iCal syncronisation

As many of you will know I have had two Mac’s for just over a year now. In that year there has been one thing that I have struggled with, keeping the two of them in sync. Throughout the year I’ve developed a few little methods of keeping them at a manageable state of syncronisation particularly with files. But there have been two apps that have constantly eluded me in my quest. Keeping Address Book and iCal in sync has proved very tricky. There are few methods of keeping Address Book in sync, but over the year there have been a few options for keeping iCal in sync.

Spanning Sync

I first linked to Spanning Sync in March, and was a user of the product in the beta stages. It worked well after a few initial hiccoughs and I had my iCal’s running in sync and the ability to look at them on gCal (which was an added bonus). So what was the problem? When it launched it was just too expensive for me. I along with many others felt it priced itself out of the market.

Not having used it in a while, I can’t comment on how it works with prolonged use, but I do know it was running well for me and as I understand it, still does work well for many others.


I ran into the second product gSync only a few days after Spanning Sync left beta. gSync was a little more reasonably priced and whilst it too sync’d with Google Calendar it had the advantage of not using a third party server to complete the task. It worked well, but I had a few ups and downs with the product and whilst in the end it started to work, it didn’t quite seem to be doing it for me. Again the Google Calendar thing was nice, but really I just wanted to have the two iCal’s sync’d. Which is where my next solution comes into play.


Since I linked to BusySync a few days ago I’ve been trying the beta out. Unlike the other two products, which I also used during beta periods, BusySync hasn’t slipped up once. I haven’t had any issues with duplications at all, everything is just working.

So what’s the difference? The main difference and one which doesn’t bother me in anyway, is that BusySync doesn’t have any dealings with Google or other third party people. It talks between multiple Mac’s over your LAN to allow you to publish and subscribe to calendars, keeping them in perfect sync. Using built in OS X technologies (Sync Services and Bonjour) amendments to calendars are published and in less than a minute appear sync’d with subscribed calendars on other Macs. Calendars appear on subscribed Macs as if they were created there and you can define what kind of privileges subscribers can have. I have my iBook subscribed to all my calendars on my iMac and have allowed my iBook read/write privileges so I can make changes to my calendars and have them appear changed on my iMac as well.

The added bonus is that even though BusySync works over your LAN you can still make changes to calendars when you are out and about. As soon as BusySync detects your home network and shared calendars it publishes the changes to subscribed Mac’s and you are all sync’d up.

Overall it seems like a simple and elegant solution to something many people would like to have. Yes dotMac provides iCal syncronisation, but for me it’s overkill for what I need (and expensive). Ultimately, if you need to keep your iCal in sync across a couple of Mac’s in your home or small business then I would suggest BusySync is the perfect solution.