Why your organisation must use Google Calendar (or equivalent)

Last updated: 4 December 2013 by Paddy Waldron.

Do you belong to an organisation or organisations which run regular (or irregular) events? Do you use a smartphone or use the world wide web? Would you like to be able to consult your smartphone Calendar app or a single web page and see a live, current and up-to-date list of all future (and past) events for all the organisations that you are interested in? If you persuade the committee or webmaster or PRO of your organisations to start using Google Calendar, then you can do this very easily!


My experience with Google Calendar

Google Calendar became available on 13 April 2006 so is now quite a mature technology.

Its full history is outlined in Wikipedia.

On 8 November 2012, I was advised to start using Google Calendar to manage the CIGO events diary which the webmaster of the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations was finding too time-consuming.

From 1 January 2013, I started to also use Google Calendar for personal purposes, in place of a paper diary.

By June 2013, I had started a Google Calendar for Kilrush & District Historical Society, of which I am public relations officer.

On 3 July 2013, I bought an iPhone and began to learn how to use Google Calendar via the built-in Calendar app.

At Back To Our Past on 18-20 October 2013, I learned from Maeve Rogan, publicity officer of the North of Ireland Family History Society (NIFHS), that she helps her society's webmaster Caryl Steele to run a Google Calendar for its branches' events.

By 29 October 2013, Maeve and I had successfully added the NIFHS Google Calendar to the CIGO Google Calendar.

This convinced me that each of the organisations to which I belong and which constantly send me e-mails and snail-mails with details of upcoming events should have its own Google Calendar on its website and available to its members through their preferred calendar interface(s). I have spent far too long in recent years unnecessarily transcribing or copying and pasting event details from circulars into my own paper and electronic diaries.

More importantly, meta-organisations like the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations and the Federation of Local History Societies should display the Google Calendars of all of their constituent organisations on their websites.

I have made a few mistakes along the way over my first year or so using Google Calendar, and thought that others might benefit from my experiences.

The level of technical experience and confidence of those responsible for organising and publicising these events varies considerably. This page is intended to help those involved to build up their experience and confidence. I will be referring anyone who sends me e-mail notification of any future event to it, and encourage others to do likewise. Some may find the instructions a little scary at first glance, but once you read through them and the various links, you will find the process quite logical and straightforward.

How to set up a Google Calendar for your organisation

How to add an organisation's events to your own personal Google Calendar

This depends on what device and what calendar software you prefer to use. Here are instructions for some popular choices:

Calendar on an iPhone
If, for example, you are reading your organisation's web page on a computer, then
From a website with an embedded Google Calendar (which you have not already added):
Google Calendar itself in a web browser:
If you would like to get an e-mail or an SMS text message reminder about some or all events on a calendar:

How to help

Other examples