide. It was launched in 2004 and offered 1GB of storage at the time – more than any mail service at that time. Gmail is mostly used as a private email and a mailbox for small businesses while its cloud computing suite – G Suite – is more popular as business email, cloud file storage, video conferencing, chat and a set of productivity and collaboration tools.
The Gmail/G Suite’s competitor, Outlook, being number four in the total email popularity list, is still a priority service for business correspondence. (Another name associated with it Outlook is Exchange. But even though they go together or even used instead one another, they are not the same thing. Microsoft Exchange provides the back end to a centralized system for your emails, messages, calendars, and tasks whereas Outlook is a desktop email client which keeps in sync with the Exchange Server).
Integrating Gmail and Outlook calendars
If you are reading this post, you may be interested to integrate Gmail/G Suite and Outlook/Exchange calendars or migrate from one to another. What can be the reasons for the integration or migration?
First, you use Outlook as your business email and Gmail for private correspondence (like many of us). Calendar invites come in both mailboxes and – no surprise – they sometimes overlap creating a mess in your timetable, make you rebook events or even miss some important appointments.
Next case is opposite: you have G Suite at work but use Outlook on your Windows computer at home and need an aggregate calendar.
Another use case is during mergers and acquisitions, when company A uses Gmail/G Suite and company B – Outlook/Exchange, and the organizations need to coordinate their activities in the calendar.
Also, mergers & acquisitions can be incredibly lengthy, so for a transition period different email servers need to coexist. Downtime of email service is unacceptable during M&A, so a smooth sync between email servers is needed.
As an IT administrator, you may also want to enable an external vendor or partner to sync and write data into organization’s internal calendar on Exchange server.
Finally, it is possible that multiple organizations with a mixture of mailboxes need to share common resources such as conference rooms in a building managed in an internal Exchange server. Conflicting calendar appointments is a real issue for many organizations. In this case, a common calendar that syncs with all accounts is a solution.
How Google and Outlook calendars can be synched
Since the need for integrating G Suite and Office 365 or Outlook has existed for a while, interested sides such as Microsoft, Google and ISVs developed various integration tools. In 2019, Google released G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook (GSSMO - link at the end) which synchronizes Email, Calendar events, Contacts, Notes, Tasks and Journal entries.
Although GSSMO has gone quite far in terms of G Suite and Outlook integration, when it comes to the calendar, it doesn’t do some important things – just like some other available sync tools on the market.
A new tool by Connecting Software called CB Gmail Exchange Sync synchronizes the G Suite and Exchange/Outlook accounts in a more advanced way. After the company’s success with CB Exchange Server Sync which integrates multiple Exchange, Office 365 and Outlook Mailboxes in all possible ways and combinations, Connecting Software decided to create a sync tool for Google and Outlook calendars.
CB Gmail Exchange Sync is the solution for secure synchronization and migration of calendar data between Exchange Server and Gmail or G Suite. It allows to sync multiple Outlook accounts hosted in Exchange Server or Office 365 with Gmail or G Suite accounts.
Its main difference from over other solutions is how exactly it integrates the calendars.
What other integration tools do is they allow to switch between Google or Outlook calendars within one email client. Or they show events from different calendars side by side.
In our opinion, this way of integration doesn’t completely solve the issue of having multiple calendars.
Imagine, someone sends you an invite for a certain date and time thinking that you are free at that moment as shown in your Outlook calendar. What the person doesn’t see is another event in the Google calendar sitting in the same timeslot. And then you start an email ping-pong, explaining and apologizing – you know the drill.
Integrate G Suite and Outlook calendars with CB Gmail Exchange Sync
What CB Gmail Exchange Sync does is merge all your mail calendars in one so that they function as one whole thing. It has much more advantage over other integrations: you don’t need to every time check your calendar slots and worry if you miss some overlapping events. It is convenient both for you and people you share your calendar with: you can’t double book one time slot, and the person sees you are not available for a particular date and time even though the slot is booked in your personal email. The service allows to provide all calendar information or simply show it as a free/busy status.
Another serious difference between CB Gmail Exchange Sync and other services is that here your data is synced on the server, not on the client or device you use – not in G Suit or Outlook or only your mobile phone. For continuous syncing, you don’t even need to have your mobile on. You can be in various locations, with devices on or off - every appointment is correctly synched.
As a professional who needs a private and business calendars synced, you can configure the synchronization options, such as the synchronization period, items to synchronize etc. – the graphical interface is easy to use. The service enables also private items sync, subfolder synchronization, creating item pairs in batch, and more.
CB Gmail Exchange Sync runs in parallel with Microsoft Exchange services in a non-blocking mode. This means it has no impact on the performance of Exchange Server which is important both for organizations and individuals.
Watch the video which explains how CB Gmail Exchange Sync works. And if you want to increase your productivity and stop missing important appointments you can:
Is there more information online?
Check various mailbox synchronization options with the CB Exchange Server Sync: