How To use and share a family calendar electronically

Keeping a family calendar can help everyone in the same page. There are many benefits to using an electronic family calendar. In this article we will cover how to choose an electronic calendar, determine how many calendars are needed, and provide calendar access.

Choose an electronic calendar

There are many options when choosing an electronic family calendar. The important considerations are:

  1. Which electronic calendars are accessible on a daily basis to all members of the family. If all members of the family have an apple device the iCloud calendar might work. Google calendar is very accessible as most people have a gmail or other Google App account. The access doesn't have to be mobile, it could be from a computer, but mobile access means family members will be much more likely to use it.
  2. Can each member have their own family calendar yet still share that calendar to others and see another's calendar?
  3. Will these shared family calendars update automatically? If a user has to make extra effort to keep their calendar up to date on their mobile device it will quickly fall out of sync and not be very helpful to them. Most mobile devices can sync automatically over wifi so everyone can be kept up to date easily.
  4. What notification options are available, will the electronic calendar send email or text reminders of an appointment sent to you?
  5. Can you customize the notification for each different family calendar you are subscribed to? For example, if there are 4 members of your family and each member creates their own calendar and shares it with the other three members. Can the subscriber choose to not receive alerts for two of the calendars but receive alerts for the other two?

How Many Calendars Are Needed

  • One family calendar should be created for events that several or all of the family will take part in. This calendar should be editable by all family members.
  • An additional calendar should be created by each family member for their own appointments. For example, I subscribe to my husband's calendar which lists any after hours work meetings or poker nights he has planned. This way I can tell with a glance at the calendar if he'll be home later that usual and plan accordingly for dinner.

Calendar Access

  • Calendar's should be shared from kids to parents and among the parents with full access so the adults can add necessary school appointments and reschedule other appointments as needed.
  • Siblings can invite each other to only view their calendars with read access, meaning no changes can be made.
  • Individual events can easily be shared with grandparents and friends as well from most electronic calendars.

How will using an electronic family calendar make your life easier?

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