2 minute read

Here’s a (rather long) question for the Google Calendar devotees out there:

I’ve long had a personal Gmail account that I’ve done all my scheduling through. (I can’t remember what prompted me to switch my calendaring from the iCal/Mobile Me suite, but it probably had something to do with sync failures.) Anyhow, being a little fastidious, I’ve got multiple calendars set up in that account, each with its own color, so that I can see at a glance the distribution of my time across any given day/week. There’s a calendar (orange) for exercise, a calendar (purple) for personal stuff, and so on, and of course the main account calendar (blue), which I use for work-oriented appointments.

It’s been a system that’s worked fairly well for me. Until now!

The good news is that my work email and calendaring system has recently moved from one that I found bizarre and unfriendly (cough***Lotus Notes***cough) to the familiar and functional world of Google Apps. And the even better news is that as my colleagues move into the new system, we’re using Google Calendar for lots and lots of scheduling, so calendars are openly shared (full information, not free/busy) throughout the office.

And this is great; I love knowing when my colleagues are available, and I love that they know the same about me. But what I’m struggling with is how to simplify my scheduling across these two accounts as much as possible, without announcing every yoga class or personal appointment that I have to all of my colleagues.

I’ve shared my personal calendars with my work account and vice versa, so that everything appears in and can be manipulated from both accounts. And I’ve made it possible for my colleagues to see my free/busy status on those personal calendars. But I think that they’d have to subscribe to each of those calendars in order to get all of the information, which isn’t ideal.

What I’m wondering is whether I need to collapse all of the calendars in my personal account down into the primary calendar (and then use the recently introduced ability to set a color for an individual event to maintain the visual distinction I like), so that my colleagues only have to subscribe to my work (full info) and personal (free/busy) calendars to get the full picture.

Or is there a better way? Multiple-account-holding Google folks, I’d love to know how you’re dealing with your calendars…

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