Google Calendar is a free web application offered by the Internet mogul, Google, that allows you to easily publish and share events with friends, family, and coworkers. Whether you are business minded and need to share reservations, appointments, meetings, conferences and trade shows or simply popular and your daily activities attract a huge number of followers your calendar can easily be shared with limited or full accessibility and with selected people or everyone you know.
There are several good reasons to use this service. Google Calendar allows you to share your schedules with anyone you like. Knowing when you are busy or free makes life easier for you, your family, and friends. Google Calendar is also made for small screens, allowing you to sync to your mobile phone’s built-in calendar and view your appointments on the go. Google Calendar helps you stay on schedule with customizable reminders that include an option for email notification or text messaging sent right to your mobile phone. Invitations are made easier by accepting RSVPs to your events via email or Google Calendar and you are able to access to your schedules however and whenever you want by syncing with desktop applications such as Microsoft Outlook, Apple iCal, and Mozilla Sunbird. Even if you don’t have Internet access, Google Calendar allows you to view a read only version of your calendar wherever you are. And the best reason of all? All those neat features are FREE.
So, how do we start using the Google Calendar?
1: Sign up for a Google account — it’s free, so there is no reason not to. If you already have a Google Mail (Gmail) account, you can use that account to login to the Google Calendar service.
2: Point your browser to the Google Calendar homepage (http://www.google.com/calendar) and log in.
Supported browsers are Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer versions 6, 7, and 8, Mozilla Firefox version 2.0 or later, and Safari 3.1 for Mac OS.
Once inside, there are many things that you can do with your new Google Calendar – but first you need to decide with whom you will share it. In this article, let us first focus on how to share your Google Calendar with specific users or the entire world.
Share your calendar
How you share your calendar is up to you. You can share your calendar in a number of ways:
1: to the public
2: with specific users
3: with your domain
4: to people who do not use Google Calendar
5: via subscription feeds
6: embedding on your website
7: on your website using Google Calendar Data API
The options are numerous and quite overwhelming, so let’s learn them one by one.
Share you calendar with the public
When you choose to make your calendar public, all of your events will appear in the public search results of Google Calendar and Google Web Search. Additionally, everyone can view the calendar and its public events by adding it to their calendar list or using your Calendar Address.
If you make your calendar public and select ‘Share only my free/busy information (hide details),’ your event details won’t appear in Google Web Search or Google Calendar search results. Only your free/busy information will be visible to those who access your calendar at its address or by adding it to their calendar list.
To share your calendar with everybody, just follow these steps:
1: In the calendar list on the left, click on the down-arrow button next to the appropriate calendar, then select “Share this calendar.” (Alternatively, click on “Manage Calendars” at the bottom of the calendar list, then click the appropriate Share this calendar link.)
2: Select Make this calendar public.
3: If you don’t want others to view the details of your events, select Share only my free/busy information.
4: Click Save.
Share your calendar with specific users
You can currently share your calendar with up to 75 users per day. If you’d like to share your calendar with more users, please wait 24 hours before trying again.
To share your calendar with specific users, follow these steps:
1: In the calendar list on the left side of the page, click the down-arrow button next to a calendar, then select Share this calendar. (Alternatively, click the Settings link at the bottom of the calendar list, then select a calendar and click the Share this calendar link.)
2: Enter the email address of the person with whom you want to share your calendar.
3: From the drop-down menu, select a level of permission, then click Add. (Once you click Add, the person you selected to share the calendar with will receive an email invitation to view your calendar.)
This should give you a basic understanding of Google Calendar and how to share it with your friends, family, and coworkers. However, be mindful, the more details you share with a larger number of people, the more you open yourself up to risk – be especially careful when listing events that tell others you will be away from home at specific days and times. With that said, the next article will focus on the more advanced uses of Google Calendar including subscription feeds, Web Sites, and the Data API.