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Share Busy-Free Info for Multiple Google Calendars

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You want to share your busy / free times with some people, but you’ve created multiple Google calendars. Maybe a personal calendar, a schedule for kids, your softball games…some people might have their appointments and events scattered across a half dozen or more Google calendars.

What if someone wants to check your calendar for free time? Do you expect them to add six calendars to their gCal? Murphy would prefer to let anyone who needs this information click a single link and view the consolidated free and busy time.  That includes users without Google accounts. Click to see a sample shared calendar.

Here’s what to do:

gcal_public
First - For any calendar you want included click ‘Share this calendar’ from the dropdown list next to the calendar. Check the ‘Make this calendar public’ and ‘Share only my free / busy information’ boxes.gcal_public

Second - Select the dropdown next to one of your calendars and click ‘Calendar settings’ from the list. Next to ‘Calendar address’ click the HTML icon. When the pop-up appears click “configuration tool”.

gcal_public

Third - The configuration tool page appears. Check the calendars in the list you need included in your free / busy time display. Make other selections for screen elements you’d like included. You can set colors and add a title too.gcal_public

Fourth - Click the ‘Update HTML’ button and copy the html generated in the box. Paste it into an html file and place the file on a web server accessible by those you wish to share with. Done.

If you don’t have a web host try a free site. Google has one. Or you could send the code to a good friend with a web host. Who likes helping people.

Share the url of the page you’ve created with anyone who needs to see when you’ve got free time.

The downside? This doesn’t let your friends view your free or busy time from within their Google Calendar account. And anyone who gets the url can see the information. But there’s nothing stopping you from using ‘conventional’ calendar sharing to let certain people see your calendar.

On the plus side, people don’t need a Google account to see your free and busy times. You can share the same page with multiple people – so there’s nothing left to do after setting this up. The weekly view provides lots of information at a glance.

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8 comments to “Share Busy-Free Info for Multiple Google Calendars”

  1. Really? This is the best Google can do? How sad…I mean, it seems like merging and unmerging calendars and events would be a bit more friendly. They usually do pretty good with user-friendly interfaces. Why not just add a drag and drop feature for calendar mergers?

  2. Thanks Murphy, I don’t know how to save to an HTML file, but I’ve ‘configured’ the code as you suggested, and sent it to a friend who can probably help. I think it will do what I need it to do. Really appreciate your post- complete with pictures!

  3. No problem, let me know if you have any trouble…

  4. I don’t know if I’ve been reading all this right, BUT I do not want “my calendars” to appear in public search results. It seems no matter how I look at it, there is no way to combine all my calendars into one calendar to share with only specific people, unless I have a web site, which I don’t.
    I want to be able to email several people with only ONE HTML that has all three calendars in one. I don’t want to have to send them 3 different HTML’s to see the schedule.
    Please help!!

  5. I think you’re right Jessica. At least at the time I posted this what you say is true. You don’t have to have a website per se – meaning you could make it work with something like Dropbox. But to make it clean a website would be better…

    You need to post your request on one of the many Google Discussion threads where people are asking for this feature.

  6. For those of you who are looking to just combine all of your google calenders into one follow the instructions here: http://www.google.com/support/calendar/bin/answer.py?hl=en-uk&answer=37082 And then once you add your other email address to either calendar, make sure you change permissions to “Make changes AND manage sharing” for the other address
    I got this information from Dennis The Tiger @ http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Calendar/thread?tid=7e7b213796c7e467&hl=en
    Hope this helps!

  7. I was trying to figure how out to combine my calendars and display them publically. Couldn’t figure it out till I found your post. This helped a lot. Thanks!!

  8. I’ve been using a tool that elegantly solves this problem for a few months now: https://scheduleshare.net

    Full Disclosure: I work with Ryan, who created ScheduleShare.net . That said, he created it to solve this exact need, and you can even filter based on the event names for if you want to show the event details, show that you’re busy, or hide the event.

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