Creating a Department shared Calendar in Office 365?

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Occasional Contributor

Hello,

I'm fairly new to Office 365.

I have been asked my a department head to create a shared calendar that the whole department can use (view, edit, etc...).

 

It seems like there are a couple of ways to do this, but I want to know the best way or what does Microsoft recommend? Do I create a group then add users/members to it or do I create a new mailbox then add users/members to it as well? 

10 Replies
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Define "best" way for you? What are the specific requirements? For example, will it need to be available on mobiles? As a webpage? How granular you want the permissions? 

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@finsfree  Office 365 Group - and add members to it . Simple and Best !! 

 

  • Multiple users can access a Group mailbox, just as they would a shared mailbox.
  • A Group mailbox can be used as a single point of email contact for a team or group of users, just as a shared mailbox can be.
  • Users can send-as or send-on-behalf of a Group mailbox, just as they would a shared mailbox.
  • Emails sent to Groups and shared mailboxes are preserved for historical reference, unless deleted by a user.

 

Office 365 Groups have additional features that shared mailboxes do not.

  • Users (members) can subscribe to receive a copy in their own mailbox of the emails sent to the Group mailbox, which makes Groups work in a similar manner to distribution lists.
  • Groups include additional collaboration apps and resources such as a SharePoint team site, OneNote notebook, Planner, and Teams.
  • Groups have a guest access model for external collaboration that shared mailboxes do not.
  • Groups have connectors for integrating other applications.

 

However, shared mailboxes have some capabilities that may make them more suitable to teams than Groups.

  • Shared mailboxes can have sub-folders in the mailbox, whereas Group mailboxes can't.
  • Shared mailboxes have more granular permissions available than Groups do.

 

If the data you expect to have in Shared Mailbox may be more in size lets say 50 gigs . then there is an additional cost of License as Shared Mailboxes are free to use only upto 50 GB.

 

Cheers !!

Ankit Shukla

 

 

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Not sure I agree with Office 365 group being the best :). Office Groups adds a whole lot of extra "Features" and settings and messages that can confuse users without the proper training.

I still prefer SharePoint calendars but you do have Mac limitations with Outlook sync, but other than that they work fairly well.

You also can use just a standard Shared calendar setup in Outlook for this as a resource too.

Do you guys utilize SharePoint already, or Teams? etc?

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@Chris Webb Its all about adaption Chris, be it a SharePoint Calendar or an Office 365 Group.  BTW Office 365 have more dynamic features & keep adding comparing to SharePoint calendars. 

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Not saying it's not a solution, just depending on the situation Groups are meh. And honestly, I don't see them getting expanded on much going forward. I think they are more confusing for most users than using existing calendars. Hence why I asked if they used SharePoint or Teams already, if not then Training the Office 365 Groups method probably the route to go, but there are some variables here.
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Thanks for the great feed back BTW.

What I am looking for is a way to share a department calendar with about 200 users. I would also appoint a few select people to be the ones to administer the calendar (add events, delete, etc...). I am thinking only 5 people would be the admins of this calendar. The rest would only need to view it. I want the calendar to just automatically show up in their office 365 outlook.

Yes, the users also have smart phones as well.

I would like to keep it as simple as possible so I thing Sharepoint & Teams is out. These people are like robots and don't really care about learning something new.

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I would look into old fashioned resource / shared mailbox. You can add everyone access and i want to say it’ll show up in outlook with read and not just full access but I can’t recall. Then you can give the five people Delegates access.

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I was kind of leaning toward "Groups". What would be the difference between a Shared Mailbox vs Groups?

If I made a shared mailbox essentially I would be creating a user in Office 365 with a general name like "Purchasing" and then share that user's calendar out to all the users I want? Can you get granular with the permissions with a shared mailbox?

Sorry if I'm getting detailed here.
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Yes. You really can’t get granular with Office groups thou. Everyone gets edit for the most part in a group. I’ll get some articles when I get in a computer been out and about and getting late but seems shared calendar is best approach just don’t remember pros and cons of sharing a calendar from a mailbox and or if you just give access if it’ll auto add. I remember we had to use the mailbox add method so that calendar colors would show up for people and there was a way to have it only read for some and I want to say it auto added but can’t remember it’s been too long.
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If you need it to auto-appear on Outlook and mobiles, you don't have much choice. Groups-based calendar will be easiest to handle for end-users, as newer versions of Outlook feature the "All Group Calendars" node where it will appear automatically. But Outlook mobile still doesn't have support for Group calendars. And as Chris mentioned, you might have troubles with permissions (we do have a parameter to make the calendar read-only for members, but it doesn't seem to be working as expected).

 

Shared mailbox calendars can now be opened in Outlook mobile, but both on the desktop and mobile it's a manual process and you will need to instruct the users accordingly. The other benefit is that you can get very granular with permissions. And you can even publish the calendar/embed it on a webpage or "tab" it in Teams. But it adds some management overhead overall.

 

PF-based calendar is another common option, but there is no way to access those on mobiles.