Syncing Outlook Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks with Android Using Gmail

Tips for Outlook users wanting to sync their calendar, contacts, and tasks with their Android mobile devices

People wanting to sync Outlook with their mobile devices are going to soon discover that syncing software has not quite gone “mainstream”. What programs and apps that are currently available may seem more like a hack, but they will get the job done.

The Run-Down

With the iPhone, iTunes is used to sync Outlook, but with Android devices, you have Gmail. Android users must use Gmail to sync Outlook to their mobile devices, which generally occurs in two steps:

1. A program on the computer running Outlook uploads and downloads information to and from Gmail.
2. An app on the mobile device running Android that pushes and pulls information to and from Gmail.

Programs and Apps

Syncing the Outlook Calendar with Gmail

For syncing the Outlook calendar with Google Calendar, the most widely used program is Google Calendar Sync (free) from Google. This program runs on the computer running Outlook and can sync 2-ways or 1-way from Outlook to Gmail or from Gmail to Outlook. It works with XP 32-Bit, Vista, and Windows 7 for Office 2003, 2007, and 2010.

Once Outlook’s calendar has been synced with Gmail, your Android mobile device will sync up the Android calendar app natively, provided the same Google account is used. In this way, your calendar is synced from your computer running Outlook to your Android mobile phone or tablet computer using Gmail as the ‘middleman’.

Syncing the Outlook Contacts with Gmail

There are two popular programs to sync your Outlook contacts with Gmail (both free) and they both run as an add-in inside Outlook rather than a stand-alone program like Google Calendar Sync. The first one is GO Contact Sync Mod and the second is Outlook4Gmail.

Each have their options for syncing such as who wins out when their is a discrepancy and whether or not to delete a contact when deleted in either place. One thing I noticed about GO Contact Sync Mod though is that discrepancies cause a Window’s pop-up and Outlook asks for permission to allow the add-in when it begins to run. If either of those annoy you, you might try Outlook4Gmail.

As long as the Gmail account used to sync from Outlook is the same as the one in use on the Android device AND the account is enabled in the contacts list (People), the contacts will be synced. Please note that if you chose to respect the deletes from Gmail, there is a chance that if you delete a contact on your phone or tablet that it will be deleted from your Outlook.

Syncing the Outlook Tasks with Gmail

Outlook tasks can be synced to Gmail with Gogtasks ($9) and gTasks is the app used on the Android device to retrieve and view them. It’s worth noting that in Outlook, tasks are organized by “Categories” and in Gmail tasks are organized by “Lists”. gTasks defaults to showing all of your categories/lists at once, but there is an option to show one at a time if you want.

Looking for one program that does it all?

CompanionLink (pictured) has Outlook to Gmail syncing software ($49.95), but it’s going to cost you over five-times as much as the other three solutions alone. A less costly option is gSyncit ($19.99) from Fieldston Software, which also syncs Outlook’s calendar, contacts, and tasks, but it also can synchronize notes and tasks with Toodledo, Evernote, Simplenote, and Dropbox.

For tasks, regardless of if you go with CompanionLink or gSyncit, you’ll still have to use gTasks to view Outlook tasks on your Android device. This is because Android has no native app for tasks even though Tasks are native to Gmail.

Want a comprehensive list of all of the Android sync programs?

SyncDroid is a great resource for all of the apps and programs used to sync items on your computer to your Android device. Their metrics include: Price, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes, Encrypt / Password, Email, Android Apps, Uses Gmail, Uses USB, Uses Wireless, Uses Wi-Fi, Uses Bluetooth, Exchange, Auto Sync, Outlook Version, Platform, Support, Android Version, Calendar Subfolders, Contact Subfolders, Calendar Categories, Contact Categories, Multiple Contact Folders, Multiple Calendars, Sync Contact Notes, Sync Contact Photos, Sync Direction, and Free Trial. You’ll find that no one program or app does it all, but this is very helpful for honing in on the what you need synced and what level of support you need for the syncing.

For Android support in the Indianapolis area, call Erich Stauffer at 317-572-7521 or send us an email to setup an appointment. The first hour is $95, followed by $65 an hour after that billed at 15 minute increments. We look forward to being your Indianapolis Android support technician.