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Creating a Google Calendar for Availability

Forgive the lack of a fluffy intro. Things are mad at the moment with many customers wanting to reschedule their wedding dates thanks to Covid-19. So I’m being as brief as possible as I have emails to reply to. My apologies for any rambling sentences or grammar/spelling errors.

If you are reading this then I guess you’re here because you want to know how to create a Google Calendar and share it with customers.  So read on!

Creating a Google Calendar

If you’ve not done this before, you’ll need a Google account.  Then go to https://calendar.google.com/

Create yourself a brand new calendar.  Even if you’ve already got calendars and have used it before, I recommend you create a dedicated calendar to simply show whether you are available or not.  This avoids accidentally giving out any personal or customer information by accident.

Populating the Calendar

You can of course manually add dates in, using the web interface.  I found this to be really cumbersome for weddings since I don’t have times etc. I simply wanted the title “Unavailable” or “Maybe” (if someone hasn’t confirmed yet).

So what I did was create a spreadsheet with all my dates in then exported it as a CSV.  You can then import this into your Google Calendar.

Here is the sheet I created.  Feel free to cut & paste into your own spreadsheet.  Obviously put your own details in!  I entered the dates in US format which worked for me.  I didn’t try UK formatted dates.  If anyone fancies a go, let me know and I will update if you are successful or not.

Google Spreadsheet link

Once you’ve added your own details, click on File -> Download -> Comma-separated Values

 

 

Next switch back to your Google Calendar and click on the little cog and choose Settings.

In this screen, on the left.  Choose Import/Export.  Click on ‘Select file from your computer’ and choose the CSV file you downloaded earlier.

Make sure you change the ‘Add to calendar’ to the correct calendar.  Once correct, click Import.

Your entries should now be imported.  Obviously check!

Sharing the Calendar

To share the calendar with customers, click on the three little dots next to your calendar then click “Settings and Sharing”

If you scroll down to ‘Integrate calendar’ then you have a few different options.

Personally I used the Embed code to put the calendar into a hidden page on my website.  This then allowed me to add some blurb with additional info and a dedicated contact form.

If you dont know how to embed into your own website then you may want to just use the ‘public URL’ and paste that into your emails to customers.  The link is a bit long so you can make a friendlier short link by using a service such as ShortURL

Last bits

You can play with a few of the customisations to make the calendar a little neater.  Your customers can now see your availability but not edit.  Only you can via Google Calendar.  You can of course do it through the web interface or link your calendar to your phone so you can update your availability on the fly quicker.

I hope everyone stays safe in these challenging times.  Let me know if you have any questions.  Feel free to message me on Facebook or email. Please don’t use my contact form!

Lastly, special thanks to my good friend Rhys Beddoe for this smashing idea!

Thanks
Martin

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