Your house probably has a refrigerator, right? It has the usual things inside—food, an assortment of beverages, maybe ice water to the door.
On the outside it might also have a calendar, probably attached with magnets.
Or maybe you have a small whiteboard somewhere in your house with a calendar month pre-drawn on it.
And you meticulously fill in the little boxes to keep track not only of your own plans, but also your daughter’s basketball games, you son’s piano lessons, your spouse’s travel plans, and who knows what all else.
This works pretty well for a lot of people. But you won’t have that whiteboard calendar or your refrigerator handy when your very best friend from college calls and wants to know if you and your family can come over two Saturdays from now to watch the Big Game on television and you’re sorry you can’t respond immediately because you’re in the grocery store, and you’re already frustrated because you’ve been in the express line for ten minutes already, and doesn’t that guy in front of you have more than 15 items in his basket, and you’ll never remember to call her back when you get home—and you know it.
Then you remember that iPhone in your hand. And you remember someone telling you that there’s a really easy way to share calendars with the rest of your family. And you resolve to take care of this. Right now. In the store. While you’re waiting in line. Because you’ve already read all the tabloid covers.
We recently ran through the iCloud features everyone should use, so we’ll assume that you already have an iCloud account and all your calendars are stored there. You can share an iCloud calendar using an iOS device or your Mac, or even via iCloud.com. The steps are largely the same, but we’ll cover only the iOS and Mac processes here.
Sharing a Calendar on an iOS Device
- Tap Calendar.
- Tap Calendars to show your list of calendars.
- Tap the info button for the calendar you want to share.
- Tap Add Person…
- If the person you want to share the calendar with has an iCloud account, enter his or her email address or iCloud account name and tap Add. You can also use the + button to search through your contacts. (If the person doesn’t use iCloud, see Step 8 below.)
- By default, you’ll be notified when others edit the events on your calendar. If you don’t want these notifications, turn off Show Changes. In our view, though, leaving Show Changes on is one of the major benefits of sharing calendars that you are also allowing others to edit. Wouldn’t you want to know if an event on your calendar changed or was added by someone else?
- By default, shared calendars allow others to both view and edit your calendar. If you don’t want others to be able to change your calendar, tap View & Edit, then turn off Allow Editing.
- If the person you want to share your calendar with doesn’t have an iCloud account, he or she can still view your calendar (but not edit it) in a web browser. Turn on Public Calendar and your calendar will be published to a website.
- Tap Share Link… to bring up a share sheet. Decide how you want to share the link (for example, via AirDrop or email) and send it.
Sharing a Calendar on a Mac
- Open Calendar. If Calendar is not in the dock, choose Go > Applications in the Finder and scroll through the Applications window until you find it.
- If the calendars sidebar isn’t showing, click the Calendars button.
- Hover your pointer over the name of the calendar you want to share. A button that looks like a set of radio waves will appear. Click it, and a pop-up sheet will appear.
- If the person you want to share the calendar with has an iCloud account, enter his or her iCloud account name or email address, and press return. You can enter multiple email addresses. To set access to your calendar, click the person’s name or email address and choose View Only or View & Edit from the pop-up menu that appears.
5. If the person you want to share your calendar with doesn’t have an iCloud account, he or she can still view your calendar (but not edit it) in a web browser. Check the box for Public Calendar and your calendar will be published to a website. A URL will appear, and you can use the share button to provide the link to others. 6. Click Done.
Now, your shared calendars will show up within the Calendar application on the Mac or iOS devices or in Microsoft Outlook on the Windows computer of the folks with iCloud accounts who you’ve chosen to share them with. Likewise for any calendars that have been shared with you.
If you don’t want to constantly see someone else’s calendar, just uncheck the calendar on your Mac or iOS device to hide it.
Get On the Same Page
Now that you know how easy it is to share calendars, you can resolve to get everyone in your family and/or close circle of friends in sync in 2017. Are there other ways to share information among family members? That’s a resounding yes! Stay tuned for more articles like this soon.