Google Calendar: Adding and Sharing Calendars

Objectives and Overview

One of Google Calendar’s strengths is that it’s a collaborative tool. You’re able to share your calendar with folks. This is an effective way to work as a team since you’re able to see everyone’s events.

Lesson Objectives

  • Identify the benefits of sharing calendars
  • Be able to share your calendar with someone else
  • Be able to add someone’s calendar

Managing Calendars

Google Calendar allows you to request access to other folks’ calendars. If they grant you permission, you’re then able to see all of their events. This levels up your ability to schedule meetings with coworkers. You won’t need to guess about availability! You can check to see if folks are free during the time slot, and then send an event.

Adding Someone Else’s Calendar

Let’s take a look at how to add someone else’s calendar. You may want to consider adding your friends, classmates, or coworkers. Remember, they’ll need to give you permission before you’re able to see their events.

Open up Google Calendar and find the Other calendars section in the bottom left sidebar. Click on the + button:

Google Calendar view with an arrow drawn to the "+" button in the "Other calendars" section of the sidebar.

After you click on the + button, a modal pops up with more options. Click on the Subscribe to calendar option:

Google Calendar view with an arrow drawn to the menu of options that pops up after clicking the "+" button in the "Other calendars" section of the sidebar.

Next, you’ll need to enter the email address connected to the calendar. In this example, I’m adding Darius by typing in his Digital Harbor Foundation email address. Enter the email and hit enter to send a request:

Google Calendar view showing the "Add calendar" window and an email entered into the input field.

You’ll likely need to request permission for their calendar. You can add a message to explain your request. When ready, click the Request access button to send a request:

Google Calendar view showing the "Add calendar" window an arrow pointing to the "Request access" button.

Once your request is approved, their calendar will start showing up on your main calendar view! You can toggle these additional calendars on and off at any time.

Sharing Your Calendar

If you know (and trust) someone with being able to see your calendar, you can share it with them. If you do this, they’ll be able to view your events without needing to request access. Sharing your work calendar is an effective way to collaborate with coworkers. Just remember that anyone you share your calendar with can view events, so this is a good reason to have work and personal accounts. You could share your work calendar with coworkers but not your personal.

Here’s a gif showing the first few steps:

Sharing your Google Calendar by clicking on the calendar name and then the "Settings and sharing" option and entering an email address to share with.

To share your calendar, click on the three dots that appear next to it when you hover on it in the left sidebar. These dots let you access your calendar options:

Google Calendar view with a box drawn around the "My calendars" section in the sidebar.

After clicking on the options, you’ll see a list of options. Choose the Settings and sharing option:

Google Calendar view with an arrow pointing to the "Settings and sharing" button in the options menu when clicking on a calendar in the left sidebar.

Next, you’ll see Settings for my calendars in the left sidebar. Look for the Share with specific people item:

Google Calendar sharing options with an arrow pointing to the "Share with specific people" button.

This section is where you’re able to share your calendar. You’ll also see a list of folks you’ve shared your calendar with. You can always change their permissions from this window. To add someone, click the + Add people button:

Google Calendar view with an arrow pointing to the "Add people" button in the sharing options.

Add their email address (or name if they’re in your contacts). You’re able to add multiple email addresses at the same time. This is useful if you’re sharing your calendar with all of your coworkers.

After entering their name, click on the Permissions dropdown. This is where you can select what they’re able to access with your calendar. Make sure that you know and trust the person you’re sharing with, especially if you’re going to give access to managing events and making changes. This allows someone to essentially control your calendar.

Google Calendar "Share with specific people" view with a name entered and the "Permissions" dropdown options visible.

Once you’ve set the name/email address and permissions, click the Send button. This shares your calendar with whatever email addresses you listed!

Google Calendar "Share with specific people" view with a name entered and an arrow pointing to the "Send" button.

Calendar Permissions

When you share your calendar, you selected the permissions for each person you share with. Understanding permissions is important since you don’t want to accidentally give someone more access than you intend. Generally, you want to provide the least access needed when sharing things like this. Let’s take a quick look at each permission setting. The settings are listed from the least access to most access.

  • See only free/busy (hide details): Only shows if you’re free or busy during specific event times.
  • See all event details: Shows details about events, such as times, locations, people attending, etc.
  • Make changes to events: Allows someone to change events for you. For example, they could change an event name or time.
  • Make changes and manage sharing: Allows someone to change events AND change your sharing settings. Someone could choose to share your calendar with others without your permission if they have this permission.

If you accidentally give someone too much permission, you can always change it by going into your settings. Understanding permissions is a key piece of digital literacy. When you’re ready, move on to the next lesson!