Work Better with Google Workspace

How to use Zapier to sync personal and work Google Calendars

Want to sync certain events from a personal to a work Google Calendar without manually inviting it each time? Learn how a Zapier workflow may be the answer in this easy to read, practical article.

Do you want a simple, easy way to automatically sync your personal and work Google Calendars?

After all, it’s easy enough to share your personal calendar with your work calendar and have your events show up ‘over there’ so that people don’t double-book you. But presumably you don’t want every personal event to show up on your work calendar, and it can be painful and time consuming (as well as kind of weird) to manually invite your work calendar to certain personal events.

And then of course you need to remember to mark those events as private in your work calendar if you don’t want colleagues seeing all your personal appointments. It just seems like such a lot of effort…and who has the time? No-one, that’s who.

So in this post I’m going to show you a very simple way to connect two Google Calendars through Zapier. In fact, it will take 3 or less steps and no more than 10 minutes – promise!

What or Who is Zapier?

First, if you’re not familiar with Zapier it is online software that allows you to create automated workflows without writing any code. Each of these workflows are called Zaps.

Zaps can range from very simple (think sending a tweet and then having that tweet saved automatically in a Google Sheet); to quite complicated (think automatically adding details from an email to a Google Sheet that then creates a Google Calendar event and perhaps also creates a task).

Creating an account with Zapier

You’ll need to create an account with Zapier before you can do anything. You can log in using your Google account – providing your Google Workspace admin has not turned off that functionality! Otherwise you can use Facebook or even good old-fashioned email and passphrase.

When you create an account with Zapier you’ll be placed on a 14 day free trial of their premium features. At the end of that trial, if you don’t update your billing details you’ll be downgraded to the free version of Zapier which should be fine for the majority of small business owners.

The biggest limitation with the free version is that it only allows for 5 ‘Zaps’ (a Zap is one workflow) and 100 tasks (a task is counted every time a Zap successfully moves data or takes action for you) per month.

This particular Zap will use 1 task every time it creates a Google Calendar event, so if you need to track more than 100 events (or you’re using multiple Zaps) you may need to upgrade to a paid plan.

Three steps to automatically sync your personal and work Google Calendars

Step one: Create the Zap

You can manually create the Zap but to cut down on the time it’ll take you I’ve created a Zapier template for you that will create a Private event in your work Google calendar whenever you create an event in your personal Google calendar with the term ‘office’ in its description.

Screenshot of 'Choose an account' in Zapier setup
  • Click on Continue
  • Click on Choose value and select the appropriate calendar from the drop down. You can choose your main calendar or any secondary calendar that you like.
  • You can keep the search term that I’ve put in (office), or overwrite with any term you’d like to use. It should be something that’s different enough though that you’ll only be adding it to events that you want added to your work calendar.
Screenshot of 'set up trigger' step needed to sync Google Calendars through Zapier
  • Click Continue and then Test Trigger

Step two – Test the Zap

Zapier will now try to find an event that has that search term, in the Calendar that you connected and will fail! This is completely normal and exactly what we want to see.

  • Switch over to your personal Google Calendar and create an event (make sure you include the search terms! It doesn’t have to be the exact same term as per Zapier – office in the event description for example will work even if you’ve put [office] in Zapier.)
  • Switch back to Zapier and click on Try Again. Once this runs correctly, click on Continue.
  • Click on Choose an account and make sure you connect your work Google account this time.
  • Click on Continue.
  • Click on Choose value and select the appropriate calendar from the drop down. You can choose your main calendar or any secondary calendar that you like.
    • I’ve pre-added some fields to the Zap template, but feel free to add any additional ones that make sense for your situation.
  • Click on Continue.
  • Click on Test and Continue.

Step Three: Turn the Zap on and enjoy the automatically syncing two Google Calendars

Before going any further switch over to your work Google Calendar and confirm that the personal event is there and that you’re happy with the way it looks. If you’ve got the opportunity, ask a co-worker to take a look at your calendar and confirm that they can’t see details, just that you’re busy at that time.

If you’re happy with the way the Zap works then switch back to the Zapier tab and click on Publish Zap / Publish & Turn On.

Yay! Now you’ve got a way to automatically add select events (that contain a specific term in the event description) from your personal Google Calendar to your work Google Calendar.

Things to Note

Events added by this Zap are completely separate to the original event. Changes made to the original event on the personal calendar won’t update on the work calendar. So if you think you’re going to making lots of changes to events this workflow may not be good for you.

As you go through setting the Zap up you’ll be required to connect both your personal and your work Google Calendar accounts. Be aware that this will allow Zapier to for example “See, edit, share, and permanently delete all the calendars you can access using Google Calendar”. If you’re in an industry with strong privacy requirements then make sure you’re comfortable with Zapier’s privacy policy etc. before continuing.

Want more personalised help?

I hope this article was of assistance to you, but if you want more personalised help then why not get in touch?

I specialise in helping small business owners just like you work better with Google Workspace so you can save time and money by streamlining your business processes; increasing your productivity; and improving client and employee comunications.

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