Mac|Life – All Articles
by Chris Barylick
Ok, there are admittedly some Google products that haven’t quite worked out as well as Google would have liked and have yet to change the computing world as we know it — Google Wave, anyone?. But for Google’s products that changed things, their presence ranges from pretty useful to indispensable. Among these is Google Calendar, which has the advantage of being online, customizable and easy to share with a group of friends and surprisingly simple to share with your iCal app. Read on to find out how to create a Google group calendar to share with your friends, family and bowling group, and how you can export it to iCal so that you never miss an important date again.
1. Start a Google Cal
First things first, create an account with Google calendar (logging in via your standard Google account will do the trick) and begin entering events. Like iCal, you can just click on a date and time and a window will appear allowing you to customize the event/state whether it’s recurring/give it a title and flesh out the details.
2. Export to iCal
Once you’ve created the events you want and set them up as you see fit, exporting them to iCal is actually pretty easy. From the Google Calendar main screen, click the “Settings” link to open up the export menu.
From here, click the “Export Calendars” link and your Mac will automatically export your Google Calendar link over to iCal, opening the iCal app and adding your Google Calendar events to iCal. Choose the calendar you’d like to add the events to and you’re almost done.
At this point, you can repeat steps 1 through 3 to export your Google Calendar and its events to your iCal any time you wish. To sync your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to your iCal, just connect the device to your computer, select it from the “Devices” menu in iTunes, click the “Info” tab and make sure the “Sync iCal Calendars” box is checked. From this point on, your most recent iCal calendar changes will be synced over to your iOS device.
3. Share with Friends
Now it’s time to share your plans with your group. From the main Google Calendar page, click the “Settings” link and then click the “Share this calendar link”. This will open up a sharing window and allow you to begin specifying just how widely you’d like to share the calendar.
Once you’ve entered the sharing screen, you can now either make the page public so that it functions like a commonly visible web site that people can bookmark and check in on to see if any updates have been entered, or keep the calendar viewable by a select view and giving them access through their email addresses. You can also control each individuals level of access to the calendar, and whether they can simply view it or actually edit it.
Once finished, click the “Save” button at the bottom and your group will be notified of the new calendar.