How to Share Your Google Calendar with Your Family

How to Share Your Google Calendar with Your Family

This post is totally going to show me for the non-technophile that I am. Feel free to point and laugh that I didn’t know how to share my Google calendar until last week.

But just case there’s someone out there who also doesn’t know how to do this, I’m writing this post.

(That’s selflessness for you, I tell you!)

As part of our recent commitment to “use our time as wisely as possible“, my husband and I have been talking about getting our calendars under control.

We have many things on our individual calendars, which impact the other person. (For example, he has a doctor’s appointment at 12:30, which means I need to be sure to pick up our daughter from preschool.) And of course, we have all the kids’ stuff, which both of us need to know about as well.

Plus, I had foolishly set up two Google calendars for myself — one for work (associated with my work gmail) and one for personal (associated with my personal gmail). What I thought was a smart idea when I started it three years ago ended up being a total nightmare, as I was constantly having to toggle between the two calendars before making appointments.

As our kids get older and our work/volunteer/parent lives get more complicated, I really thought it would behoove us to have one “master calendar” that we could both access.

I remembered reading about “sharing” Google calendars, but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure it out. I mean – there was no big red “share your calendar with your husband” button. (Take note, Google usability people. Such a button would be awesome!)

Instead, we had been inviting each other to our “important” events – which was not only a time waster, but also made our calendars look a mess, because each invited event showed up double in our calendars.

Fortunately there was an easy solution – even if there wasn’t an obvious button.

After a quick Google search, we figured out how to share our Google calendars.

I’ll save you the trouble of Googling with this very quick tutorial.

How to Share Your Google Calendar with Your Family

1. Go into your Google calendar and click the little down grey arrow next to the name of your calendar. Select “Share this Calendar”

Share Google calendar

2. Under Share with Specific People, type in the email address of the person you want to share with (make sure it’s the email address that is associated with their Google calendar).

Then select the type of access you want to give them – just to see all your events, to see & edit your events, or to see, edit & share your events.

Share with Specific People

3. Click the save button at the top and then confirm your new setting by asking the sharee to log into their Google calendar. If their calendar was already open while you were making these changes, they may need to shut it down and then reopen it.

Save your changes

4. If for some reason the “share” doesn’t take the first time, don’t panic. Just remove the shared person from your setting and try it again. This “redo” was necessary when Frankie shared with me the first time – but now we’re all set.

And voila! We have one master calendar, which each of us can access from our Google account.

The Redacted Version of my Master Calendar

The Redacted Version of my Master Calendar 

I’ve color coded all the various calendars, just to make it easier to see what’s me, what’s my husband, and what’s our kids.

I have to say that it’s amazing to have everything in one place. I wish we had done it sooner, but I already feel much more on top of our lives!

By the way, per Google, you can share your calendar with up to 75 users per day (which the Dugger Family might find useful….).

Let’s talk calendar organization: What tricks, apps or programs do you use to keep your family’s calendar organized?¬†


  1. We do share our calendars with one another, but don’t usually keep them up on the screen, bc who needs to see each others work appointments? Our solution for shared family events was to create another calendar (in a different color) called family – and that’s where family appointments, Shabbat dinner plans, the cable guy, etc all go. I keep that one visible on my calendar all the time – and just open my husbands personal calendar when I need to know something.

    • Mara Strom says

      That sounds like a great idea, Rachel. I created a new cal called kids but I like your family idea even more. Since frankie works from home, his daily schedule is probably more relevant to me than if he was at an office all day – but I can see why you’d keep it hidden most of the time.

  2. Dorothy "Hyphen" says

    Thank you. Your timing is perfect. My husband and I were just wondering if this was possible. It’s so much easier than having to add things in twice–once on my calendar and once on his.

  3. anyone know how to make things added to the ical app on the iphone show up on the google calendar? I know how to do the opposite (add things to google and have them show up on the iphone)…

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