Solving multiple shared event/calendar woes?
December 8, 2016 11:56 AM   Subscribe

What are your solutions for sharing calendars with multiple people? The issue that I am encountering is that I have specific events that are relevant to share with more than one person, but those people would not/should not share the same calendar. So on my end that looks like multiple copies of the same event cluttering up MY calendar. HELP.

In my ideal world, I could create an event and then tick off boxes of people that event gets shared with. Does any system like that exist (and I also get that I'm probably asking something that requires everyone to be using the SAME system, which is unlikely). And this is purely for personal calendaring and not work, btw.

Any thoughts about alternate best practices are welcome (especially for those of you who may have shared calendars with your mom, ex-spouse, current partner, etc!). Thanks!
posted by stefnet to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What system are you using? In most systems you should be able to create an event and then invite people to it, and that invite should be compatible with most systems they're using on the other end. You don't need to actually share a whole calendar (unless it's relevant), just invite them to specific events. Would that work?
posted by brainmouse at 12:10 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

No one should share a whole calendar with anyone but you can share events with other people. What are you using right now? There may be way to do it with your current system. For example, in Google Calendar and Outlook, you just invite people as guests or attendees and they can accept or not. Accepting will add it to their calendar and, with the right settings, everyone can see who else is attending. In GC, the creator can decide if guests can invite other guests. In Outlook , you can forward the invitation to another person just like an email.
posted by soelo at 12:11 PM on December 8, 2016

Let me clarify just a little bit and then I'll jump out:
I'm sort of specifically thinking about situations where there are multiple shared events. So like, ex-spouse and I have a shared calendar that we add child-related events to and it might be laborious to invite him to every thing on there.

I'm also willing to admit that MAYBE I'VE BEEN CALENDARING WRONG MY WHOLE LIFE. And in that case, I thank you for clearing my thought process.
posted by stefnet at 12:32 PM on December 8, 2016

I tried having multiple google calendars, but it's a big pain. I use outlook and just invite people: it's simpler to have one calendar for everything.
posted by Valancy Rachel at 12:47 PM on December 8, 2016

I deal with a lot of shared calendars. I have one calendar I share with my wife (and she has one that she shares with me); another that I share with a small group of colleagues, another that I share with a larger group of colleagues, and so on. This is mostly done via Google Calendar, although I rarely actually look at gCal on the web, as the calendars sync to desktop and phone apps. I also have a private calendar I mostly use for work deadlines. Right now, I can see events from 7 different calendars in the coming week.

Color-coding turns out to be really important, and ensuring that I have consistent colors in different apps and in gCal is worth the extra trouble.

Sometimes the same event needs to be on more than one calendar, in which case I'll create it, duplicate it, and change the duplicate's calendar.

You can have public gCals that would allow people to subscribe to them without having a Google account, but that's not a great plan for personal stuff, so you'll need for your counterparts to have Google accounts, and you'll need to explicitly add them as people with access to the calendar. The good news is that once you've done it, you don't really need to mess with it much.

The calendars my wife and I share ensure we both have awareness of what's on the other's agenda in case we wind up double-booking. The calendars I share with my colleagues really do need to be shared calendars since multiple people can add stuff to the calendar, and we all need to be able to see the same events. I can't imagine doing one-off invitations in either of these contexts.
posted by adamrice at 1:10 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

I strongly advocate for losing the shared calendar and using invites instead. Invites let folks pick and choose what's relevant to them and is less administrative overhead on their end. Shared calendars are for when everyone needs to see the same thing.
posted by cnc at 2:10 PM on December 8, 2016

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