Life can be busy, and managing meetings for work, yoga classes, happy hours, dinner dates, and family events can be overwhelming. Sometimes it even takes more than one calendar just to manage all the places you need to be — and make sure you don’t need to be there all at once. The are several options to managing multiple calendars and make sharing your availability with others (and vice versa). Here are a few ways you can share your calendar with friends so that they know where and when you can and cannot be.
Share Your Google Calendar with Friends. If you use a Google calendar, sharing your calendar with other friends who use Google is easy. Sign into Gmail and click the calendar link at the top of the screen. Then, click on the settings (gear) icon at the top right of the screen. From there, click Calendar Settings and then click the Calendars tab. Find the calendar you want to share and under the Sharing column choose Edit Settings. You can then choose to share the calendar with specific friends and family, as well as set their permissions, such as whether you want them to be able to just see event details or be able to make changes — or just know that you’re busy.
Use Tungle.Me to Share Availability. Tungle.me is a great service that syncs with your calendar and shares your general availability with other people using a unique link to the Tungle.me calendar. You can then invite friends and family to schedule time with you during your available slots. They will have to suggest at least two options for times that work best for both you and them, and you can approve where and when you will meet. Unlike Google, which now also features appointment slots to serve a similar purpose, others do not need to sign up for Tungle.me or download anything to schedule an appointment on your Tungle.me calendar. Tungle.me does have an app for the iPhone, though, for users who want to manage their own availability on the go.
Use Free-Time to Send Availability to Friends. For those who prefer to manage their calendar away from their desks, Free-Time for the iPhone is an easy to use app that helps you set your availability and allows you to send it to friends via email, SMS, or a bump if they also have the app. You can incorporate your daily habits, such as when you usually sleep and eat, so that you don’t actually schedule a meeting when you should be taking care of routine, personal business. The app costs $0.99 to share your availability, which is useful if your schedule comes up in casual conversation and you need to send a quick reminder to someone about when you’re free for coffee next week. However, unlike Tungle.me, it only works in one direction; your friends can’t schedule time with you using Free-Time.
What’s your favorite method of sharing your availability with colleagues, family, and friends? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.