I ran into a scenario recently where I wanted to be able to combine both my work (Office 365) and personal (Google Calendar) calendars, which I found to be a really painful process. Likewise, the information on the web turned out to be equally painful. The main motivation for doing this is so that I can sync all of my calendars to my (Android phone), so that when I’m away from the computer I can easily see what is on both my personal schedule as well as the work calendar.
Since I started using Office 365 I have found a number of small annoyances, and this post servers to illustrate a good example of one. Office 365 is a good product, there are just certain things that are needlessly confusing and complicated as well as a few things that could just work better out of the box. My opinion is probably also skewed, due to the fact that I haven’t used any of the Microsoft Office online offerings for a while now.
The first step is to publish/export the calendar on the Office 365 side of things. The setting to export the calendar is completely buried in the O365 web app but can be located by navigating to Settings -> Your app settings -> Calendar
This should open a navigation menu on the left with more options. From here you can find Shared Calendars -> Publish Calendars settings.
From here you can select which Office 365 calendar you’d like to publish and also the permissions to share. Once those options have been chosen, you can save and a link will be generated for both the HTML and ICS versions of the calendar.
It turns out that only the ICS link will work on the Google Calendar side of things. I did have some trouble when I was playing around with the HTML version, which turns out is because Google doesn’t cooperate with HTML calendars, only ICS.
Now you can import the ICS calendar on the Google Calendar side of things. There are a few ways to do this. Pull open the settings in Google Calendar and either use the Import & Export feature to upload the ICS file generated above or add the ICS URL to the shared calendar using the Add Calendar -> From URL option. Note again that the HTML version of the URL won’t work.
Using either the ICS web link or importing the calendar using the ICS file should work. And after adding the calendar in Google you should see all of the events pop up and if you look at your calendar on your phone, the events should be present. The sync can sometimes take a few minutes, so if they don’t show up right away just wait a bit (or sync them manually) and if you created a new calendar you might need to turn it on.
NOTE: If you add the calendar using the ICS import method, you will not have any way to delete “unmerge” the calendars. Basically, you will have to manually delete the items that were imported from the ICS file if you want to get rid of them permanently. If you create a work calendar in Google Calendars and import the ICS there, it will probably be a lot more manageable.
This solutions feels a little bit clunky but it is good enough for me, and there doesn’t seem to be a good work around for sharing the Office 365 calendar with Google. If there are any good Android apps that can add calendars from different providers let me know, that would probably work just as well but I didn’t really need to look after putting this workaround together.