G Suite Group Calendar Automation

As you may know, G Suite provides the ability to create shared group calendars, which are great for 1:many sharing.

Many teams would like to have visibility not only into a shared administrative calendar, but also their team-mates’ calendars; while you can do this by adding your team members in your calendar left-nav, it’s a chunk of manual clicking every time, particularly if you have a large team.

A shared team calendar would seem to be the trick; however, many users (me included) don’t want to copy their appointments from their main calendar to a shared calendar; it’s just too much overhead.

Fortunately, this can be automated with Apps Script:

  • Google Groups provides a simple way to manage and access your team list; note that to be able to access it programmatically, this must be a domain-managed group.
  • The Calendar API provides the ability to copy appointments between calendars (with a bit of work: there isn’t a native copy function), and to invite group calendars to a user’s calendar.

Shared calendar approaches

There are two fundamental approaches here, each with their pros and cons.

Copy each users events to the shared calendar:

  • This only requires view permissions on the user’s calendar
  • Changes to the user’s calendar are only reflected on the shared calendar when the next refresh is run.
  • The script needs to add meta-data to the calendar event to update/remove events on refresh since the event ids in the shared calendar are different than the event ids in the user’s calendar.
  • It’s a chunk of code to get and set all the event attributes since there isn’t a copy method.

Invite the shared calendar to the user’s calendar

  • This requires elevated, ie. edit, privileges on the user’s calendar
  • Changes to the user’s calendar are reflected immediately in the shared calendar.
  • The user’s events will have an additional group calendar invitee, which can look a little obscure.

Automation Script

The following script takes the second approach; it only includes events to which a particular domain have been invited, so you can have separate shared calendars for different clients with whom you work, for instance.



These are my personal writings; the views expressed in these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer, Google.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store