Amir Chaudhry

thoughts, comments & general ramblings

Easily Aggregate Outlook, Google & iCal calendar feeds


For those who don’t want to read the rest, here’s what you do.

  1. Visit the free service MashiCal & create a calendar
  2. Add each of your iCal feeds to your MashiCal calendar (adjust settings as appropriate)
  3. Copy the subscribe link (right-click and ‘copy link’ on the aggregated calendar)

You now have a link to an aggregated iCal feed of your calendar!\ Below is the rest of the post for those with more patience ;)

Cal Logos

Why would anyone need to do this?

If you have multiple calendars, sharing free/busy information becomes painful. One result is that too much time can be spent scheduling meetings.*

If I could combine all the calendar feeds into one free/busy feed then I’d only have to share that one calendar with colleagues. So far none of the applications I use are able to do this intelligently, and that’s without the additional complexity of having multiple calendars in each application.

Enter MashiCal.

Using MashiCal to merge .ics feeds

I was already using BusyCal from BusyMac so my Apple iCal calendars sync with Google quite nicely. Therefore, I only need to worry about getting my Google and Outlook calendars into one feed. (NB It’s possible to publish a feed directly from Apple iCal so you don’t need to buy any software)

Getting a feed from Google

To get your ics feed from your google calendar, visit the calendar’s settings page. Make sure the calendar is shared otherwise the feed will not work.

Getting a feed from Outlook

In Outlook 2007 you’ll need to right-click on the calendar you want to create a feed for and “Publish to Internet”. When you’re prompted to share the feed you just created you’ll be able to see the URL you need.

Aggregating the feeds

Now that you have the iCal feeds you want to aggregate, visit MashiCal and put them together. The interface is quite simple and MashiCal will produce an Agenda view and provide a link at the top of the calendar that you can share.

Be aware of the calendar settings for each feed you are entering since timezones and refresh schedules may be relevant. Once it’s done you’ll have a aggregated iCal feed that you can share with others. You can see what my free/busy feed looks like here. I’ve also collated my calendars into a general free/busy page too.

I hope this was useful. I wrote this since it took me a while to discover MashiCal and thought it might be useful for others too.

*I’m aware there are services that try and solve this problem (e.g MeetWithMe and Tungle.Me come to mind). However, I’m more interested in having an aggregated free/busy feed which people can subscribe to.

Comment on original post: Apr 17, 2011 - Zack said... This is cool. The scenario that really needs to be solved is... 2 working parents needing to view each others work schedules as well as personal appointments, maybe personal hotmail or gmail calendars at home and each has an outlook calendar on different work domains. And maybe throw in a teenager's schedule into the mix. Some details you want all to see and some you want to keep private but busy. Now take these calendars and figure out how to view them on each parent's phone. I've been playing with outlook connector which is great when you're at a pc, but the phone experience is missing and you really need that when you're on the road. Has anyone figured out the aggregate when multiple people are involved, and how to do it cleanly on phones?