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Share a Google Calendar and Track Absences

This document will go over the best process for utilizing a shared calendar for tracking and requesting time off.

Table of Contents:

  • For Supervisors
    • What You Need
    • How to Retrieve the Email address from the Time-Off Calendar
    • Suggested Settings
    • Process Time-Off Requests
  • For Staff
    • What You Need
    • Suggested Settings
    • Best Practice for Requesting Time-Off
    • Request Approved
    • Request Declined

For Supervisors

*Click the links next to the pictures for larger versions of the screenshots*

What You Need:

  • A shared calendar dedicated to staff leave or a secondary calendar in your U-M Google account.
    • Supervisor(s) will need to be set as an owner on this calendar. (If you are using a secondary calendar you will need to make supervisors editors.)
    • We recommend creating a dedicated shared or a secondary calendar if you do not already have one.
    • Contact the ITS Service Center at 4help@umich.edu or (734) 764-4357 to request a shared calendar or complete the Shared Account Request Form. Note: You can only access this form from your UMICH account.
    • If you want to use a secondary calendar attached to your U-M Google account follow these instructions.
  • The email address associated with the shared account (instructions below).
*If you do not see the calendar on your list contact 4help with the name of the calendar and they can provide you with the email address associated with it.* 

How to Retrieve the Email Address for the Time-Off Calendar:

    1. Click the leave calendar drop-down menu.

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    2. Select Calendar settings

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3. Copy the email address (located in the settings window next to Calendar Address). This is a unique ID that should look something like: umich.edu_b7vcf4vr3v10u1ratlmmvd8@group.calendar.google.com. This is the address you will share with your staff. (See Suggested Settings below.)



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Suggested Settings:

We suggest adding the leave calendar’s email address as a contact. Once the contact is saved you can share it easily by exporting it as a vCard and emailing it to people in your department:
  1. From the Mail screen click Mail (located above the Compose Button).
  2. Choose Contacts.
  3. Click New Contact.
  4. Name the contact (we suggest something like “[departmental prefix]-TimeOff”).
  5. Paste the address above into the Email field.
  6. Click in any other field and it will save the Email address for the contact.
  7. At this point you have created the contact and can click the Contacts button (just above the New Contact button) and choose Mail to get back to your mail.
We also suggest you turn on notifications for the leave calendar:
  1. From the Calendar view click the Gear icon in the upper right and select Calendar Settings.
  2. Click the Calendars link.
  3. Click the Notifications link next to the calendar you wish to get notifications for (the leave calendar in this case).
  4. Select the types of notifications you wish to receive.
  5. Click Save.

Process Time-Off Requests:

  1. If you have notifications for the leave calendar enabled, you will receive an email every time the calendar is invited to a time-off request event.. To respond to the time-off request, open the event from your email or from calendar view by clicking on the event.
  2. From the event window select Yes, Maybe, or No.
    • Yes to approve.
    • Maybe if more information or time is needed to respond.
    • No to decline.
  3. Add questions or comments in the notes field next to Going? to clarify your response, if necessary.

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For Staff

What You Need:

  • The email address associated with the time-off calendar, which you can obtain in a couple ways.
    • Obtain the email address from documentation, a coworker, or a supervisor. (e.x.umich.edu_b7vcoo5i56j2v10u1ratlmmvd8@group.calendar.google.com). You can use this address to create a contact (see Suggested Settings section below) or just add it to Other Calendars on the left of your calendar view.
    • Obtain the contact info through a vCard or CSV from a coworker or a supervisor and import the contact:
      • Sign in to Gmail.
      • Click Gmail at the top-left corner of your Gmail page, then choose Contacts.
      • Click the More actions dropdown menu and select Import.
      • Click the Choose File button and locate the vCard file you'd like to upload.
      • Select the file and click the Import button.

Suggested Settings:

If you have the leave calendar’s email address, we suggest adding it as a contact:

  1. From the Mail screen click Mail (located above the Compose Button).
  2. Choose Contacts.
  3. Click New Contact.
  4. Name the contact (we suggest something like “[departmental prefix]-TimeOff”).
  5. Paste the address above into the Email field.
  6. Click in any other field and it will save the email address for the contact.
  7. At this point you have created the contact and can click the Contacts button (just above the New Contact button) and choose Mail to get back to your mail.
We also suggest you turn on notifications for your personal U-M Google calendar::
  1. From the calendar view click the Gear icon in the upper right and select Calendar Settings.
  2. Click the Calendars link.
  3. Click the Notifications link next to the calendar you wish to get notifications for (your personal calendar in this case).
  4. Select the types of notifications you wish to receive.
  5. Click Save.

Best Practice for Requesting Time-Off

  1. From your personal U-M Google calendar select Create.
  2. Edit the event title with your name and the reason for the request (i.e “Rick-Vac”, “Rick-Sick” or “Rick-Training”).
  3. If the request is for the full day select All Day.
  4. Add appropriate notes to the description field.
  5. In the Add:Guests section, enter the leave calendar email address or contact name (see Suggested Settings section above). Then click Add.
  6. Click Save. NOTE: This will take you back to your calendar. If you are also viewing the leave calendar you will see the event appear on both calendars.
Event creation window:

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Request Approved:

  • If you have notifications turned on you will receive an email telling you the invitation has been accepted.
  • If notifications are not turned on, view your calendar time-off event to see if it has been accepted. If accepted, you will find a check mark next to Guest. If there is no check mark it means there has been no response yet.

Request Declined:

  • If you have notifications turned on you will receive an email telling you the invitation has been declined and why (if your supervisor entered notes).
  • If notifications are not turned on view your calendar time-off event. If declined, you will find a circle with a line through it next to Guest. If your supervisor entered notes they will appear directly below. If there is no mark it means there has been no response yet.
  • If you wish to propose a different time for your leave, open the event and choose a new time. Click Save. This will send a new time proposal to time-off calendar.
  • If you do not wish to propose a new leave time, delete the event from your calendar and choose Delete and Notify Guests when prompted.
How the email looks if your request is approved or declined:

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