Airtable to Google Cal and back

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

My Daily Bookings Table is the centre of my workflow.

I was URLing our Daily Bookings across to Google Cal but this was taking too long to update.

I then tried to Zap but it appears Zapier can’t make changes to records that sync across airtable and google cal.

I am currently looking at zzBots integration.

Does anyone have a calendar from airtable that they are updating and making changes to that is synced with their Google Cal? What are you using to do it?

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This may not be the answer you wanted, but I’m throwing it out there as food for thought.

I worked with someone last year to synchronize Airtable with Google Contacts using Integromat. While it was somewhat successful, there were things about it that I never got working to my satisfaction. Thinking it over now, I don’t recommend trying to keep two disparate systems in sync like this. I’m a bigger fan of having one place to go for each type of data, and always using that service/system whenever that data needs to be edited. I’ve also worked on projects purely within Airtable where data was being synced between bases, and even that was a slight headache. I can see where it can be useful in the right circumstances, but it’s never an easy setup.

Because you said that your [Daily Bookings] table is the center of your workflow, I suggest that you consider doing all calendar entry/editing in there. Make a shared calendar view and subscribe to that view’s feed in Google Calendars using the iCal link provided in the share settings. Again, that’s my take based on my experience.

I agree with you Justin and that is where I started. My ical url’s were taking over a week to update and staff could not rely on the airtable ical url link in google calendar to be correct.

A week? That doesn’t sound right. Granted, I don’t use Google Calendar, but my gut says the problem is there, not on Airtable’s end. There should be a setting that controls the refresh frequency for subscribed calendars, either globally or on a per-calendar basis. I’ve got a calendar in Airtable that I subscribe to in Apple’s Calendar, and it refreshes a lot more frequently than that. I can also force-refresh at any time.

You are right Jason. There is absolutely no problem on Airtable end. I can’t fault Airtable, are you are right again about the refresh rate of other calendars as well. This is only an issue with Google and they don’t appear to have a refresh button even though it has been asked for many times. I am shifting a team of educators who use Google Cal over to a new system using Airtable and it is breaking my heart. Any work around or suggestions greatly appreciated.

I was reading somewhere that Google Calendar can take up to 24 hours to refresh its calendar subscriptions. You may want to reach out to Google if it’s taking your calendar subscriptions an entire week to update. But either way, that is a huge disappointment and is completely unusable!

If you’re on Mac, I would highly recommend my favorite calendar program BusyCal, which refreshes subscribed calendars every 5 minutes. So it would refresh your Airtable calendar every 5 minutes, but you can also force a refresh whenever you want by just hitting command-R to refresh.

BusyCal also connects to Google Calendar, Outlook 365, iCloud, Yahoo, Fruxx, Yahoo, and a whole bunch of other calendar services. These are all refreshed instantly — in real time.

So all of your different calendars can feed into BusyCal: your Airtable calendar, your Google Calendar, your iCloud calendars, everything. Refreshes will happen quickly — and you can also force refreshes as well.

BusyCal also has tons of other advanced features that you won’t find in any other calendar program for the Mac. It’s honestly the best.

If you’re on Windows, I’m sure that there are calendar app clients like BusyCal that you can use as well. I’m guessing that even Outlook could subscribe to calendars, but I’ve never used Outlook before.

Unfortunately my organisation do not run Mac.
Any other suggestions?

Any calendar app on Windows should do the trick.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

With your suggestion will my educators end up with their appointment calendar in their google cal?