Smartphones have become an essential tool for managing our daily lives. We take them everywhere and use them to do everything from planning work meetings and editing important documents to actually making the occasional phone call.
One of the most important ways our phones help keep our lives in balance is through calendar apps. About 70% of adults today rely on some kind of digital calendar to manage their schedules, and according to a survey by Deloitte, calendar management ranked in the top three activities of people who regularly use their smartphones for work.
If you’re part of the Apple ecosystem of products, it’s easy to share calendar events and appointments across devices. You can do this by publishing any of your calendars to Apple’s iCloud service, then syncing it to the appropriate device like your iPhone or iPad. That means no matter where you go, you don’t lose track of your schedule.
There are lots of ways to share and customize your events and calendars from your Apple device, but we’ll start with one of the simplest methods of sharing your schedule online.
You can make any of your calendars public in just five steps:
Launch the Calendar app from the home screen of your device.
Tap the button at the bottom of the screen that says Calendars.
In the list that comes up, tap the info button next to the calendar you want to make public.
Tap on the tab that says Public calendar.
Tap Share link to share that calendar with others.
Once you’ve done that your calendar will be live. Anyone you’ve shared the link with will be able to see your calendar, but not edit it. If you ever decide you don’t want your calendar viewable any longer, you can go back into the same menu and turn the “public calendar” option off.
If you want to easily share your availability and manage multiple calendars with one tool, Calendly can help you do it. Calendly integrates with popular calendar services like Google Calendar, Outlook and, of course, iCloud, so you can manage several calendars in one place. If you keep your personal events in Google and professional ones in the Apple Calendar app, for example, Calendly lets you choose which calendar to make public and which to keep private.
If you want to share your calendar with a specific person or group of people from your Apple device, you can do the following:
Launch the Calendar app from your home screen.
Tap the Calendars button at the bottom of your screen.
Tap the info button next to the calendar you want to share.
Under the Shared with section, select Add person.
Type the name of the person you want to share your calendar with. If they are in your contact list, their info should come up.
Tap that contact’s name or email address.
Tap Add in the upper right corner of your screen for each person to add them to the list.
Tap Done when you’re finished adding people.
Every iCloud user you added to your list will now receive a calendar notification asking them to accept your invitation. Once accepted, they’ll be able to view and edit the events on the calendar you’ve shared. Be aware that this only works with iCloud calendars at the moment. Your contacts will have to have an iCloud account to see and edit the calendar.
This particular function can be useful for a team of individuals working on the same project or toward the same goal. A sales team, for example, can keep track of all calls and meetings with prospects in this shared calendar.
Once you have the shared calendar set up, your team can use Calendly to schedule those meetings. You can automatically schedule time buffers so you don’t overbook yourself and send meeting invites that let people choose the best time for them. Calendly even detects which time zone you’re in and adjusts accordingly so everyone’s on the same page.
Say you’re trying to track which events are actually important to you, or what’s taking up the most of your time. Or maybe your schedule changed and you’ll actually be able to attend an event you thought you were too busy for. The best way to find the details of rejected events is by looking back at a list of the events you declined in the Calendar app.
To do check declined events:
Launch the Calendar app.
Tap the Calendars button at the bottom of the screen.
Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.
Find the Show declined events option there and turn it on.
Tap Done in the top right corner.
You can even do this with a work calendar to see if there’s any particular time of the day you consistently have to decline events because you’re too busy or out of the office.
Note: if you turn on the Show declined events option, you won’t receive notifications for them. You’ll only get a notification for events you’ve responded maybe to or accepted.
When you’re planning an event for work, whether it’s a one-on-one with the boss or a company-wide conference, making and sharing calendar events can help prevent miscommunications and no-shows.
To share a calendar event on your Apple device:
Launch the Calendar app.
Create a new event or tap on an event you’ve already created that you want to share.
Tap the Edit button in the upper right corner.
Add everyone’s email address who you’d like to share the event with.
Tap Done in the upper right corner when you’ve finished adding people.
That should send out an invitation to everyone you added. Once they get it, they can add the event to their calendar.
To accept an event invitation that someone else has sent to you:
Launch the Calendar app or tap the event notification, if you have them enabled.
Tap the inbox button in the lower right corner.
You’ll have three options once you see the event come up: accept, maybe or decline.
If you accept the event invitation, it’ll be added to your calendar. If you respond maybe, you’ll be prompted to respond again at a later date.
With the rise of distributed and remote workforces, a master calendar where everyone can see events is particularly important. If you’re trying to organize a group meeting with employees scattered across the United States, for example, you need to know everyone will be signing in at the right time.
Calendly makes that easy with team pages. Team pages let you assign meetings to individual team members, track responses to see when and why people engage with calendar invites and display the entire team’s availability in one place.
If you’ve shared multiple work calendars, or separate work and personal calendars for coworkers and friends, you’ll need to keep track of all the different events coming up in both of them.
Here’s how to do that on your Apple device:
Open the Calendar app.
Tap your inbox at the bottom right.
Tap on Replied at the top of the screen.
Tap any event you’ve shared to show the details of that event, or tap any action button to change the details of your reply right there in the events list.
You can use the family sharing function in iOS to create a calendar specific to a certain group of people. This feature lets you share books, movies, photos and more with the people in your family group, in addition to calendar events.
You can add up to six family members, but you have to enable family sharing before you can use it.
To set up family sharing:
Launch the Settings app on your Apple device.
Tap the Apple ID banner at the top of the screen.
Tap Set up family sharing.
Select Get started.
Tap Continue. You’ll have the option to personalize your profile at this point with a photo and additional details if you’d like.
Tap Continue again to share purchased items.
Tap Continue again to confirm your payment method.
Tap Share your location to enable location sharing with family members or Not now to skip that feature.
Now you’re ready to start adding members to your family calendar. To do that:
Start typing someone’s name. It should bring them up as a contact.
Tap their information to add them.
Enter your credit card security code when prompted by the system, to verify you’re the family organizer.
Once family sharing is set up, you can use it to share events with your family group in a few easy steps:
Launch the Calendar app.
Tap the plus sign in the top right corner to create a new event, or tap an existing event you want to add to your family calendar.
Tap on Calendar.
Tap the calendar labeled Family.
Finish creating the event like you would any other, and save it.
After you’ve added the event, everyone in your family group will be able to see it. They’ll also get notifications linked to the event, so everyone knows when and where it’s happening.
Whether you use iOS or Android, Calendly makes it super simple to keep track of appointments and events. Its feature set is designed to make everything from scheduling interviews to setting up your next Zoom meeting easier.
Program your availability into the app and never double-book again. Manage remote teams more efficiently. Even customize your profile and email correspondence with your company's branding. With Calendly, you can manage all your calendars with a single tool and make sharing easier than ever.
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