How to create and share a Google calendar with your team

How to create and share a Google calendar with your team
Photo by 

A calendar is the launchpad for your team. It holds everything you need to take a pulse on progress and make needed changes. If you’re not using Google calendar to keep up with meetings, OOO events, and even team members’ bandwidth, it’s easy to set up and share.

  1. Start by accessing your Google calendar from your desktop.
  2. Click the ‘+’ symbol next to ‘Other calendars’ and then ‘Create new calendar’
  3. Name the calendar and add an optional description.

Next, share your calendar with the team.

  1. From your calendar, click on the shared calendar to display it.
  2. Scroll over the shared calendar and click ‘More’ (the vertical ellipsis) before clicking ‘Settings and sharing.’
  3. From ‘Share with specific people,’ under ‘Calendar settings’ on the left side, you can add the email addresses of team members or other stakeholders.
  4. Select the appropriate permissions for each email added – such as ‘Make changes to events’ for team members and ‘See all event details’ for stakeholders who are not on the team, but should know what events are taking place. Then click send.
  5. Update at any time by going back to the ‘Settings and sharing page’ and clicking an email address to select different permissions.

Making Google Calendar part of your team’s routine builds a foundation for collaboration and efficiency. Over time, norms and routines may take a dive. The team grows and suddenly ‘no meeting Wednesdays’ turn into ‘just this once’ because a new member forgets the policy. You may also want better insight when it comes to your team’s bandwidth and project status. Tools like Clockwise can take your efforts and multiply the reward. Clockwise specifically builds in focus time, keeps the no meeting day intact, and shows where the team spends their time.


How to make Google calendar public

Going public with your Google calendar opens up your availability to more than just internal stakeholders. It lets other teams in your organization view your availability – without disclosing info meant only for your team. With this public display, non-team members can better schedule company-wide meetings or events and determine when to request meetings with you or your team. Share the link to the public version of your calendar in an easy-to-find place, like your email signature, Slack profile, or other communication app profile.

  1. Similar to sharing with your team, click the calendar you would like to make public.
  2. Open the ‘Access permissions for events’ by clicking the vertical ellipsis and selecting ‘Settings and sharing.’
  3. Check the box next to ‘Make available to the public.’
  4. Hide details – like meeting times, project names, and more – by selecting the permissions dropdown menu and clicking ‘See only free/busy (hide details).

How to color code your team's Google calendar

Color coding your team’s calendar helps stamp out inefficiency. There are a few ways to do this starting with color coding events associated with a particular project. This visually groups every time block, meeting, or stand-up for a project. To accommodate multiple calendars for multiple teams in an organization, calendar creators should assign a separate color to each. While viewing the calendar in your browser, point to the team calendar.

  1. Click ‘More’ – the three vertical ellipsis – and a menu with a color palette appears.
  2. Choose from a color in the palette or click ‘Add’ + to create a new one
  3. This will color code Google calendar itself. To color code an individual event, right-click the event and select a new color.

In Clockwise, color coding provides a similar visual cue. It codes events based on what it learns about your meetings. When it categorizes a new meeting added to the calendar, it automatically assigns a color based on its type – one-on-one, external meeting, focus time, and more.

How to time block Google calendar

Time blocking puts each part of your day to work for you. It helps you decide when to work on a certain goal. It also helps you build in breaks and the not-quite-downtime that fills your day – like cleaning up your inbox or planning your week. The act of time blocking also forces you to put everything – tasks, notes, and responsibilities – in one place so you don’t miss anything.

  1. Make your first time block by opening up your Google calendar.
  2. Click the day and time for the first block to prompt a new event. Instead of clicking ‘Save,’ click ‘More options.’
  3. Set the time and add any important details – project name, project color code, a list of tasks to accomplish in the time block, etc.
  4. The last step is to mark yourself as Free or Busy during the block. You might mark yourself ‘busy’ during lunch, but ‘free’ during a time block you reserve for invitations received for meetings, appointments, or other engagements. When your Google Calendar is connected with Clockwise, you can take advantage of the Asana integration. Pull tasks from Asana and drop them into your ‘busy’ time blocks to accomplish the most during undisturbed time.

How to add an event to a shared Google calendar

Take charge of putting team meetings on everyone’s mind by adding events to the shared calendar yourself. Check with the calendar creator to confirm your permissions, and create away. Your events display your and the calendar’s name.

  1. While in your calendar, click Create + at the top left of the calendar.
  2. Plug in the event name and details.
  3. Near the bottom, click on the calendar name and select the calendar you want the event to go to.
  4. Click save.

How to share Google calendar daily agenda

Prepare for the weeks when it feels like Tuesday but it’s actually Thursday and you’re scrambling to reshuffle your workload to accommodate a slate of meetings. How? Schedule the delivery of a daily agenda so you’re never caught off guard.

  1. From your calendar, click on the gear (settings) near the upper right hand corner of the page.
  2. On the left, you should see ‘Settings for my calendars’ and your shared calendar name displayed. Click the calendar.
  3. Scroll to ‘Other notifications’ and click on the dropdown menu next to ‘Daily agenda’ to select ‘email.’

How to schedule multiple time zones in Google calendar

Save yourself the mental math of coordinating meetings impacted by multiple time zones. Adjust calendar settings so every team member’s time zone is represented.

  1. Start by clicking on the gear (settings) near the top of your calendar.
  2. On the left under ‘General,’ select ‘World clock’
  3. Check the box to ‘Show world clock’ and begin adding time zones based on the locations of your team members and other stakeholders.

Now you see each time zone whenever you open your calendar.

It’s easy to overlook a tool as simple as a calendar. However, it offers the opportunity to build a better day. Each of these Google calendar tips impact productivity in its own way. It’s up to you to determine where you and your team need the most help: keeping tabs on projects, sharing availability with outside stakeholders, or simply keeping up with time zones to respect everyone’s time.

About the author

Martha Ekdahl

Martha spins her liberal arts degree in political economy into writing on diverse topics ranging from healthcare to tech with bylines in the San Francisco Examiner, Berkeleyside, The News Virginian, and the blog of Gladstone Institutes. A special interest in urbanism led to attending her fair share of neighborhood meetings on urban planning projects and co-hosting the first season of the Market Urbanism Podcast. In her spare time, she travels the country working remotely from campgrounds, coffee shops, and (friends’) couches.

Make your schedule work for you

Sign up for free and make time for what matters today.

More from Clockwise