Departmental Best Practices

Do you manage departmental calendars, resources, or events? Do you collaborate often with multiple team members? Here are some departmental/team best practices and suggestions for how to utilize Google Calendar and Google Doc/Drive for your department.

Department Shared Google Calendars

To create a shared calendar for the department, one person in your department must create a new Google calendar within their account, and then share it with everyone in the department who should have access to it, and assign which level of access each person should have.

Create a new department shared calendar
  1. From within your Google Calendar click the gear iconin the upper right, then click Settings.
  2. Click Create new calendar.
  3. Give the calendar a name and description, e.g. Technology Team Calendar.
  4. Under the section labeled Share with specific people, enter all of the email addresses of the people you would like to have access to this calendar.
  5. Once a person has been granted access to the calendar, you may set a permission level for each individual from the drop-down option next to their name.
  6. There are four different permission levels:

    1. Make changes AND manage sharing
    2. Make changes to events
    3. See all event details
    4. See only free/busy (hide details)

  7. Select the appropriate access level each person should be granted to this calendar and click Save.
  8. People who have had this calendar shared with them at the Make changes AND manage sharing level should be able to view and access it from the My calendars section (left sidebar) of their Google Calendar. People who are only allowed to see event details, free/busy, or edit event details only will find the calendar under the Other calendars section (left sidebar).


Managing Resources with Google Calendar

Resources such as meeting rooms or other shared equipment and resources can be managed by a Google Calendar as well. To create a shared resource calendar for the department, one person must create a new Google calendar within their account, and then share it with everyone in the department who should have access to the resource.

Create a new department shared resource calendar
  1. From within your Google Calendar click the gear iconin the upper right, then click Settings.
  2. Click Create new calendar.
  3. Give the calendar a name and description appropriate to the resource you would like to manage. For a meeting room, you might use the room number, e.g. L330.
  4. Back in the main Google Calendar window, in the calendar list on the left, click on the down-arrow button next to the resource calendar and select Calendar settings.
  5. Enable the Auto-accept invitations feature by selecting Auto-accept invitations that do not conflict.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Back in the main Google Calendar window, in the calendar list on the left, click on the down-arrow button next to the resource calendar and select Share this Calendar.
  8. Under the section labeled Share with specific people, enter all of the email addresses of the people you would like to have access to this calendar.
  9. Once a person has been granted access to the calendar, you may set a permission level for each individual from the drop-down option next to their name. This must be See all event details or higher for someone to be able to reserve the resource. You may find that it is useful to have everyone be able to see the availability of the resource, while only a limited number of individuals can reserve it.
  10. Select the appropriate access level each person should be granted to this calendar and click Save.
  11. All people who have had this calendar shared with them at the See all event details level or higher will be able to add the resource to meetings as a guest when creating an event. Treating the resource like another meeting attendee allows people to easily find a time when all participants and the resource are available.
  12. People who have had this calendar shared with them at the Make changes AND manage sharing level should be able to view and access it from the My calendars section (left sidebar) of their Google Calendar. People who are only allowed to see event details, free/busy, or edit event details only will find the calendar under the Other calendars section (left sidebar).


Creating Public Google Calendars

Google Calendar can also be used to create public calendars that can be embedded on public webpages and made accessible to anyone who views that webpage. You can also create and embed calendars that are only visible to people with Simmons Google Apps accounts.
  1. To make a Google Calendar public, click the gear iconin the upper right, then click Settings.
  2. Click the Calendars tab.
  3. Click the option labeled either Share this calendar or Shared: Edit settings for the calendar you wish to make public.
  4. Make sure the option for Share this calendar with others is selected.
  5. Select the option for Make this calendar public.

    Alternatively, if you wish to make a calendar that can only be viewed by Simmons students, faculty and staff, you can select the Share this calendar with everyone in the organization Simmons option. Note that if you select this option, people who visit your website will have to be logged into their Simmons Google Apps accounts to view the calendar.

  6. Choose the desired permission settings - this will most likely be See all event details.
  7. Click Save.
  8. You should receive a warning that making your calendar public will make all events visible to the world. Click Yes.
  9. To embed this calendar in a web page:
    1. Click on the calendar's name in the Calendars tab under Settings.
    2. The section labeled Embed This Calendar will have a HTML iframe snippet that can be copy and pasted into a website or a page on a content management system.
    3. Clicking the link Customize the color, size, and other options will open a new tab with a preview of what your calendar will look like once it is embedded, and allow you to change display options such as size, view, background color, etc.


Using Google Docs/Drive

  • Google Docs/Drive is a powerful set of tools that offer the ability to work collaboratively on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real-time.
    • You no longer have to send multiple revisions of a document back and forth via email, you can just create a Google document and share it with all editors.
    • Multiple editors can edit the document at the same time, and the changes are made in real time, so you see changes as they are being made.
    • Google Drive supports a powerful revision history, so you can always revert to an earlier version of the document
    • You can upload and convert Microsoft Office documents into Google documents, work on them collaboratively, and then download them again as completed Microsoft Office documents, PDFs, or a number of different file formats.
  • Google Drive also works as a cloud-storage service, where any compute file (images, video, etc.) can be stored, shared, and accessible from work and home.
  • Please note that Google Drive is FERPA-compliant but not HIPAA-compliant. This means that confidential student data should continue to be stored on your department's network (G:) drive. Check here for more details on security and best practices for sensitive information, or refer to Simmons' Acceptable Use Policy.
  • Additional in-depth resources can be found at the links below: