ADVANCED TUTORIALS

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Integration with Google Calendar

You can sync your FacileThings Calendar with your Google calendars. To do this you have to connect both applications using the “Calendars” connection box that you will see in the Integration section of your Account.

Google Calendar integration

Note: If you work with different Google and Outlook accounts to manage your personal and professional calendars, you can bring all these data sources together in your FacileThings calendar. You can connect as many Google and Outlook calendars to your FacileThings account as you need.

Once you give FacileThings permissions to access your Google Calendar data, the following configuration window will appear:

adding calendars

Now you just need to add the calendars you need. The main calendar, or default calendar, will be the one among all the connected calendars that does not have a tag associated with it (it can only be one). All the items in the FacileThings calendar that don’t have a special calendar tag will go to Google’s default calendar.

When you connect a Google calendar there is a first synchronization, which can take some time if you have many items in the FacileThings calendar or in the Google calendar itself. From there, only each modification that takes place will be synced.

You can connect as many calendars as you need. Once you’ve connected the default calendar, continue adding the calendars you need.

Unlike the default calendar, any other calendar will need you to assign a tag so that the system can distinguish the events of that calendar:

setting calendar tag

For example, if you have a specific calendar to organize your running training and you associate the running tag with it, the events of this calendar will appear in FacileThings having this #running tag:

running google calendar

running FacileThings calendar

Similarly, when you add an event to your FacileThings Calendar with the #running tag, it will go to the Google Running calendar.

If you add a calendar tag to a Calendar item, the event will be moved to the corresponding Google calendar. If you remove the calendar tag, the event will return to the default calendar.

The synchronization happens automatically

This means:

  • Every time you create or modify an event in a Google calendar that is connected to FacileThings, you will have the same event with the same information in FacileThings within a few seconds.
  • Each time you create or modify an event in the FacileThings calendar, you will have the same event with the same information in the Google calendar that the event belongs to, within a few seconds.

The synchronization is bidirectional

This means that any change in the FacileThings Calendar or in the Google calendar will be immediately reflected in the other calendar.

If you move an item from the FacileThings Calendar list to any other list, the event will disappear from the Google calendar (it will reappear if you return it to the Calendar list).

In the case of movements to the Done list, you can choose what should happen with the Google calendar event. You have three options:

options on action done

  • Do nothing: When you mark the task as done, the event remains in Google Calendar as it was.
  • Modify text: In this case, the event also remains in Google Calendar, but slightly modified. The “text” of the event is changed to “* [text]”, to indicate that it has been completed.
  • Delete event: When the action is set as done, the event is removed from Google Calendar, leaving the two calendars exactly the same.

All future events are synchronized

Each time you connect a calendar, all events will be synchronized from yesterday’s day forward, with no maximum date limit. The events that you have hidden in the Tickler File will also be synchronized.

In this way, you will always have all the future events in both calendars, so you will not miss any detail of your schedule.

Recurring events

The recurring events of Google are integrated in a special way to be effective from the point of view of the GTD methodology.

Every time a recurring event is created in Google, the occurrences of the next three months are synchronized with FacileThings, turning the first one into an actionable item. That way you can work with the next action a la GTD, while having a complete view of your schedule in the coming months (the non-active occurrences can be seen in the special calendar views).

recurring events in Google Calendar

recurring events in FacileThings

Only the first occurrence of a recurring event is a live action in FacileThings, the rest cannot be edited. If you need to modify an occurrence of the list other than the next one, you must do it in Google Calendar. The update will be synced to FacileThings.

As with the FacileThings own Routines, when you set that first occurrence as Done (or trash it), the next occurrence in the list will automatically become actionable. The Google occurrence list will also be synced again so you always have a real three-month planning window.

If you assign a Goal and/or Area of Focus to the active item in the sequence, subsequent items will be generated with the same Goal and Area of Focus.

Management of private events

You may not want certain events you have in FacileThings to be seen in the Google calendar, and vice versa. Now you can control this through a simple tag:

tag for private events

In this example, any item you add to the Calendar with the #private tag will not be synchronized with Google Calendar. Similarly, any event in a Google calendar with this tag will not be synchronized with FacileThings.

Things to have in mind

  • Before connecting any calendar you must make sure that it is configured in the same time zone as FacileThings (the time zone is defined in the Account section). If time zones were different, the defined time for each event will be altered in the destination calendar and you will have a little chaos in your schedule.
  • If you make changes to the FacileThings Calendar and you have the Google Calendar page open, you will see that the Google Calendar events are updated on their own. However, if you make changes to the Google Calendar and keep the FacileThings Calendar page open, you will need to refresh it to see the changes. This page does not refresh automatically.
  • When you disconnect a calendar, everything remains the same but the changes stop synchronizing. If you disconnect a calendar and connect it again sometime later, after some changes have been made to it, you can find there are differences (which you should manually adjust).

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