Google Calendar: Check the Availability of Friends and Coworkers

Google Calendar Screenshot

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A quick trip to the lake? Spontaneous brainstorming session? Number crunching? Tea break?

It's easy to see up to which others are in Google Calendar if you have added their shared calendars to yours. You do not have to clutter your itinerary with dozens of other people's schedules, though, to find out who is free now and in the upcoming hour.

Turn to the Free or busy box instead, for a quick overview.

Check Others' Availability in Google Calendar

To see who has events scheduled right now in Google Calendar:

  • Make sure Free or busy is enabled (see below).
  • If you cannot see the right Google Calendar pane, click the left arrow at the rightmost edge.
  • If the Free or busy box is collapsed, click its header.
  • Look for Free or events either underway or starting this or within the next hour for people added to Free or busy.

To add people to Free or busy:

  • Make sure the desired person has a public calendar or one shared with you.
  • Click Add » in the Free or busy box.
  • Type the desired email address.
    • You can add multiple people at a time: separate their addresses with commas.
  • Hit Enter.

Enable 'Free or Busy' in Google Calendar

To add the Free or busy gadget to Google Calendar:

  • Follow the Settings link in Google Calendar.
  • Go to the Labs tab.
  • Make sure Enable is chosen for Free or busy.
  • Click Save.