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Backing up your Google content

May - 20 - 2011
Nicole C. Engard

So this morning Lori Reed asked me if I backup my Google Calendar to print … I, in my current jet-lagged state, replied ‘umm’ and then sheepishly admitted that I not only don’t back up to print, but don’t back up at all! I always talk about backing up your cloud content and now that Lori points it out, if I lose my calendar I’d be completely lost! So I did some research to see how I could automate a backup process.

First I found the Google help that tells you how to export your calendar. But I want it to be automatic cause I’ll never remember to do it on a regular basis.

Next I found this article that points to an open source tool you can use to schedule downloads – but it’s for Windows only and I’m a Mac user. I also found another free Windows tool in my searches which is accurately called Google Calendar Backup Utility.

I then found a few options for Mac users. The first is CloudPull which backs up all Google content (docs, calendar, reader, etc). The next option was BackupGoo which is also for all of my Google content.

Another option for Windows, Mac or Linux is to use Thunderbird with Lightening and Automatic Export.

If you have some tips you’d like to add (or links to useful tutorials) feel free to share in the comments. When I’m done with work today I’ll be giving some of the Mac options a whirl.

5 Responses so far.

  1. Daniel G says:

    Thanks, Nicole, very timely. I just started using Google Calendar a few months ago and have been backing up monthly by printing to PDF. I’m looking forward to checking out some of your suggestions for a less clunky method.

  2. Daniel G says:

    OK, having looked at all those methods, I’ll be sticking for now with printing to PDF. They all seem to just download an .ics file, which isn’t what I want.

    I’ve written in datebooks for several decades, I’ve kept them all, and I occasionally refer to them to see when something happened. I want to be able to continue to do this with my GCal, to have an easily human-readable archival document to refer to.

    It occurs to me, though, that grepping through .ics files would be an easier way to find something than searching through on-screen or printed PDFs. So maybe I’ll download the .ics file as well as print to PDF.

    Thanks for making calendar backup even more work for me now ;-)

  3. Nicole says:

    I’ve chosen CloudPull for now :) Haven’t had a date book since in ages!!

  4. James says:

    Surely the idea of it being on the cloud is that you don’t need to back it up…

  5. Niaz says:

    @James, I assumed the same until I lost all my data and realised that google doesn’t actually backup any of your calendar events.

    Shocking to hear that from such a big corporation pushing cloud computing…surely they should incorporate a backup/recovery option of calendar events.

    I lost all my last 5 years events!..fortunately, I had previously uploaded my data to Apples iCloud and its still there, so I exported it from iCloud and imported it in G-Cal…but now, I’m not taking any chances…Google calendar backup solution needs to be implemented.


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