Is it possible to sync my Google Calendar with iCal so that I don’t have to input the same activities twice?
Nothing’s so nice you want to type it in twice. Thanks to CalDAV, this is pretty easy. If you want “click a box and it’s done” easy, consider picking up BusyCal ($49, busymac.com) as an iCal replacement. It has some charming bonuses too, like the ability to show a weather forecast on your calendar.
But to set up your Google Calendar in iCal (so you don’t have to crack open your wallet), first you open iCal > Preferences > Accounts, and click the plus button to set up a new account.
Adding your Google Calendar account to iCal is pretty easy.
The pop-up dialog has a drop-down where you’ll choose Google, and then it asks you for a description (how about something descriptive, like Google Calendar!). Next type in your Google username and password. In the server options box, typehttps://firstname.lastname@example.org/user
but for the bolded part, use whatever email address you use to log in to Google Calendar. If you also use Gmail, it’ll be email@example.com. (The “user” part on the end doesn’t get changed to your own username. It really should say user.)
You’ll see an option for User Kerberos v5 for authentication, but you can leave that unchecked, according to Google’s instructions. Click Add. Then click to the Delegation tab, where you can choose which of your Google Calendars you can add to iCal. If you don’t see them all right away, click back to the Account Information tab, and then click over to Delegation again.
The default refresh rate is every 15 minutes, but you can change that in iCal > Preferences > Accounts, in a drop-down labeled Refresh Calendars, or just manually refresh anytime with Command-R. Happy syncing!