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Create a Group Vacation Calendar - Knowledgebase / Email and Collaboration / Google Calendar - OIT Service Center

Create a Group Vacation Calendar

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Creating a separate staff vacation calendar for your group has many advantages:

  • everyone can see, at a glance, when co-workers will be out
  • staff vacation does not need to appear on a supervisor's, or other staff member's, calendar
  • vacation can be approved by the supervisor
  • the calendar view can be turned on and off as needed by all members of the group

Initial Setup

Create the Calendar

  1. Launch your calendar by clicking Calendar on the top of
  2. In the My Calendars section on the left, click Add
  3. Choose a name for the calendar (e.g. [Department Name] Vacation)
  4. In the "Share with Specific People" section, add your co-workers and supervisor.
    • The supervisor should have "Make Changes and Manage Sharing" privileges
    • Everyone else can simply have "See All Event Details" privileges
  5. Click the Create Calendar button at the bottom.  Now, your calendar will appear in the "My Calendars" list

Add the Calendar Address as a Contact

These instructions are to be completed by anyone who plans to put vacation on the calendar.

  1. Find the calendar in your list of calendars. Unless you are the supervisor or the person who set up the calendar, it will probably be found under "Other Calendars".
  2. Click the arrow next to the calendar name and choose "Calendar Settings"
  3. Find the section labeled Calendar Address. Highlight and copy the text to the right of the words Calendar ID:. It should look something like
  4. Next, we will add this address as a contact. Go to your email contacts - if you are not sure how to get there you can simply visit  
  5. Click the icon of a person with a plus sign to create a new contact.
    • For the name, type "[Your Department or Group] Vacation Calendar
    • For the email address, paste the text you copied earlier
    • Save the contact

Supervisor / Approver: Set up Notifications

If the staff vacation dates are going to need approval, these instructions are to be completed by the supervisor(s) who plan to approve events on the calendar.

  1. Under My Calendars, click the dropdown arrow next to your new calendar name and choose Notifications
  2. Check these three boxes on this screen: New Invitations, Changed Invitations, Canceled Invitations.  This will send you (the supervisor) an email whenever an employee is requesting or changing vacation time.

Using the Calendar

Staff - Adding/Requesting Vacation

These instructions to be completed by employees each time they would like to request vacation time.

  1. Add the vacation to your own calendar.   
    • Create an all day event on the date you will be out. Or, if you have a shorter appointment, create an event for those times.
    • Include your name in the event name, for example, "Josiah C. Vacation". Do not include any more personal details about your time out.
    • Change the event to "Show me as Busy" instead of available, so people trying to schedule an appointment with you will see that you are busy.
    • In the Guests area on the right, start typing the name of the contact you created (e.g. [Your Department or Group] Vacation Calendar. When you see the contact appear, choose it.
    • Save the event
  2. Your supervisor(s) will receive an email about your vacation request. They can either approve or decline the invitation. You will receive an email with their choice.

Supervisor(s) - Approving Vacation

If you (a supervisor) are going to be approving staff vacation dates, you should first follow the instructions above for setting up notifications.  Then:

  • When staff members add vacation dates to their calendars, they will invite the group vacation calendar, and you will receive an email with the request. 
  • Click "More Details" in the email to view the event
  • At the top of the event, where it says "Going?", choose Yes.  Click Save.

  • You can also approve/decline vacation from the calendar. Every event with a question mark on the calendar has not yet been approved - you can click the question mark and make your choice. 

Viewing the Calendar

  • To toggle the calendar on or off, click its name in your list of calendars. 
  • To change the display color, click the arrow next to the calendar name and you will be presented with a choice of colors. Your color choice will only be displayed for you - when others view the calendar, they can make their own color choice.
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