Create a company Shared Calendar in Office 365
Many businesses require a shared calendar that is accessible by all users, perhaps to create an on-call roster or similar type of group schedule. This process can be automated using our Office 365 Management tool, but in this article, we will create a Shared calendar in an Office 365 tenant that will be accessible by all staff members with an Office 365 mailbox.
This will be done using a public folder, which means it can be accessed from the Outlook application. Unfortunately, public folders are not yet accessible from Mobile Devices or Outlook Web Access (OWA).
Creating a Public Folder Mailbox
1. You will need to create a Public Folder mailbox if you do not already have one. This is done in the Exchange Admin Center. To access the Exchange Admin Center, navigate to the Office 365 Admin Center, expand the Admin center’s node on the left navigation panel and click Exchange Online, or simply browse to it directly via: https://outlook.office365.com/ecp/
If you are using a Small Business Office 365 subscription, you can access the Exchange Admin Center using this workaround.
2. Now navigate to the Public Folders section on the left-hand side to create your public folder mailbox.
3. Click the Plus button and create a new mailbox as shown.
Creating the Root Public Folder
Now that you have a Public Folder Mailbox it’s time to create the root public folder. This is also done in the Exchange Admin Center.
1. Click Public Folders at the top of the screen and click the plus button to create a new folder. We recommend you give the root folder a very generic name as shown.
You now have to assign appropriate permissions to this root folder. We recommend that you allow Administrators to be an Owner of this folder and keep the rest as default. This will mean that normal users cannot create new public folders, it will have to be done by an administrator.
2. Firstly, click Manage under Folder Permissions.
3. Then add all your administrators in and give them Owner permissions.
4. Assign yourself Owner Permissions.
Public Folder Permissions.
Creating the Shared Calendar Public Folder
Now your public folder environment is correctly configured and you can start creating the Calendar folder using Microsoft Outlook.
1. Open up Outlook and navigate to the folders list.
You should see the Public Folders section. If you do not see the public folders section check that you have assigned the correct permissions above. If you have only just created the public folder mailbox and root public folder it may take a few hours for the public folders to appear here.
2. Expand out your Public Folders and All Public Folders until you see the root public folder you created earlier.
3. Right Click on this root public folder and click New Folder to create a Shared Calendar folder as pictured.
Right Click on the newly created folder and click Properties. You can now set permissions as to who will have access to view and modify the contacts.
Anonymous refers to users outside your company. We recommend setting these permissions to None.
Default refers to authenticated users within your company. We recommend setting these permissions to Author, which will allow them to create new calendar entries and edit their own.
The different permissions are as follows:
|With this permission level (or role)||You can…|
|Owner||Create, read, modify, and delete all items and files, and create subfolders. As the folder owner, you can change the permission levels others have for the folder. (Does not apply to delegates.)|
|Publishing Editor||Create, read, modify, and delete all items and files, and create subfolders. (Does not apply to delegates.)|
|Editor||Create, read, modify, and delete all items and files|
|Publishing Author||Create and read items and files, create sub-folders, and modify and delete items and files you create. (Does not apply to delegates.)|
|Author||Create and read items and files, and modify and delete items and files you create.|
|Contributor||Create items and files only. The contents of the folder do not appear. (Does not apply to delegates.)|
|Reveiwer||Read items and files only.|
|Custom||Perform activities defined by the folder owner. (Does not apply to delegates.)|
|None||You have no permission. You can’t open the folder.|
Adding the Calendar folder to Outlook
Each user will now need to add this calendar folder to their Outlook favorites which will allow them to see the contacts list in Outlook. To add the folder to their favorites each user will need to do the following.
1. Open up Outlook and navigate to the folders list.
If they do not see the public folders section check that you have assigned the correct permissions above. If you have only just created the public folder mailbox and root public folder it may take a few hours for the public folders to appear here.
2. Expand out your Public Folders and All Public Folders until you see the calendar public folder you create earlier.
3. Right click the Calendar folder and click Add to Favorites.
This will allow the user to view the Shared Calendar in their Calendar section.
Shared Calendar under Other Calendars
If you’d like to learn more about automating such Office 365 admin tasks, explore our Office 365 Management tool.