How to get only certain events from a google calendar to sync
April 18, 2016 6:35 AM   Subscribe

I would like to get only events with certain key words in the description to sync with another calendar-- the calendar on my iPhone would be ideal, but another google calendar is fine.

My workplace has a shared Google calendar in which we schedule both all-office events and each person's appointments. By a shared calendar, I mean that we have a gmail account that we all have the password to and which we use only for this account. So we're never logging in to the calendar from different accounts.

We don't use separate calendars for each person's events, we just label them. Eg if my name is Jane Smith, my events all read "Jane-- event" or "JS-- event".

I would like my appointments-- and only my appointments-- to automatically sync to the calendar on my iPhone. Is there any way to do this? I'm open to having my events synced to my personal gmail and then having that sync to my phone. But I am really not great at computers, as are others in my office-- part of why any solutions involving changing the office system are a non-starter. It works.

I have a feeling this may not be able to be done, in which case no big deal. I'll just add my appointments manually. But surely this must have come up before!

Thanks in advance for all your help.
posted by Henrietta Stackpole to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Three ideas:
1. If you are the person scheduling appointments, put them on your own calendar first and invite the shared calendar as a guest. The shared calendar should have an associated email address (like, right? If not, go to calendar settings, you'll find a gibberish address that can add it as a contact with a meaningful name so you can easily find it when inviting as a guest.

2. If you are not the person scheduling appointments, ask the person scheduling to invite you by email. (Or go through the calendar and do it yourself).

3. This is the most technical approach but hands-off after the initial setup. You can use Google Apps Script to search all calendar events for your initials, and copy matching events to a second Google Calendar. Requires a little programming know-how. Calendar Reference
posted by beyond_pink at 7:09 AM on April 18, 2016

Picking up on beyond_pink's third suggestion, you could use if this then that to pick up events matching a search term from calendar A, and create events on calendar B based on that. Then you sync calendar B. It's a little kludgey, but it should work.
posted by adamrice at 9:08 AM on April 18, 2016

I do exactly this for exactly the same reason. Fortunately my initials are not commonly found in other words so I have a script that scans our shared calendar every day for three days ahead, and copies anything with my initials across.

I found the script online and it just needed a little tweaking. Google has a script hosting service that let's you run it in the cloud. I am traveling right now and l writing this from my phone, but if you can't find the same things I did via Google search, memail on Friday or after and I'll look into it for you.
posted by lollusc at 3:15 PM on April 18, 2016

Thanks for these great responses! I knew someone else must have had this same problem. I am looking into google script and iftt-- if I can't figure it out I'll pm you about your ingenious sounding fix, lollusc
posted by Henrietta Stackpole at 9:22 AM on April 19, 2016

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