Sync from Notion to Google Calendar

I have just spent (way too many) hours trying to sync a simple Notion database to a Google calendar. Wow what a mess.

And the winner is… notion.cafe

The losers…

Here’s what didn’t work:

  • Firstly, I tried a little program called notion.cafe, but it only seemed to sync about 10 events. (Keep reading – I do come back!)
  • I read about a way to do it using ‘automate.io’ but apparently Notion recently bought out automate.io then shut it down!
  • There is a way to use Zapier. This is what I spent the most time with. But there were issues with the event jumping forward a month, or back a month, or forward a timezone, it was strange.
  • There are lots of forums saying that when Notion releases a feature called ‘Database sync‘ it will all be solved. Well that was released back in 2021 and still no Google sync.
  • I tried a new calendar app called Cron that Notion have recently acquired, even Notion’s own app cannot sync database entries from a calendar, only pages.
  • There’s a paid app at https://app.notion-automations.com/ that claims to do it, but it wasn’t working for me either.
  • I also tried downloading a Chrome extension called Bardeen.io but I got nowhere with it.

That’s 7 failed attempts!!!!

Notion.cafe

Finally, I came back to the first little program called Notion.cafe. Initially, I was hesitant to pay 3 euros per month, but now 3 euros was looking like a steal!!! I upgraded to the paid version and used a filter to sync the data to 4 separate i calendars. It’s working perfectly.

Here’s how it works. You sync with Notion and can create multiple calendars based on any filter you like. I made 4:

Each calendar has an ical link that you can ‘subscribe’ to from your Apple calendar. So you can view Notion events, but not edit them,

This is what the settings look like. You can choose what fields to bring in from Notion. you can filter certain entries.

It’s the simplest of any of the options and it works!

Zapier

For those who are trying Zapier, I made some progress but gave up.

Here’s what I learned:

Default Values

If you have a value that may or may not exist (like end date) you need to do a ‘text’ transform (not date) and set a default value. Here I set the default value of the event ‘end’ time to be the start time plus 1 hour. This is becuase Google requires an event end time.

Google Date Format

Google is very unforgiving with its date format. Here’s the format it needs from Zapier to work. A give AM or PM and Z gives the timezone.

Overal Zap

Here’s what my working but buggy Zap looked like.

  1. Grab the info from Notion
  2. Add one hour to the start time and save it to use in the next step.
  3. If event end time is blank use the value we just calculated.
  4. Format the end date to how Google likes it.
  5. Format the start date to how Google likes it.
  6. Pop then data into a Google calendar.

Looks simple! But it was creating events that started at 3am, that started a month early, or ended a month late. I was reading and displaying the values OK from Notion, but there are some serious problems with the was Zapier integrates with Google!

Needless to say I am very happy with notion.cafe at this stage.

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