I use Google Calendar. Let me clarify. I use Google Calendar A LOT. I use it in ways that other people may not realize it can be used in. I truly believe that when family members share Google calendars and not just the calendars with their appointments, the entire family can be completely in sync.
Family Calendar – Now this is probably the most common use of Google Calendar sharing. For my family, I have a different Google calendar for each individual member of the family. One thing I’ve done maybe slightly differently here though, is I have created Google accounts for each of my kids. They don’t have the password to them yet, but I did this for a few reasons.
First, I gave them their own account so eventually, when they do get their own devices, their calendar will automatically go to it, and I won’t have to copy all of their appointments and things over. The second reason was that I was already creating a calendar for them anyway, it might as well just be their real calendar tied to their own account. Third, I wanted to reserve them a good Google account username.
So, I create the Google account. I had to fudge the year they were born, but since I don’t actually give them access to this account until they are age appropriate I was ok with this. Google does now allows kids accounts, however, you can’t enable a calendar for the Family Link accounts yet. Once the account is created I go into the Google calendar settings within their account and share the main calendar with my own Google account, and my husband’s Google account.
In order to share the Google calendar, make sure you are logged into the child’s account (or your spouse’s) first. Then browse to calendar.google.com. Click the three dots next to the calendar listed first on the account.
Then click “Settings and Sharing” from the dropdown menu that appears.
Now scroll down on the page that appears until you see the sharing settings
Under “Share with specific people” click the Add People link
A pop up will appear that will allow you to enter the email address of the person you want to share the calendar with. Add the email address, and then select “make changes and manage sharing” for the permissions level.
The Google calendar should now start appearing in the account that it was shared with.
I, of course, also shared my husband’s Google calendar with my account and my Google calendar with my husband’s account. This way, both of us have access to all of the scheduling calendars. When I make a dr. appt for my daughter I put it on her Google calendar, for my husband, I place it on his. Now when I look at my calendar I can see the entire family calendar color-coded by family member.
Meal Planning – I’ve mentioned this before, that I will sit down with all of the recipe websites I frequent, my cookbooks (of which I have a plethora), and my shared Google calendar, and I start planning the week or even month of meals for my family. I create an all-day appointment for the recipe name, and then in the notes of the appt, I’ll write down where it came from, whether it’s a link to a website, or a cookbook and page number. I love that my phone will tell me what I have planned to make that day, so if its a slow cooker meal I can make sure to pop it in there earlier in the day.
Personal Training – You’ve seen personal training plans in magazines, or even on websites. Especially those “couch to 5k” plans or even a half marathon training plan. You can create appointments on your “Training” calendar for exactly what you are supposed to accomplish that day. For example… “4 Miles at race pace” or something like that.
Budgeting – Who’da thunk you can share Google Calendars to keep track of your budget? I create appointments for days when various bills are due. If it’s one I have to pay manually, and it can be paid online, I include a link to the payment portal in the notes of the appointment. Otherwise, they are mainly reminders to me that those bills will automatically be deducted from my account on those days, so I can make sure there is enough money in my various accounts!
Sports Teams – Create and share Google calendars for a team you coach, or help administrate. This way all the parents can subscribe to the calendar and know exactly when practices are and when games are. We use this for Maddie’s swim team, and it’s soooo easy to keep track of it all!
Routines – I’ve always been a HUGE fan of daily routines, even cleaning routines (like every Monday I clean the kitchen, etc). At one point I had a different calendar for each of my children’s routines and my own daily routine. This way I can know that at 5:30 every morning I work out, and at 11 I clean, etc. Having a routine mapped out for your day really helps in limiting time sucks (like Pinterest). You can also create cleaning routines like set appointments for yourself to repeat every 3 months to change your air filter, or to clean behind the fridge. Having appointments for these seasonal tasks can really go a long way to keeping your home in tip top shape!
Now that your entire life resides within the walls of Google Calendars like mine, it’s important to be able to access them from all locations. Google calendars can be accessed from just about any device available. You can sync your Google account from your iOS device, Android, Windows computer and more! So, go ahead and throw out that old whiteboard calendar in your kitchen, cause once you share Google calendars and go digitial, I promise you will not go back!
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