10 Google Calendar Tricks You Should Use

Organize your schedule more efficiently using Google Calendar tricks and tips

Google Calendar is a time management web application available as a free for app from Google. It is an effective tool for organizing and planning your schedule both short term and long term. So what can Google Calendar do for you to help organize your work schedule more effectively? Here is a brief tutorial on using some Google tricks and features to efficiently plan your day:

Enable email notifications and receive daily agenda

Daily Agenda in Google Calendar

A well-organized day begins with an agenda. Take advantage of the Google Calendar agenda email function and have your agenda sent to you at 5 am every day. You can enable the agenda email function by clicking the gear icon in the top-right corner > Settings > Calendars tab > click Edit notifications next to the calendar you’d like an email notification from > scroll down and check the box next to Daily Agenda. Make sure you also click save to confirm. An email of the day’s events from that calendar will now be sent to you every morning at 5 a.m.

Integrate tasks into your calendar

Tasks in Google Calendar

To add tasks to Google Calendar enable the Tasks function by clicking the box next to Tasks. It will be located at the bottom of the My Calendars section. On the right-hand side of your calendar a tasks panel will appear. Tasks can be added by clicking the plus sign (+) at the bottom of the Tasks panel. After adding new tasks organize them into lists and add due dates so you know what needs to be done and when. Unfortunately Google Calendar doesn’t have any kind of task reminder. A way to work around this lack is to use the events function to create a task you want to be reminded about. Google Calendar sends reminders for events so for an important task you might need to be reminded of, enter is as an event.

Use the “quick add” feature to add events

Quick Add in Google Calendar

The easiest way to create events in Google Calendar is to click the small triangle in the top left corner, next to the create button. The Quick Add box will appear and you can type the event in, using plain language. Whatever event you type using Quick Add, Google Calendar will add to your calendar.

Import a calendar

Add a Calendar to Google Calendar

You can import a calendar to Google Calendar from other people. Click the arrow next to “Other calendars” and then click “Add a Friends Calendar.” A pop-up appears where you will enter the e-mail address of the person whose calendar you want. That person will receive a message requesting access to their calendar. When approval is given you will see a layer of their calendar underneath your “Other calendars” section. Google calendar “Add by URL”   option can be used to import calendars that are public. Click the arrow next to “Other calendars” and select “Add by URL” then enter the address of the calendar and click “Add calendar” to save.

Organize your work with Google calendar

Quite often the hardest part of organizing your work day is trying to schedule meetings with other busy people. Here are some Google Calendar tricks that will help you effectively plan meetings:

Share calendars with mailing lists

Share Google Calendar

Create a group that contains everyone in your organization. Locate the shared calendar under My calendars, then click the drop-down arrow and select “Share this Calendar”. Under “Share with specific people”, type the name of the group in the “Enter email address” box. An email message will be sent to everybody in the group. They can click a link in the email to add the calendar you are sharing. Other member of the group can share their calendars in the same way. This is a good way how to share Google Calendar in big organizations.

Use the “Find Time” feature to schedule meetings

Find a Time in Google Calendar

To use the “Find a Time” function first click on an event, then go to the edit details page and click the “Find a Time” tab. Add all those whose calendars you would like to compare in the box located on the right-hand side. All those you included will have their schedules displayed side-by-side so you can compare and find a time suitable for everybody. An alternative to “Find a Time” is to use the “Suggested Times” feature. Located on the right side of the event page you will find a link labeled “Suggested Times”. Clicking it will provide times when everybody invited to the event are free. For “Find a Time” and “Suggested Time” features to be effective you must have included all persons involved and have access to their calendars.

Add a world clock

World Clock in Google Calendar

Sometimes you may want to schedule a conference call or video conference meeting involving people in other time zones. Google Calendar has a Labs section where experimental features are tested. One of those on offer is a world clock.  This enables you to see the current time in time zones around the world and when you click on an event, you can see the time of the event in other zones. You can access the Labs section by clicking on the cog icon located on the right and selecting Labs from the menu.

Add holidays and configure notifications on them

Holidays in Google Calendar

One way how to add holidays to Google Calendar is to click the arrow to the right of “Other Calendars” and then click “Browse Interesting Calendars”. Select “Holidays” and choose from different country calendars that display public holidays of that country. Any of these can be added to your calendar. Adding public holidays helps with scheduling meeting with those in other countries. Quick add an event as described above to be notified of a holiday in advance.

What’s more? We’ve prepared a special infographics on Google shortcuts for you. Download it and use Google calendar even more effectively:

Infographics Google Calendar Shortcuts

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Using the Google Calendar tricks discussed here will enable you to plan your workday more effectively and schedule meetings efficiently!

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