Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Synchronizing calendars, contacts, and other data, part of iCloud Essential Training.
- Probably the most core feature of iCloud is keep data synchronized. Of course, you can use iCloud to make sure your calendar's up to date on all of your computers and devices, but you can also synchronize other information, including your address book, bookmarks in Safari, and notes. So let's get that all set up. If I open up my calendar, I see I've got a bunch of appointments. Now, I want to point out that I have a calendar set up through my Google account, and then I have a couple calendars set up through my iCloud account.
My Google calendars will not synchronize with iCloud. So if I want to synchronize any appointments through iCloud, I have to make sure that I create those appointments either in the Work or Home calendar in my iCloud account. So if I create a new calendar appointment, and let's say this is going to be meeting at 2:00 o'clock, I press Return, I can see it creates this meeting, but I have to make sure I click this button and I set it to be on one of the calendars in my iCloud account.
I've got some appointments in my calendar. If I go into my address book, I've got a whole bunch of addresses in my address book, and I have a few notes in the Notes app. I don't have the Reminders app here on my dock, but I can go into Launchpad and I can open up Reminders and I can see that I have a few reminders set up. So I'm just going to quit all of these applications. I'm going to jump into System Preferences, into my iCloud preferences, which we've seen before. And I need to double-check some options here.
If I want a piece of information to synchronize with my other computers, I need to have the check box checked next to it. So I want to make sure I synchronize my contacts and my calendars. Those are checked off. I can see that reminders and notes are not checked off, so I need to make sure to click those so that it will synchronize them. And I can also synchronize my bookmarks in Safari, so I want to make sure that's turned on. I'm all set on this computer. I'm going to jump over to another computer.
Now on this computer, if I open up my contacts, the only contact I have in my address book is my own card. If I go into Launchpad and launch my calendar, I can see that the only calendar appointments I have here are the standard holidays that come on the US holidays calendar that's here by default. If I go into my notes, I don't have anything here, and if I go into my reminders, I don't have anything except for two completed to-do list items.
Let's change that. Again, I'm going to quit all of these applications here on this computer. I'll go into System Preferences. I'll go into my iCloud preferences, and you can see that I did already log into my iCloud account, but I intentionally unchecked all of these options to synchronize this data. And I did that so that we can see what it looks like when I turn those on. So I'm going to turn those all on here, and it's going to ask me if I want to merge this data. I might have completely different data here on my computer than what I have on my iCloud account.
If I merge these together, it'll just keep all of the data from both places and mix them all together. And generally, that is what I want to do, so I'm going to hit Merge. I'll do the same thing with Reminders, I'll merge. And Notes, and my Safari bookmarks. Now I have all of this data set to synchronize. And I start to see some of the alerts that are associated with my calendar. So the data is already starting to populate. I'm just going to close this alert.
I'll quit System Preferences. And now, when I open up the calendar, I have all of these appointments that I created on the other computer. If I switch to the Week view, and I'm going to hit the Today button to jump to today, now I can see all of those appointments that I created on the other computer. I do not see my Google calendar appointments, of course. I only see my iCloud appointments. If I open up my contacts, I can see that that data has not yet populated. It does take a little bit of time for all of this data to come in.
For now, I'm just going to quit this. I'm going to open up the Notes app, and I can see that that data just now popped in there. So those are the notes that I had on my other computer. And now if I jump back to my address book, now that a little bit of time has passed, I can see that all of my contacts have filled out here in my address book. Now, of course, this information can be synchronized in other places, as well. For example, if you're using another computer, somebody else's computer, and you don't have access to your own iCloud account, you could go to iCloud.com, log in here on the website, and all of the data that you have synchronized can be accessed here.
I can go into the calendar. I can see all of my calendar appointments. If I click on the iCloud logo over here, I'll switch to one of these other categories. Let's take a look at the contacts. I can see my address book is here, as well. I could switch over to Notes. I see my notes are there. So I don't have to activate anything on the website for this data to synchronize. If I've set up any of my computers or devices to synchronize with iCloud, then that data will just be visible here.
An, of course, any changes I make here will be automatically populated to my other devices. So, for example, if I go into my calendar, and you can see I've got this appointment tomorrow to take Ozzy to the vet, I'm going to move this. I'm just going to double-click on it, and I'm going to change it from 3:00 o'clock to 5:00 o'clock. And I'll hit Okay. And now it's later on the calendar. And with that, I'm going to switch over to my iPhone. Now, I've already set up my iPhone to synchronize all of my iCloud data.
If I go into Settings, into the iCloud settings, I can see that all of the features are turned on to synchronize calendars, reminders, contacts, all of that stuff. So if I go to the address book here on my phone, I see that that is completely filled out. And if I go to my calendar, and I'm going to hit the Today button, make sure I'm on today, I can see all of those appointments that I set up are here. And if I flip to tomorrow, I can see that this appointment to take Ozzy to the vet has moved to 5:00 o'clock because I changed it on the calendar on the iCloud website.
Like I said, synchronizing data like this is one of the most core features of iCloud. If you need to keep your calendar or your address book or your notes or you reminders synchronized across multiple devices, especially between your computer and an iPhone, this feature is going to be very useful for you.
- What is iCloud?
- Creating an iCloud account
- Linking to iCloud on Mac, Windows, and iOS devices
- Managing storage space
- Synchronizing data
- Locating lost iPhone, iPads, and computers
- Working with iCloud Drive
- Setting up Family Sharing
- Transitioning work from your computer to your iPad or iPhone with Handoff