Combine and Sync Outlook Calendars

I have access to multiple Calendars in Outlook. Some of them are shared Calendars from managers and colleagues.

To maintain my overview, I currently copy their content to a separate combined calendar. Obviously, this is quite error prone and cumbersome.

Is there any way to automate this process or a better way to create a single merged Calendar?

Combine & Sync Calendars buttonWhen I hear people talking about duplicating data within their own Outlook configuration, I always cringe a bit.

Usually, there is a much better way to do this but often the option to do so isn’t easily discoverable or you might not have been aware that Outlook could do it in the first place.

In the Calendar, “Overlay Mode” is such a hidden gem by which you can solve the above issue with ease.

Overlay Mode and Side-by-Side Calendars

Button - Calendar Overlay ModeOverlay Mode was first introduced in Outlook 2007 after Outlook 2003 introduced Side-by-Side Calendars.

Side-by-Side Calendars is the feature which lets you select multiple Calendars when you are in the Calendar Navigation (CTRL+2) simply by clicking the checkbox in front of the Calendar.

Overlay Mode is the feature where you can actually place these Calendar “on top of each other” to create a aggregated view which looks like a single Calendar.

You can find the feature in the following location:

  • Simplified Ribbon (Microsoft 365)
    View-> ellipsis (…) button on the right-> Overlay
  • Classic Ribbon
    tab View-> option group: Arrangement-> button: Overlay

Another way to do this would be to press the arrow icon tab is shown at the top of each Calendar tab (next to the name). This allows you to combine some Calendars and to view others side-by-side.

The arrow buttons on the tabs allow you to combine the selected Calendars.
The arrow buttons on the tabs allow you to combine the selected Calendars.

Overlay Mode - Multiple Calendars - Not combined (click on image to enlarge)   Overlay Mode - Multiple Calendars - Combined  (click on image to enlarge)
With the Overlay Mode feature, you can turn multiple Calendars into one.
(click on image to enlarge)

Sync Calendars anyway

Add-Ins buttonIn some case, creating a single combined Calendar folder might still be best. Especially when it comes to exporting and publishing scenarios.

To automate this, there are several add-ins available. CodeTwo offers various add-ins for this, each optimized for a specific scenario or environment:

  • CodeTwo Folder Sync (free)
    With this add-in you can create a folder pair which will have a 2-way sync, meaning that the contents of the folders will always be the same.
  • CodeTwo Exchange Sync (free)
    Exchange level application with full control about how the syncing between folders is taking place. This can be a 1-way sync as well which for instance allows you to create aggregated group calendars where the content can be tagged and filtered during the sync process.
  • Code Two Sync for iCloud (free)
    This add-in is specifically created for iCloud users. Rather than having your Calendar, Contacts and Tasks stored in the special iCloud folder separate from the rest of your folders, you can let them sync automatically instead.
    Now you don’t have to jump between folders anymore, reminders and other Outlook features will work again while they also remain accessible to you on your iPhone and/or iPad.
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