Ditch the old paper calendar. It’s time for the tech in your pocket to simplify your schedule and streamline your family’s life.
Google Calendar is a free browser-based app that mum, dad, the kids, and even the extended family can use to keep track of everyone’s work and school obligations, appointments, parties, extracurricular classes, sporting events, family activities, and more. The app will sync everyone’s calendars, and automatically alert those involved of a cancelation or change of plan.
What’s So Good About Google Calendar?
Here are ten quick reasons you and your family should start using Google Calendar:
- Free to use
- Works on any internet-connected device
- Alerts family members of changed plans
- Automatically syncs on all devices
- Allows you to create multiple calendars, one for each person
- Set recurring events, such as weekly music lessons or birthdays
- All family members can add events
- Includes a task-list
- Import calendars from other programs, such as iCal
- Easy to setup
Ready to setup your family’s Google Calendar? Let’s get started.
1. Create a Google Account
You and your family members will each need an account with Google to use Google Calendar. If you already have a Google account, skip this step.
Signing up with Google is fast and free. Simply visit accounts.google.com/signup and fill out the form (you’ll need to choose an email address).
Once your account is created, stay signed in.
2. Create a Calendar
Now, head to google.com/calendar. You should see a calendar set to weekly view.
You can change the view to day, week, month, year, 4-day and agenda.
To start with, you’ll have two calendars. One called ‘Your Name’ and the other labeled ‘Tasks’.
You’ll want to create a new calendar for each member of your family. To do this, click the downward arrow next to ‘My Calendars’ in the menu on the left hand side, then click ‘Create new calendar’.
On the next page, you’ll be able to add details about that particular calendar. You can give it a name, a colour, and decide whom you’d like to share it with.
Repeat these steps to create a new calendar for each family member. I suggest assigning each person a different colour. This will make it easier to everyone’s separate schedules at a glance.
3. Add Events
To add an event, click the red ‘CREATE’ button in the top left corner. Then, you can name the event, set a time, place, and whether you’d like it to repeat daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, yearly, or not at all.
You adjust the alert feature too, which will notify your family via email or pop-up closer to the date, or if there are changes to the time or place of the event.
4. Share Your Family Calendar
Once everyone has his or her calendar, it’s time to share. Just a reminder, your family members will need their own separate Google account.
To share a calendar, hover over the calendar name and click the downward arrow. This should pop up.
From here, you an edit, delete, add notifications, add events, change the assigned colour, and share the calendar. To share, click ‘Share this calendar’.
You then enter the email address of those you’d like to share the calendar with. Remember, this needs to be a Gmail address. You can also set the calendar to public, so anyone can see it. This probably isn’t a great idea for a family calendar.
You can also adjust the ‘Permission Settings’ for those you invite. For example, you may wish to give your partner the ability to edit, delete and share events. And, you might want your daughter to be able to edit her events, but not share the calendar with others. Tailor these settings for each member of the family. But don’t worry; you change them later, too.
5. Sync Family Calendar to Mobile Devices
One of the best things about using Google Calendar is having access to your whole family’s schedule anywhere, anytime. You can sync your Google Calendar quickly and easily to your smart phone and tablet.
Visit Google’s Calendar support page for step-by-step instructions.
My Child is Too Young to Use Google Calendar
You need to be 13 or older to create a Google Account. If you have kids younger than that, but still want to use Google Calendar to organise your family, I suggest checking out the free family-friendly app Cozi.
The app is available on Android and iOS devices. You can import your Google Calendars into the app, so your child can access them without creating a Google Account.
If you’d like to start using Google Calendar in your family, but need help with the setup process, don’t hesitate to get in contact. I’d be more than happy to set up a calendar for each family member, and sync it across all devices. Give me a call on 1300 553 166, or fill out the form on this page.