How To: Adding iCal or CSV calendars to your BlackBerry without Outlook

I’ve recently been asked, numerous times, how to add an iCal calendar (ics extension) or CSV calendars to a BlackBerry calendar.  If you’re on an enterprise activated BlackBerry or use Outlook to sync calendar items to your BlackBerry, then it’s quiet easy.  All you would have to do is import the csv or ics calendar file into outlook and sync.

However, if you’re one of the many people who don’t sync their calendars, what can you do?  I’ll give the general solution and then give a specific example of how to do it for Toronto Raptor fans who want the season schedule in their calendars.

General Method

The fact of the matter is, there are three ways to get items into your BlackBerry calendar:

  1. Enter it manually yourself into your calendar.
  2. Get invited to a meeting by receiving a meeting invite using an email address that is linked to you BlackBerry.
  3. Synchronize with a calendar program or service.

When you have a calendar file containing a number of calendar events, options 1 and 2 become tedious.  So option 3 is the only real viable option.

For people who don synchronize with any product or service, there are a number of products or services that will allow you to do this but will cost you a fee and are usually complicated.  The cheap and easy way to do this is to utilize Google Calendar.  Here are the general steps to take:

  1. If you don’t have one already, create a Google Calendar account here.
  2. Ensure that the calendar file that you have is in ics or csv format.  If you’re not sure, contact me for suggestions on how to do so.
  3. Import the calendar file into your Google Calendar. I’ll explain how this is done in the example later.
  4. On your BlackBerry, install the Google Sync application.  The quickest way to do this is to browse to http://m.google.com/sync on your BlackBerry.
  5. Setup Google Sync for BlackBerry to synchronize you calendar.
  6. Start Synchronization

When the Synchronization is done, the calendar file will be on your BlackBerry.  At this point, if you no longer want the synchronization to continue, you can disable or uninstall Google Sync for BlackBerry.

Example: Toronto Raptors Game Schedule

Since I’m a Raptors fan and since most the recent inquiries were related to the Raptors season schedule, I’ve decided to use that as an example.  Please comment or contact me with feedback if the instructions are not clear.

Download the Raptors Schedule

  1. Go to the Raptors schedule download page.
  2. Download the iCal version of the schedule.  Do NOT use the instructions for Google Calendar since they are not meant for BlackBerry synchronization and will not work for that purpose.
  3. Don’t forget to note the name of the file for a future step. It’s probably schedule.ics

Import into Google Calendar

  1. If you don’t have a Google Calendar account, go here and click on Create Account then follow the steps.  When you’re done you should be in your Google Calendar.
  2. Click the Add down-arrow button at the bottom of the calendar list on the left side of the page, and select Import Calendar.
  3. Click Browse and choose the file that you downloaded earlier (schedule.ics), then click Open.
  4. Click Import

At this point, the schedule should appear in your Google Calendar.

Download, Install and Setup Google Sync for BlackBerry

For this section, I’d like to link some very well written instructions here.  If you have any issues with them, please feel free to contact me.

Synchronize

The last step from the instruction linked for Google Sync install and setup was to initiate synchronization.  When the synchronization is done, the raptors schedule should appear in your BlackBerry calendar. At this point, if you don’t want to continue synchronizing with Google Calendar, you can disable or uninstall it.

And there you have it.  Try it out and let me know how it goes.

6 thoughts on “How To: Adding iCal or CSV calendars to your BlackBerry without Outlook

  1. Hi – I found this article really useful, thanks. Google sync is brilliant for the Blackberry.

Leave a Reply