Adding a Public Google Calendar to Your Google Calendar

The Google online suite of personal productivity tools is IMO the best free option on the Internet (with the exception of Google Contacts, which has flaws.) One of my most used applications is Google Calendar. Today, learn how to take somebody else’s public Google calendar and place it into your calendar.

The example I’ll use is the events calendar of Progressives for Democratic Reform in Augusta, GA (“PDR”). When you get past the welcome popup on the site, you’ll see its Google calendar embedded in the home page, defaulted to a month’s view. Click on the “+Google Calendar” image in the bottom right-hand corner. I’ve circled it in red on the screenshot below. (Note that I’ve made these image files available through Flickr, where they display better.)

Home Page PDR cropped highlighted

If you’re logged into your Google account, clicking on the “+Google Calendar” button takes you to your Google calendar. I’ve added a screenshot below showing mine, with personal information crossed out. Again, I’ve used a red line to circle your next step, which is to click on the check box that toggles display of the PDR calendar. My personal calendars and the public calendars to which I’ve subscribed appear in the left sidebar (more on this later).

Your Google Calendar Before Highlighting PDR Events

This is what your screen looks like after you’ve toggled it on. The PDR calendar events appear in a unique color. I’ve circled in red an event (July 11, 2017, 4 pm RC BOE Committee Mtg) which appeared on the PDR calendar which I’ll use as an example later. Of course, you might access this months or years from now, so just use whatever event you want for the next step.

Your Google Calendar After Highlighting PDR Events cropped touched up

There’s two ways you can use somebody else’s calendar. The first is to copy the events in which you’re interested to your personal calendar, thus taking advantage of your already fine-tuned use of your personal calendar and its default notification settings, or adding a notification for you specific to that event. The second is to edit the notification settings for the new calendar so that you receive notifications for all of its events.

I’ve given myself access to multiple calendars, and I don’t want to receive notifications for all events on these calendars, so I use the first method. Let me show you that first.

When I click on the event I see in the PDR calendar, I see its details, and, depending on the settings of the other user’s calendar, certain options. In this case, my only option is to copy it to another calendar. PDR’s calendar settings don’t allow me to invite people to the event. Click on the drop down menu I’ve circled in the image below, and choose the option “Copy to [your personal calendar].”

PDR Event details highlighted

Once I’ve copied the PDR event to my calendar, I’m allowed to edit it as I see fit. I might change the title. I’d certainly add a location (snap to it, PDR!). Let’s say I thought someone else I know should attend. I’d then invite that person as a guest. I personally don’t use event notifications, but I could add one. The Visibility (important if other people have access to your personal calendar) can also be modified. Finally, I can choose the color I want Google Calendar to use when displaying the event.

PDR Event copied to my personal calendar

Here’s what the event looks like in my regular monthly calendar view.

Copied Event Now Part of My Personal Calendar

You might be saying, “That’s nifty, but I don’t use Google Calendar.”

#1, if you’re not using an electronic calendar, then start using Google Calendar. Note, you can create a Google account with the e-mail address you currently use. In other words, you don’t need to begin using a address.

#2, if you are using another web service calendar such as or or a desktop calendar, you can usually import other public calendars if you know their iCal address. The iCal address for the PDR calendar is (PDR’s embed setting on its webpage does not display the iCal addres, so I had to get it from within my Google Calendar app. Fix this, PDR!)

If you can’t figure out how to import the PDR calendar into your personal calendar, let me know.



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