How to Share Your Google Calendar

I’ve done a few hard things. Learned code. Built a computer from parts. Finished a Rubik’s Cube. Learned how to navigate around Facebook (sort of).  You get the picture.

But nothing prepared me for the chore that was configuring my Google Calendar to allow my secretary to see and add appointments.

So I thought I’d so a step by step to save someone a little agony.

I use Google Apps for my email and calendar, so there are a couple of extra steps that may not be required for regular Google Calendar users.

Step 1: Configure Sharing Rights (Google Apps Only)

This is where a lot of Google Apps users get tripped up.

To share your calendar with people outside your domain (in my case, those without email addresses), you must enable sharing with people outside your domain, within Google Apps.  From your Google Apps Dashboard, click on Calendar and then set the “Sharing options” for users "Outside this domain" to "Share all information, and outsiders can change calendars."  If you don’t do this, the person you are trying to share your calendar with will, at most, only be able to see if you are free or busy- no details and no ability to add items to your calendar.


Step 2: Wait a While (Google Apps Only)

Once you configure your Google Apps as described in Step 1, it takes a little while (maybe an hour) for your revised sharing settings to take effect.  This can be very frustrating to those who don’t know about this delay.

So be patient.  Go grab some lunch.

Step 3: Make Sure the Person Has a Google Account

In order to log-in and see your calendar, the person you want to share your calendar with must have a Google account.  This is not the same thing as a Gmail account.  Any email address can be used to create a Google account.  The sign up page is here.

Step 4: Grant Access via Your Calendar

Now go to your Google calendar.  Navigate to Settings>Calendars.  Look beside your calendar (the one you want to share, not someone else’s that is being shared with you) and click on "Shared: Edit Settings."  Add the person’s email address to the blank under “Share with specific people” and choose "Make changes to events."  Click on the "Add Person" button, and the entered email address should appear in the list below, with the correct sharing level.


If it still says "See only free/busy (hide details)," then you need to go back to Steps 1 and 2 above.  Probably it’s a matter of the delay described in Step 2.

Step 5: Log-in and Share Away

Then, once the person logs into his or her Google account, he or she will be able to access and add to your calendar.

That’s it.  Post any questions in the comments.

One thought on “How to Share Your Google Calendar

  1. what a great find!, i have been switching back and forth between my google apps account and my google calender sharing options wondering WHY im only getting the 'user can see if your busy' whoop de doo..THANK YOU.. now im going to wait.. #opensflashgamebookmarks

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