Tame scheduling chaos with a family Google Calendar

There’s so much going on during the school year,  it can sometimes be hard to keep track of what everyone is doing and when it all is happening!

A great way to tame the scheduling chaos, and minimize back-to-school stress, is to create a SHARED Family Google Calendar.
This way, you all can all share events with each other, and see at a glance what everyone else has on the calendar.  
You can add and edit events on the go, so they can be recorded the moment you learn about them, rather than waiting until you get home or have time to write them in a planner.
And your calendars will always be in sync, because as soon as one person edits an event, everyone else will see the changes happening in real time.
Want to try it out?

Here’s how…

How to set up a Family Google Calendar
  1. Create a Google Account. If you don’t have a  Google account, you can create one at https://accounts.google.com/signup


  2. Log on to Google Calendar at https://www.google.com/calendar


  3. Create your family calendar(s). 
    Here is a 5-minute video I created, showing you how to set this up:


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    Some of the calendars you may want to create include: 

    • A shared family calendar, for events that everyone in the family will participate in
    • A calendar for each of your kids, which you each have the ability to edit and update as needed.   You can create this calendar and then share it with them, or have them create it and share it with you.   If you want them to be able to add events and make changes to the calendar, make sure that you share with the permission setting “make changes.
    • You may also want to share your personal or work calendar with your spouse and/or kids.  For example, if you travel a lot, you could create a ‘Travel’ schedule that you invite your kids & spouse to view so they can see when you’ll be out of town and when you’re coming home.  Note: For this calendar, you’ll want to select the setting that allows them to view event details, but doesn’t give them editing permission.


  4. Add events to your calendars.  For recurring events, you can set them up to repeat once/week, on M/W/F, once a month, etc.  Some examples of the types of events you might want to add could include:
    • Sports tryouts & practices
    • Club meetings
    • After school classes or tutoring
    • Other extracurricular activities
    • Parties, Sleepovers & other special events
    • Trips / Vacations
    • School holidays
    • Birthdays (recurring yearly)
      …and more!  


  5. Set up reminders for your events. Set up default reminders for each of the calendars you have access to.  Encourage your kids to set up their own default reminders, too, since they might be different from yours. For example, you may want a notification message one hour before each of your kids’ scheduled events, whereas your son or daughter might want a notification 30 minutes & 5 minutes beforehand.  Here’s more information on how to set up these reminders.


  6. Download the Google Calendar App on all of your mobile devices,  so you can get notifications and make updates to your calendar on the go.  There are several Google calendar apps available.  Here are links to my favorite ones for Android and iPhone
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article!
If you have any other questions about how to use Google calendar,  please feel free to post a comment on the blog below , or click here to email me directly. 

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About the Author:

Dr. Maggie Wray is an Atlanta-based academic coach who helps high school & college students achieve their academic potential by improving their organization, time management, study skills, and mindset about school. To set up a time to speak with Maggie about how to help YOUR teen develop the skills he or she needs to thrive academically, visit http://creatingpositivefutures.com/contact or email support@creatingpositivefutures.com


  1. Andrea October 19, 2015 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the quick overview of the Google calendar! This is just what we needed to coordinate calendars. Just wondering if there is a way my husband can get the google calendar to merge with his outlook calendar at work?

    • Maggie Wray, Ph.D. October 28, 2015 at 10:38 pm - Reply

      Hi There! Thanks so much for your feedback, I’m glad it was helpful! To merge your calendars just follow these steps (I found them on PCadvisor.com you can click here for the instructions): Go to Settings, Mail, Contacts, Calendars and tap Add Account. Use the options to add Google and Outlook.com accounts. Accept the offer to sync calendars and that’s it. Events added to Google Calendar,Outlook.com Calendar or Outlook if it’s synced with Outlook.com, automatically appear in the iOS Calendar app.

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