Managing Family Schedules Using Google Calendar

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Photo by Kinologik

One of the challenges of having a family with activities and schedules is that it can be difficult to coordinate things. Even in my small family, it can be difficult to keep track of where everyone needs to be.

In order to have a good handle on activities, you need to have a good calendar system. A paper calendar can work, but it has disadvantage of being in one place, and if you’re not standing in front of it, you don’t have access.

I have found that using Google calendar is a great solution.

Google Calendar, Vanilla Style

I use Google calendar as my primary calendar. I like it because I can access it from my desktop, as well as my mobile devices. I have set up other calendars in Google calendar to hold my imported work calendar and my Girl Scout calendar. Everything I need is in one place.

Why set up separate calendars for work and Girl Scouts? Simply so I can hide them when I only want to see my personal events.

Google Calendar with Outlook

Next up is my husband. For some reason, the man loves Outlook. He keeps everything in there, from contacts to his calendar, and his Windows phone (I know, I know) syncs with it.

I tried to do an automated macro to export the calendar and email it to me, but I found there were two problems: it wouldn’t run often enough to be up to date, and I couldn’t make changes to his calendar.

Instead what I did is set up a link from my husband’s calendar to his Google account, and from there I access it from my Google calendar. I can make changes to his calendar and it will show up on his phone, and he is none the wiser.

Google Calendar for Children

My daughter is not old enough to have an email account of her own, and I was unwilling to bend the rules to make her one. So how could I communicate her calendar to her? It was a puzzle.

I ended up making another calendar under mine for her events. I can keep everything up to date. Her calendar transmits down to her iPod Touch via Cozi, and through Cozi she can also see what my husband and I are doing. All without an email address.

Hidden Tip for iPod/iPad/iPhone Users

Here is a non-well-known tip for iOS users: the calendar list that shows up on your device might not match what is in Google calendar. You can force the calendar list to refresh by visiting the following link:

Do you have any additional tips for using Google calendar to share information with your family? Share below.

Photo by Kinologik



  1. says

    The way I sync my calendar to my iPhone is to go to settings and add a ‘mail’ account using Microsoft Exchange settings which Google supports. This way, with one configuration all my contacts, calendars and emails are synced. There are lots of ways to customize your settings when you go this route as well.

  2. Martha says

    This is a great idea! Our family of three has been using Google Calendar to stay on top of events. I even created a calendar under my own account with my daughter’s name since she started having her “own” events… at age 2 or so (birthday parties and school functions).