How To Use And Share A Family Calendar Electronically

by Lori

How To use and share a family calendar electronically

By: Lori Thayer

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?

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links on this site are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These are all resources that I am recommending because they are helpful and are companies that I trust, not because of the commissions that I may earn from you using these products. Please do not spend money unless you really need the resource and it will help you reach your goals.

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Lori Thayer is passionate about finding ways to optimize life. As a step-mom of two teenagers, a full-time software tester and a momprenuer she knows how busy life can be. She is dedicated to finding ways to be more efficient and find tools to optimize life so that she can spend more time enjoying life with her family. She loves to hike, camp, read, learn about energy, wellness and online marketing as well as singing karaoke with her husband on the xbox at home.

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  • http://www.beingstepmom.com/ Elle Michele

    Love this! We’ve been using one for years to help with my stepson’s activities between houses.

  • KnEzmom

    We are just getting on the joint calendar bandwagon. We’re hoping that it will keep my ADHD Junior more organized as to when her homework assignments are due. We got her a smartphone with wifi access only (no data plan), so she can use the phone at home and at school, which has limited wifi. This was recommended by her neuropsychologist. Now, we have to choose a calendar system. I already use my iphone calendar for work (and they don’t need to see my work schedule…it will be overwhelming!) and also keep the kids info in there, so I don’t double book, but I’m afraid to try to keep two calendars. Can I move to a Google Calendar with an iPhone?

    • http://lorithayer.com Lori Thayer

      Absolutely you can. We used Google Calendar on our iPhones for a while. You can also subscribe to google calendars on iCal (your iphone calendar) so there are several ways to set them up.
      These look to be recent instruction on how to configure your google calendar on your iphone: https://support.google.com/calendar/answer/151674?hl=en

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