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Wise Tech Tips: Google Calendar – Part 2 (Sharing)


By James Wise
web posted September 21, 2009
TECH TIPS – In my previous column, I talked about using Google Calendar to keep up with your events and events of interest to you like sporting events. Today, we’ll talk about how you can share your calendar. Sharing your calendar is a great way for other people to keep up with you or events of common interest like school or church events.

There are basically two types of shared calendars: public and private. I would only make a calendar public if it doesn’t contain personal information and is something you don’t mind anyone seeing. For example, the STHS football game schedule calendar I made is one that I setup as a public calendar. With private calendars, you can still share the calendar but you will have to give each desired person access to it in the sharing section.

When you create a calendar, you can setup sharing. You can also do this afterwards simply by clicking “settings” in Google Calendar and going to the “Calendars” tab. Next, click the calendar in question and go to the “Sharing” tab. From here, you can determine whether or not the calendar is public and who (email address) is allowed to view and/or edit your various calendars. You can also remove people from this list if you added them in the past and need to remove their access to your calendar.

To give a new person access to your calendar, enter their email address, click “add person,” and then click “save”. The “permission settings” box allows you to control the level of access for the user in question.

The following choices are available:
Make changes and manage sharing – I wouldn’t use this unless you want to give the person full ownership of the calendar

Make changes to events – With this, other people can add/modify events. I wouldn’t normally use this unless you want to grant people that level of control.
See all event details – This is what I typically give to people. It allows them to see complete details but not make any changes.

See only free/busy – If you don’t want a person to see all your details and only want them to see when you are “busy” with other events, you can use this option. This can be useful for business purposes (i.e. when is John available to talk on the phone) when you might not want the person to see what you are doing exactly but just let them know that you have something scheduled at that time.

If, as a calendar owner, you add a person here who doesn’t have a Google Calendar account, you will be asked if you want to invite them to open a Google Calendar account. If you don’t invite them (or invite them but they don’t open an account), they won’t be able to view your calendar. If they didn’t have an account already and do choose to open one from your invite, they may not see the calendar you shared by default. In that case, you may have to remove them and re-add them from the calendar sharing settings after they have created a Google Calendar OR the user in question could type in your email address in the “add a friend’s calendar” box.

The “Calendar Details” tab can be used to get the calendar’s public address (never give anyone the private address). Click the ICAL button to get the address for anyone using Google Calendar OR (for public calendars) click the HTML button to give a person a website link they can use to view the calendar without a Google Calendar account. Keep in mind that the HTML version won’t provide all the features of Google Calendar such as the ability to view multiple calendars on the same page. I believe there might also be issues (i.e. events are showing) using the HTML version if the calendar isn’t a public one and the person in question doesn’t have a Google account.

Another option for calendar sharing is that the person who wants to see your calendar adds you through their Google Calendar account. To do this, that person needs to type in your email address in their Google Calendar in the “add a friend’s calendar” box under “Other Calendars” on the left hand side of the screen. This will send a request email which you or the calendar owner can then click on to add the user to the calendar sharing settings.

I recently added public calendars for the Strom Thurmond High School Football games and for Edgefield County School Student Holidays (taken from the District’s website: http://www.edgefield.k12.sc.us/about/schcal.htm). Below are links to those calendars if you would like to use them. Note that with the “Google Calendar” links, you'll need to right click the "use this address" link and choose "copy link location" (or "copy shortcut" depending on the browser you use) to get the correct address. When asked for the calendar URL during the add process in Google Calendar, just use ctrl+v to paste this link and add the calendar.

STHS Varsity Football Games:
Direct Web Link without Google Calendar:

Google Calendar:

Edgefield County SC Public Schools:
Direct Web Link without Google Calendar:

Google Calendar:

If you have any questions about using or sharing Google Calendar, just send me a mail (EdgefieldTechHelp@gmail.com). Next time, we’ll wrap up our Google Calendar series by talking about how to synchronize Google Calendar with Microsoft Outlook. This will be of particular interest for anyone currently using Outlook to maintain their calendar.
 




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