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This is a quick and (relatively) painless process for setting up and connecting room resource calendars in Google. If you’re the designated calendar setup human in your office, we’re about to make you look like a professional.
FYI: This guide assumes you already have Google Apps. Currently only paid accounts have access to resource calendars. If you’re grandfathered in or using a personal Gmail account, this process won’t make much sense.
For most people managing offices, resources are overlooked and unappreciated. Here’s a quick crash course before we start. Feel free to skip ahead to the guide if you already know this part:
Meet the calendar resource
A calendar resource (aka “resource calendar,” “room calendar”) is a special type of calendar meant for shared resources like rooms or equipment (i.e. camera equipment) that can only do one thing at a time.
Unlike a regular calendar, resources:
- Do not allow conflicts
- Can be shared across everyone on your Google Apps domain
- Can be invited (multiple at a time) to events, just like a person
Their ability to share availability with everyone makes resources great for managing rooms schedules. Especially in a shared work environment like your office.
How to set up your first resource calendar in Google
Setting up the resource calendar is easy. You’ll just need administrator access to Google Apps to get started.
Go to the administrator panel in Google and select Apps > Google Apps > Calendar
Under the Calendar menu, you’ll see a section for resources.
From there you can add or edit existing resource calendars in Google. When you add a new resource, you can specify a type. You don’t have to get too specific. Generally, “conference room” is fine since they’ll all show up in the same place.
Now, when you book events in Google Calendar you can add rooms as well as people. Sweet!
Rooms that are already booked for the event’s time will hide by default. Depending on how busy your office is, you may have to guess and check for event times in order to find a match.
These calendars are available to everyone on your domain, meaning this setup for room resource calendars in Google will configure calendars for everyone automatically.
Sharing resource calendars with other people in your office? You’ll want to read this guide next.