Whether you need to schedule a birthday party or a mandatory work meeting, the online calendar has become an indispensable tool for organizing, collaborating and communicating.
Online calendars provide a host of unique and useful functions for your scheduling needs:
The ability to share events with anyone you choose, whether that be a friend, peer or coworker
Labeling and tagging functions to separate events into categories such as work, birthdays, recurring reminders and so on
Integration with email and chat functions, which allow for easy communication
Syncing capabilities that allow for access from various devices or applications
While online calendars can be powerful, flexible and generally easy to use, different platforms provide distinct features and security checks that add small nuances and potential confusion to the sharing process. But as online activity increases and remote work becomes more common around the globe, understanding how to use a digital calendar is more important than ever for productivity. This means understanding how to create events, manage multiple calendars and share your events and calendars with others.
Here, we’ll help you simplify the sharing process and walk through everything you need to know to share your Google, Outlook, Exchange or Apple Calendar.
Google Calendar is a popular option because of its easy access from Gmail, the most common email provider in the United States. With over a billion users worldwide, Gmail offers a calendar tool that provides functionality for a wide range of uses, such as:
Integrating multiple calendars in one space
Sorting events into different calendars
Filtering different calendars
Color coding, tagging and labeling
Accessing public calendars that include national and work holidays, sports team schedules and more
Sharing events and invitations with friends, family, coworkers or clients
Google Calendar is also well integrated with Gmail and the rest of Google’s online application suite:
Calendars are integrated with Gmail accounts.
Calendars are web-based and can be accessed from any connected device.
Google Calendar can connect and synchronize with other calendar applications via a Gmail account.
Even if Google is not your email provider, its email service is by far the most popular one out there. It’s therefore useful to learn the ins and outs of how the calendar works. Let’s start with how to create an event in Google Calendar, then move on to how to share a Google calendar with others.
To create a Google Calendar event:
Open your Google Calendar.
Click on the date and time you want to schedule an event. Or, click Create+ from the top left corner of the screen.
Add event details, such as location and event title.
Add or invite guests as needed.
Click Save at the top of the page.
Google Calendar keeps multiple calendar instances for you. You get to choose which calendar a particular event gets sorted into—for instance, business, social or personal. Be sure to stay organized and keep track of these calendars, otherwise you might share the wrong events or even lose track of your events.
Here's how to share your Google calendar in a few easy steps:
Access Google Calendar from your Gmail account by clicking on the calendar icon in the upper right corner of your inbox. Or type in www.google.com/calendar in your browser.
If you have more than one calendar saved in Google, hover over the one that you’d like to share. Your calendars will be listed on the left-hand side of the Calendar page.
Click the three vertical dots that appear next to the calendar you want to share with other people.
Select Settings and sharing to view that calendar’s settings page.
You have two options to share a Google calendar with other people:
Create a shareable link to copy and paste into an email, social media post, private message or chat field.
Enter specific email addresses under Share with specific people.
Click Add people and enter the users you’d like to share the calendar with.
On the same pop-up screen, choose what permissions you wish to grant each user:
See only free/busy (hide details). Users will not be able to see what events you have scheduled or make changes to your events; they will only see when your calendar is blocked off and when you are free.
See all event details. Users can view event times and information but can’t make changes to events.
Make changes to events. Whoever has this access level can view and make changes to calendar events but cannot share them.
Make changes and manage sharing. Only grant this level of access to trusted individuals who need to be able to manage your calendar and share events with others. This level of access amounts to practically owning the calendar. If a user has this level of privilege, then they can make changes to your calendar and events and invite more people.
If a user isn’t already a Google user, you’ll be asked if you want to invite them to create a Google account.
Note: If you opt out of this step, you’ll have to make sure that your calendar is public—non-Google users cannot see private calendars. To do this, go to the calendar’s settings and click the checkbox next to Make available to public. This is not the safest option, since this means anyone with the link will be able to see your calendar.
When you’re done filling out email addresses and access permissions, click Send. The user(s) will then receive an email to view and/or edit the calendar by clicking the link provided. Note that any new user must manually add the calendar if they want it saved to their Google account.
If you don’t own a calendar but you want to share it, you will need to ask the owner to give you the Make changes and manage sharing permission level. Otherwise, you won’t be able to follow these steps to share a calendar with other users.
Make sure you take necessary security precautions when sharing your Google calendar. The default setting is the Private setting, in which your events will be shown as "busy" on your calendar. Public means anyone can see all of your event details. To configure your calendar's privacy settings, follow these steps:
Open Google Calendar.
With your cursor, hover over the calendar you want to edit on the left side of your screen.
Click the three dots that appear next to that calendar.
Click Settings and sharing.
Click Make available to public under Access permissions. If this box is not selected, your calendar is set to private.
Sharing your Google calendar is a simple way to bring in other people to a project timeline, vacation schedule or meeting. These simple steps will ensure the process goes smoothly.
Next, we’ll look at how calendar sharing works with Microsoft email platforms.
Using email from Microsoft Exchange, whether Outlook for desktop, Outlook on the web or mobile version, provides many functionality benefits, including:
Task and contact management
One of the best parts of using Outlook is the online calendar feature, which allows teams to collaborate and schedule meetings efficiently. Outlook makes it easy to connect and manage emails, contact lists and calendars. Here's how to create an event and share your calendar using Microsoft Outlook or Exchange.
Go to your calendar page.
Select New event.
Add an event title, date and time, guests, location and description.
Note that you can make the event a one-time meeting or a recurring event. You can always add people to the event or share it with others later by editing the specific event and adding guests.
You can easily share a calendar with others using Microsoft Outlook. The process is easiest if the user has a Microsoft account—if they use any recently released Microsoft applications or operating systems, they likely have an account.
Here’s how to share a Microsoft Exchange calendar:
Within the Microsoft Calendar platform, click Share.
Select the calendar you want to send.
Click Share with people you choose and enter the new user’s email address in the To field. You can add more than one person.
Assign the appropriate access levels for new users from the drop-down menu. You can select whether you want a particular user to be able to view only basic information, edit event details or act as a co-owner for full access. For example, if your assistant needs to be able to schedule events for you and edit event details, you need to grant them full access.
Select Share. The newly added users will receive an email with an invitation to view or edit the calendar. This invitation should work regardless of what email provider the new user uses.
When you share a Microsoft calendar with another user, they’ll see any updates and changes immediately, as long as instant syncing is enabled for the calendar.
You may need to share your Microsoft calendar with someone from outside your organization. To do this, an administrator must first change security and privacy settings within the Microsoft 365 Admin Center.
Here are the simple steps to change Microsoft calendar settings to allow for external sharing:
Navigate to Settings > Org Settings.
Select Calendar under the Services tab.
Change the settings so that users can share their Microsoft 365 or Exchange calendars with users outside the organization. You can also decide whether users without login credentials can access the calendars.
Select the permissions you want to grant external users. For example, you can restrict the amount of event information they see to just locations and times.
The process for sharing a calendar using Microsoft Outlook on the web is slightly different. Note that you must own the calendar or have the proper access level to be able to share a calendar with Outlook following these steps:
Select the calendar icon at the bottom of your email page.
Click Share on the top toolbar of the Calendar page.
Enter the email addresses you want to send the calendar to.
Select the appropriate access permissions. Options include:
Can view when I’m busy. Shared calendars will not include event details—only when you are busy or free.
Can view titles and locations. Shared calendars will include event titles and locations on top of showing when you are busy.
Can view all details. Users with this level of access can view all event details.
Can edit. Users can view all event details and make edits to the shared calendar.
Delegate. This high level of access allows users to view all event details, edit events and share the calendar with other people.
Click Share. You can cancel the request by selecting the delete icon.
When sharing on Microsoft Outlook for the web, only users with Microsoft 365 or Outlook.com accounts can accept the invitation. Note that Internet Calendar Scheduling (ICS) calendar files will only be read-only, even if you select different levels of access when you share them.
If you need to remove sharing access for a user, go to Sharing and permissions within your Calendar on the web application. Select the user you no longer want to have access and click the delete icon.
Sharing your calendar in an email is straightforward with Microsoft platforms. This procedure is useful if you want to share a static version so that users don’t see all of your updates within the calendar.
To do this, follow these steps:
Click on Calendar in Outlook.
Under the Home tab, click Email Calendar.
Update the range of dates you want the calendar to show when prompted.
A new email will be created. Add the recipient in the To box.
Include an email body message as needed.
Click Send. Your recipient will now be able to view your selected period of time from your calendar within the email message.
If you receive an error message saying your Microsoft calendar can’t be shared:
Make sure the recipient email address is valid.
Double check that you have the permission level needed to share the calendar.
Using these Microsoft tools provides a lot of flexibility when you want to integrate, share, update or compare online calendars. The process may differ slightly depending on the browser and device you use, so be sure to familiarize yourself with each format.
Lastly, let’s go over how to share an Apple calendar with other people.
Apple Calendar is automatically included on Apple smartphones, laptops and desktop computers. When connected to an Apple ID, data from Apple Calendar gets automatically uploaded to iCloud for sharing and syncing across devices. As the iPhone continues to be the most-used smartphone around the globe, knowing how to use the Apple Calendar is important for optimal collaboration and efficiency.
Just like other online calendars, Apple Calendar lets you integrate multiple calendars into one convenient location. You can share one or several of your calendars with other people.
To create a new event in Apple Calendar:
Open Apple Calendar.
Click the + icon.
Fill out the prompt with information about date, time, location, notification preferences, whether to repeat the event, who you want to invite to the event and other relevant details.
Review your details before creating the event.
Like other online calendars, Apple Calendar lets you view your calendars using a daily, weekly or monthly format. You can also connect Apple Calendar with other calendar platforms, including Google calendar, as well as social media platforms like Facebook.
If you wish, you can subscribe to public calendars by opening your iOS device and navigating to Settings > Accounts & Passwords > Add Account > Other > Add Subscribed Calendar, and then pasting in the web address of the calendar you want to add.
You can share an Apple calendar privately or publicly, depending on the level of sensitive information being shared, the types of users you need to add and the purpose of the calendar.
Source: PC Mag
If privacy is important to you, here's how you can share a private calendar:
Open your Calendar app.
From the bottom of your screen, select Calendars.
Click Share next to the calendar name you want to send.
Select Private Calendar.
Type in the name or email address of the relevant user in the Add person field.
Select what levels of access you want them to have:
View & Edit
Repeat these steps to add more than one person to the private calendar. Any user you share your calendar with will receive an email with a link to add the calendar to their devices.
To share a public calendar, follow the same steps but select Public Calendar instead of Private Calendar in step four.
Let's take a closer look at the general steps you'll need to take when sharing a calendar on the desktop and mobile versions of Apple Calendar.
On the desktop version of Apple Calendar:
Select Calendars. All of your individual calendars will be displayed on the left.
Click the icon to the right of the calendar you want to share.
Enter the name or email address of the person you want to share the calendar with.
You can also change the name of this calendar or make it public. Note that making a calendar public means that anyone can view a read-only version of the calendar.
On the mobile version of Apple Calendar:
Open the Calendar app on your mobile device.
Select Calendars at the bottom.
Select Info next to the calendar you want to share.
Click Add person under Shared with.
Select people from your contacts list or add people by email.
Apple Calendar is especially useful for personal use, as many people use their Apple devices for social reasons. Sharing an Apple calendar is fairly straightforward and intuitive. With our simple steps, you’ll have an easy time adding other users to your calendar for easy planning and scheduling.
For Google, Outlook, Exchange and Apple Calendar, you have the option to either share individual events or share entire calendars. This is an important distinction:
When you share an event, the attendee will only see details for that one event—or recurring event—based on the level of access you’ve granted.
When you share a calendar, the user will see every event on that particular calendar instance. Access will depend on whether you want users to be able to see and edit all event details or see only when you are busy/free.
Based on these differences, it’s wise to share just a single event in many cases. If you only have to share a monthly meeting, share just that recurring event, not your entire schedule. Add the relevant guests or attendees when creating that event. If you need to add people later, edit only that specific event.
Remember to keep track of user permissions and event labels. Grant users only the permissions they need to reduce the likelihood of mishandled information. Also keep track of which events are in which calendar so that you provide only the relevant information to other users; make sure that each event you create is located in the correct calendar.
While mainstream calendars provide a decent amount of functionality, they lack many useful tools for more rigorous business activity. Calendly provides an ideal solution for your business needs by introducing various business features to supplement and enhance your existing calendar tools.
Calendly’s intuitive and user-friendly platform works with whatever popular calendar platform you prefer to use, letting you combine up to six Google, Microsoft Outlook, Office 365 or iCloud calendars. Its robust integration and customizability ensure that your scheduling information remains organized, manageable and easy to work with all from one place.
Use Calendly to automate tasks on other applications such as:
You can also integrate Calendly with the iPhone, Android smartphones and other devices and browsers.
You can easily share your Calendly link with others when you need to schedule a meeting or appointment. Here are the steps to share your Calendly calendar:
Navigate to your Calendly homepage and find your link in the upper right corner.
Select the drop-down menu.
Click Share Your Link.
Copy your scheduling link.
Paste the link into a message to share with others. Listed users will then be able to schedule an appointment with you based on your availability.
You can also embed your Calendly link on your website or webpage. This is a helpful option if you want clients to be able to find and access your calendar easily without you having to send an invitation.
When you want to create a single-use link, Calendly will create a link that will expire once the meeting is scheduled. This feature helps you limit the number of people who can schedule an appointment with you and reduces bloat on your calendar.
The Calendly for Chrome extension makes it even easier to schedule meetings and integrate the tool with your other calendars. Simply add your available calendar slots to your online communications via email or chat.
The browser extension helps you customize your Calendly calendars based on your changing needs. The tool will also automatically update based on your time zone, and you can add all details about the meeting, including video conferencing links, right in the platform.
Calendly brings a host of benefits that make life easier at your business:
Save time and energy on the scheduling process.
Integrate SMS messaging for reminders and notifications.
Schedule all types of meetings, including one-on-ones with individual slots.
Put limits on the number of meetings you accept in a day.
Allow for extra time before and after your meetings.
Access the platform from any device with internet access.
Track metrics and generate helpful reports about your scheduling activity
When you need an online scheduling tool that works well with your existing calendars and enhances your business process, use Calendly. You don’t have to worry about a steep learning curve with Calendly. The tool is easy to learn, use and navigate, no matter what platform you use.
If your team is looking for a powerful, collaborative and intuitive calendar tool, Calendly is perfect for teams and businesses of all sizes. Sign up for Calendly and become more organized and efficient today.
About the Author
You've probably used Google Calendar to manage your schedule.
85% of customers are ready to use Calendly in less than 1 hour.