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Sharing Your Calendars with Others

Perhaps the most useful thing about iCloud’s calendar is its ability to share your calendars and events with family, colleagues, and friends who are also using iCloud. You can allow other people to share any of your calendars, and they can ask you to share theirs. Of course, you can still have calendars that are private to you; iCloud will synchronize those private calendars among all your devices, but nobody else will be able to see them. You can have any mix of shared and private calendars you want.

There’s a difference between sharing and inviting. When you share, you’re sharing a whole calendar and all its events with another iCloud user. When you invite, you are offering to share a particular event with another person, whether or not they are using iCloud. Keep this difference in mind when you decide which of the kinds of collaboration you want. For example, I’m comfortable in sharing most of my calendars with my wife. But there might be a particular meeting on my Work calendar that I have with an editor; rather than share the whole calendar, I’d be likely to simply invite that editor to only that one meeting; the invitation will be sent via email. When the editor accepts the invitation, the event appears for both of us.

iCloud’s calendar sharing uses the industry-standard CalDAV protocol, so you can share calendars with people running Calendar or variety of other calendar programs on the Mac, and Microsoft Outlook 2007 or later on Windows.

To turn on calendar sharing

  1. On the calendar application of the iCloud website, the Calendars List will show a Share icon next to each calendar circle_a.jpg. A gray icon indicates the calendar isn’t being shared, and a green icon indicates that it is.
    04fig23.jpg

    Click to view larger image

    circle_a.jpg The icons next to the calendars tell you the calendar’s sharing status.

  2. Click a gray icon to begin the sharing process.

    The Calendar Sharing popover appears circle_b.jpg.

    04fig24.jpg

    Click to view larger image

    circle_b.jpg Enter the name and the sharing privileges for each person with which you want to share the calendar.

  3. In most cases, you’re going to want to share the calendar privately with one or more people. Click the Private Calendar checkbox, then in the Add Person field underneath, begin typing the person’s name or email address. iCloud will do a lookup of your Contacts list and provide a pop-up menu with possible matches. Click a contact with the mouse to select it.
  4. Click the person’s name to display the pop-up menu with permissions. Decide whether you want the person to be able to View & Edit the calendar (that’s the default choice) or to just be able to View the calendar.

    You might want to make a calendar read-only (the View choice) if the events of the calendar are ones that you merely want to have the other person informed about, but not to be able to change, such as your business travel plans.

  5. (Optional) Repeat steps 3 and 4 for anyone else you want to share the calendar with.
  6. Click Share.

    iCloud sends email invitations to the people you chose circle_c.jpg. If they accept the invitation by clicking the Join Calendar button in the email, they’ll be added to the calendar.

    04fig25.jpg

    Click to view larger image

    circle_c.jpg Invitees get an email invitation to your calendars. Accepting the invitation is as easy as clicking the Join Calendar button.

  7. Click OK.
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