staying on the same page: using Google Calendar for a family

Craig and I love that we’re always on the same page.  Communication is so important to us.  We talk about everything, make decisions together and schedule our plans as a team.

Without Google Calendar, scheduling would be so difficult.  Since we started using it, I could never go back to a paper, hand-written one.

So how did we set it all up?  


Get a Google Account
Go to Google Calendar to get your account.  Each person who will be sharing calendars needs one.

Create the calendars that you need.

On the left-hand you’ll see a list of all of your calendars.  Click on the arrow beside the “My calendars” heading and select “Create new Calendar”

A new page will open for you to enter the detail about your calendar.

Name your calendar.

There are some optional details, but we don’t use them (Description, Locaton, Time Zone)

“Share with specific people” –This setting is most important.

This works best if they have a Google Account.

Enter the email of the people who you want to share it with and then select the permission settings for them.

We have calendars for:  each of us • each of the girls • family events • Craig’s work • Youth Group • Birthdays

Yes, that’s a lot.  But separating things out allows everything to be colour-coded and easy to recognize.

And  they are all set as “Make changes AND manage sharing” so we both can make changes to all calendars.

Changing the settings

You can always go back and changes the setting if required.

On the left-hand you’ll see a list of all of your calendars.  Click on the arrow beside the “My calendars” heading and select “Settings”


Taking it all with you

 The key to staying on the same page is taking the calendar with you.  Craig and I both have iPhones and iCal on our Mac computers. Sycning will work on Android devices as well but I think there are some syncing issuses with Blackberry though.

I will show you how to sync on the iPhone and iCal but you can go to the Google Calendar Help page for other devices and apps.


Syncing on iPhone

There are 2 steps to get all of your calendars synced.

1. Your default calendar

Open the Settings application

Open Mail, Contacts, Calendars
Select Add Account…

Select Gmail

Enter your account information:  Name, Email

      (your full Google Account email address), your Google Account

Password

      , and a

Description

Select Next at the top of your screen.

Make sure the Calendars option is turned ON.

If you only have one calendar to share, then you’re done.  If not, keep going.

2. Sync Multiple Calendars 

Open the Safari or Chrome app on your iPhone and go to https://www.google.com/calendar/syncselect

Select the calendars you’d like to sync, then click Save.

The selected calendars will be displayed at the time of the next sync.


Seeing all the Calendars in iCal 

If you’re using Apple iCal 5.x and up then this will work.  If not, read here.

This is very similar to syncing on your iPhone.  Gotta love Apple for keeping things easy!

1. Your default calendar

Open iCal
In the toolbar, click Calendar, then Preferences
Click the Accounts tab
In the accounts pane on the left, click the + button to add an account

Enter the following information:

Account Type

      : Google

Email Address

      : Enter the full email address that you use to log in to Calendar.

Password

    : Enter the password for the email address you listed above.

2. Sync Multiple Calendars 

Open the Safari and go to https://www.google.com/calendar/syncselect

Select the calendars you’d like to sync, then click Save.

The selected calendars will be displayed at the time of the next sync.


There you go! I hope this helps you and your loved ones stay on top of everything.  
If you have any questions, please comment below as others may have the same question. 
 

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