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It’s been a hassle to try and get our family schedules in one place. In order to know where everyone needs to be, we have a family calendar (see Setting Up A Family Scheduling Station). But keeping that calendar up to date has been hard.
I keep my personal schedule and my daughter’s schedule on my Palm, and I have a sparse work calendar in Outlook. The major stumbling block to getting the information is that I haven’t had access to my husband’s schedule. He keeps everything in Outlook at his work, and prints out copies when he may need them at home (like before a trip). I wanted the information, but I had to make it really easy for him to get it to me, or it wasn’t going to happen. At the same time, if I didn’t have to transcribe things that would give us a better shot at getting accurate information onto the family calendar.
The easiest way for me to make the transcription from the various schedules to the family calendar is to have the information on one piece of paper. Because of that, I chose Google Calendar as our destination calendar. It will accept imports from the various sources and I can print out a single paper with the information I need.
Getting To Google Calendar
Getting my Palm information to Google Calendar is easy: I use a program called CompanionLink which automatically syncs the information for me. I included it in my weekly maintenance batch file, and I no longer have to think about it. (Note: CompanionLink has other options for syncing, but since I really don’t need updates more than once I week I chose manual).
Getting Outlook 2007 calendars to Google is fairly easy as well, and documented in the Microsoft help. But it still is a series of manual steps, and missing one can mean the difference between meaningful data and placeholders. Outlook generates an export file, which then can be imported into Google Calendar.
Making It Easy: The Macro
In order to facilitate this export, I wrote a simple macro. It remembers the right options and automatically mails the file to the address specified. The file is available for download here and in the Ebooks section of the blog.
How To Use The Macro in Outlook 2007
Notes and disclaimers: This program is provided as is. There are no claims made that it will work, not cause your pc problems, etc etc. If this program causes your PC to explode, which in turn sets your house on fire, killing your goldfish, you assume all responsibility for such and not me. Use at your own risk!
- Download the macro file to your hard drive or other known location
- Start Outlook 2007.
- Open the Visual Basic Editor (Alt + F11 or Tools/Macro/Visual Basic Editor)
- Import the macro file (Ctrl+M or File/Import)
- Adjust the parameters near the top of the file to set your email address, the location you want the calendar file to go and the number of days to export.
- Close the macro editor window.
- Close Outlook, and select YES to saving changes to the VBA Project.
How To Run the Macro
Start Outlook 2007 and press Alt+F8 to bring up the Macro window. Select “ExportCalendarAndMail” from the list and choose Run.
You will receive an email at the address you specified above with the attached calendar file. You can then import the file into Google Calendar.
This macro is set on both my husband’s and my work computers, and we run it once a week. The resulting files get sent to my Gmail account, and I can then import them into Google Calendar from there.
This macro really has made the difference between having up-to-date information and not. I hope you will find it useful!
Photo by Stephen Korecky