Invites TO my personal calendar are simple, send to my gmail address. Invites that come FROM my family calendar come from family[numbers]@group.calendar.google.com. I tried sending an invite to that address, but it didn't work. How can I send an invite to my family calendar?


1 Answer 1


The problem you are encountering has a few layers.

Companies like Google and Microsoft have developed very sophisticated cloud apps that provide much more functionality than is covered in the standards.

The big companies can count on a fair bit of their user's traffic being private. This allows them to leverage all sorts of custom features/code for these users. Anyone who has tried to migrate data from one ecosystem to another appreciates this.

The worst thing for Google and Microsoft is when users want interoperability. Their systems are private, their code is private and they haven't typically worked together to standardize.

So, Google introduced this Family Group concept. You link a group of Google users and give them a shared calendar.

What kind of calendar is this? It's sort of a few things and also none of them at the same time. This is possible because Google can code whatever they want. They have grabbed functionality and also skipped functionality in order to get it to work a certain way.

It acts like your event calendar rather than a shared calendar treating appointments as your own (as everyone's own) merely as a result of their existence. That is not how shared calendars work. In a shared calendar you would need to be an attendee for Google to treat appointments as your own (i.e. you have a meeting in 20 minutes).

It also obviously behaves like a shared calendar for the group, but a shared calendar normally has a single account as the owner. This calendar shows it belongs to the account family[id]@group.calendar.google.com however that account does not actually belong to any group member and it can't be used by any of the Family to send and receive messages. Google uses the email address internally as the "sender" for calendar notifications, however they don't receive messages as there is no need. All communication to the calendar happens within Google from it's own products so the information is exchanged in other ways than email.

The problem you are encountering with your Outlook appointments is that you can't receive an email to the Family calendar, and event sharing between Microsoft and Google is done via explicitly accepting the invite via a link in an email.

Outside of manually creating the events yourself, there are two approaches you could use and the choice depends on the number of events as well as the functionality you are seeking.

Small Number, No Sync

This solution may be adequate however it might become a pain if you do it a lot. The worst part of it is that there is no sync between the events you add to the family calendar and the original events.

It is basically a variation of re-creating an event. Depending on the event this may be better or worse than simply creating it yourself.

  1. Invite your personal Gmail address. This address can receive email and is part of the Family.
  2. In your personal gCal copy the event to your Family calendar.
  3. remove the event from your personal gCal.

Small or large Number, with Sync

This is more complicated and relies on the ability to share your work calendar as well as a google apps script GAS-ICS-Sync It is better in that it remains in sync with the original events (updating when they update).

You would identify those work events to share using, for example, a unique tag. The script would run every few minutes and sync any identified work events with the family calendar. Creating them if they don't exist, changing them when they change, removing if cancelled. It is one way in that changes made in the family calendar would not propagate back to the work calendar. If you deleted an event in the Family calendar, within 15 minutes it would re-appear unless you removed the identifier in the event in the work calendar.

I wrote a longer description about it recently in this answer Sync the Team Calendar to your own. The question that answers while very different might still be of interest as it was about two Calendars inside the Google cloud. You will need to focus specifically on how to target a subset of events since you likely don't want to sync en-masse.

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