Google Calendar has a lot to offer, and we’re not just talking about keeping track of next week’s meetings.
Using Google Calendar for the occasional meeting or lunch break is excellent. But, if you have yet to take advantage of all its features, you might want to kick it up a notch.
It turns out that Google Calendar has some incredible features.
You can set up multiple calendars for each part of your life, and add attachments to events. And that’s only for starters! Who knew?
There’s no doubt about it — you’re going to like the info we offer in this article.
Follow these five tips, and you’ll be able to turn the Google Calendar into the most exceptional planner on earth!
1) Set up Different Calendars for Different Parts of Your Life
The basic calendar feature is great. It allows you to schedule tasks and set reminders.
But to use the calendar feature to its fullest potential, you should create many calendars. This allows you to maintain separate calendars for each area of your life.
For example, you can have a work calendar, a personal calendar, and an exercise calendar. That way, you won’t flood your professional calendar with information about how many leg-lifts you have to do at the gym that night.
And Google is smart, so it will remind you when it’s time to work on a project (if you set up a reminder, that is).
You can even set up a repeating reminder telling you when it’s time to go to bed!
Balancing your work schedule with your professional life is nearly impossible, but Google Calendar makes the task a bit easier.
It’s especially great for freelancers who work from home. With the multiple-calendar options, you can separate your schedule by the client.
You could stick to one calendar only, but your schedule will likely get confusing. Having the option to sync many calendars will make it easier to manage your busy life.
2) Manage Appointments Across Multiple Time Zones
Time zones can get confusing. If you work in New York City but your client works in Italy, what time are you supposed to meet?
Google Calendar makes it easy to answer this question. With their secondary time zone feature, you’ll always know what time it is in other parts of the world.
To access this feature, go to the Settings icon (it’s the one shaped like a gear) and click Time Zone.
Under the Time Zone, you have the option to choose a secondary zone. So, if you live on the west coast, but often travel to the east coast, this option can come in handy.
After you set up a second time zone, head back to your calendar. Take a look at the left of your schedule. You’ll see both your primary and secondary times off to the side.
Now you won’t get confused next time you’re in a different state!
3) Hide Event Details
This app is great because it allows you to synchronize your schedule with your friends, family, and co-workers. If you share your calendar with them, they’ll be able to see your availability weeks, months, or even years in advance.
But this presents a problem…
What if you don’t want them to see your schedule? What if you’re going on a date that you don’t want your mom to know about, or you’re planning a surprise party for a friend.
Well, Google Calendar allows you to hide the details of your meetings. If you’re hosting or attending an event and don’t want people to be able to see, all you have to do is block them from seeing it.
Keep in mind, however, that anyone you block from the event will see an empty hour displayed there. So if you use this method, they might think that you’re free.
But, there’s another way to hide the event, and this one lets everyone know that you’re busy.
By marking the time block as “private” you’ll be able to hide the details and show people that you’re booked. When someone on the other end views your calendar, they’ll see the word “busy” on the block of time.
And even though they won’t know why you’re busy, they’ll see that you’re not available during that time.
4) Add Attachments to Events
There’s nothing more annoying than sitting in a meeting and waiting for someone to search through their inbox for a document.
Why couldn’t they just have shared it with everyone ahead of time?
Or sometimes, a person might have shared the document, but forgot to send it to you. That’s a bummer because everyone is discussing it during the meeting, and you don’t have it. Then you’re stuck wondering what the details are!
Luckily, Google Calendar solves this problem. To make sure everyone has access to the same .doc or .pdf, you can add it as an attachment to the event. That’s pretty cool!
Sharing a document ahead of time will make sure everyone in the meeting is on the same page. Then, you can open and review it before, during, and after each meeting. This simplifies the whole process and keeps every team member in the know!
5) Change Your Calendar’s Appearance
Google Calendar allows you to completely customize the way your schedule looks.
And I’m not just talking about changing the colour or font. No, this app lets you see exactly which days you want to see at any given time.
In other words:
Most of your work meetings happen during the week, right? So when you want to view your meeting schedule, there’s no reason to see the weekend on your calendar.
With Google, you can hide the weekends and only view the days you need to see at that moment. With a simple click, you can temporarily show the day, week, month, or year.
You can activate this feature by first looking at the top. To the right of the Settings icon is a dropdown menu titled Week. Click on that, and you can display whatever days of the week you’d like!
There’s also a way to change the structure of your week. If your work week starts on Tuesday or Wednesday, for example, you can reorient your calendar to accommodate it.
To find this feature, click the Settings icon and go to View Options. From there, you can select which day to start your schedule on.
Hey, that’s pretty cool you can switch your days around like that! This feature will hopefully make your schedule come together and be less confusing.
Bonus: Use Desktop Notifications
If you want, Google Calendar will send you email reminders. These reminders will let you know when important events are coming up.
But, you can also enable desktop notifications. That way, you’ll see your reminders without having to open your inbox.
Let’s imagine a situation for a second:
You’re sitting in your home office, toiling away on a project. You’re so wrapped up in work that you’ve forgotten about an important Skype meeting you have this afternoon.
You almost missed it entirely, but ten minutes before the meeting — boom — Google hits you with a desktop notification. Thank goodness!
In situations like this, notifications can be a lifesaver. So if you want to take full advantage of this powerful app, make sure to turn your desktop notifications on.
Google Calendar is truly one of the most powerful planning apps available on the internet. It can truly transform your life!
You may use it as your primary time-management tool like some of us do. Or, you might just use it occasionally to keep track of a few appointments.
Whatever the case, this is a very helpful program.
And if you think you’re too busy to keep a calendar, stop right there. At some point, you’re going to miss something important, and then you’ll kick yourself for not setting up a calendar sooner.
So what are you waiting for?
Take advantage of the features the Google Calendar offers, and watch how it becomes the greatest planner on earth!