Team meeting on Tuesday, finish the project for the master on Thursday, dinner with friends on Friday, children’s activities on Saturday … and hey, this week was not your anniversary as a couple? We all have a thousand things in the head, which are difficult to keep up with without an application like Google Calendar.
Because although there are many applications of the agenda or calendar type, the truth is that if you are already a user of other Google products, the most practical option is to use Google calendar, which integrates seamlessly with other tools (such as Gmail) and offers you extra functions if you use it in Chrome.
With Google Calendar, yes, something happens that is common in this type of utilities: they have so many options that sometimes it is difficult to know them all, and you have the impression that you are not getting the most out of the tool. That’s why we’ve compiled this list: so you can explore Google Calendar features that perhaps until now have gone unnoticed.
Add interesting calendars
One of the first things you should learn from Google Calendar is that you can have your appointments and events spread over different calendars. This is very practical if, for example, you want to distinguish between personal elements (birthdays, dinners with friends, etc.) and professional elements (meetings, presentations, events, and more).
To create a calendar you just have to click on the little arrow next to “My calendars”, in the left sidebar, and choose the option “Create a calendar”. If you also assign each one a Colour different, they will be much easier to manage.
Another very practical option is to add special dates such as holidays or sports competitions, for example. To do this, click on the little arrow next to “Other calendars”, also in the left sidebar, and choose the option “Browse interesting calendars”. Here you will also find the option to add moon phases or number of the week.
Receive an email with the agenda of each day
If you are a heavy user of Google Calendar, you probably have it so full of events that it can be difficult to keep up with everything. In these cases, it is most convenient to configure it to receive an email every morning with all the appointments scheduled for that day, and thus have your agenda ready as soon as you start the day.
To achieve this, place the mouse over the calendar you want to receive notifications from, in the left sidebar, and click on the little arrow that appears next to it. Choose “Edit notifications”, and then, in the new window that loads, select the option “Daily schedule”. Another way to do it is from the Settings menu, going to the “Calendars” tab and clicking “Edit notifications” next to the calendar in question.
Take advantage of Tasks
In addition to being a calendar for your appointments and events, Google Calendar also includes a built-in utility for Chores that you can use to write down all those things to do. To activate it, click on the “Tasks” option under the list of your calendars, in the left sidebar.
A new panel on the right of the calendar where you can add tasks to your list, and if they have a due date, they will also appear integrated in the calendar.
View the calendar as an agenda
You may have already checked that the Google calendar has various forms of display, which you can activate from the buttons at the top: daily, weekly, monthly, etc.
Among them, you can also find a special display, called schedule, which allows you to review at a single glance all the elements of your calendar, and in this way be clear about how busy you are in the coming weeks.
Share calendars with more people
One of the great advantages of Google Calendar is how easy it is share calendars with other people. For example, from the “My calendars” list on the left sidebar you can share any of your calendars, by clicking on the little arrow on its side and selecting the corresponding option.
You can also add any calendar of a friend from the menu that appears by clicking on the little arrow next to “Other calendars”, in the same left sidebar. Obviously your friend will have to give your approval before you have access to their calendar.
From the menu SettingIn the “Calendars” tab, you can also share any of your calendars by clicking on the “Share” option.
What’s more, you can even share your Google Calendar with people who do not use the Google tool. For this you must do it public (with option to hide the details if you want) and then you can send them the URL of the calendar. You get this by clicking on the little arrow next to the calendar in the left sidebar, selecting “Calendar settings” and then going to the “Calendar details” tab.
Embed a calendar on your blog
In that same section, “Calendar details”, you will find another option that may also be interesting: embedding your calendar in your blog or your personal website, with possibility to customize its color, size and other options. It can be practical to include it, for example, in a personal online profile.
Find the moment that suits everyone
Whether you are trying to meet a group of friends for dinner, or if you are trying to organize a meeting with your work team, sometimes the most difficult part of creating an event that involves a lot of people is find a moment that suits everyone.
Google Calendar tries to help out with this thanks to its function “Find a hole”, which you will see in a separate tab on the create new event page. You just have to add the necessary attendees for the event (in the “guests” field) and you will have their calendars in view to facilitate the task of finding the right moment for everyone.
Logically, this function requires you to have permit to access the calendar of your guests. You should also keep in mind that it is limited to 20 people.
Calendars accessible offline
There are times, especially if you are on the road or out of the office, when you don’t have internet access. And in these moments is when you can most appreciate having offline access to your Google Calendar appointments.
To do this, you just have to click on the icon in the shape of a toothed wheel in the upper right corner of the browser and choose the option “Without connection”.
As the window that you will see when you activate it warns, so that the calendar is accessible offline the data is downloaded to the computer (so it is not recommended to do it on a public computer) and you will also need the Google Calendar web app, which only works in Chrome.
Create a calendar with the weather forecast
There are events that may depend on the weather (for example, a trip to the beach or the mountains). If you want to have the integrated weather information in your Google calendar, you can get it very easily.
Go to the Settings menu from the upper right corner and under the “General” tab, you will see an option that says “Show the weather for my region”. Choose the unit for the temperature and from that moment on you will see a small icon on each day of the calendar, indicating the Weather forecast For that day.
A small detail: you must also fill in your Location (right in the upper field), either with your city, or with a zip code.
Add a new event as you like
There are several ways to add a new event to a calendar. The fastest is by clicking on the day in question and filling in the title field that appears. If you want to add more details, such as the time or some personal notes, you can do so by adding the event with a click on the button. “To create”.
But if you use Google Calendar in EnglishYou have another option: a small arrow next to the “Create” button, which allows you to add a new event also very quickly, using natural language (for example, “lunch with Peter tomorrow at 2pm“).
And if you use the rest of Google applications in English too, you can create events in the calendar even from google search, without even having to open the Google Calendar page. Write, for example, something like “make an appointment to have dinner with Peter November 16th 2016“and the search engine will ask you to confirm the creation of the event.
Explore Google Calendar Labs
No Google application would be complete without its corresponding section of Labs, and Google Calendar is not an option. Accessible from the Settings menu, in the Google Calendar Labs you can find a series of extra functions which are still in the testing phase, until they are ready to officially join the application.
Among them are really practical functions, such as hiding the first hours of the morning or the last hours of the night to make better use of space, have access to a new year-round viewing, see them time zones from other locations (ideal if you work with people in other countries) or to be able to have a background image on your calendar.
Extra: keyboard shortcuts
A fan of keyboard shortcuts like myself couldn’t finish this article without mentioning the key combinations Google Calendar, with which you can move through the application menus and access its main functions more quickly and comfortably.
The keyboard shortcuts of Google Calendar are activated by default, but if for any reason they are not in your case, you just have to go to the menu Setting and, in the “General” tab, look for the option “Enable key combinations”, at the bottom. Then you can see all the available shortcuts by typing the symbol “?“on the main Google Calendar screen.
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