Have a scheduling system, such as a virtual calendar, can be great for productivity. You can be more organized and focused with a functioning online calendar like Google’s. However, this software app has so many features that you may not know about some of them. Here are eight Google Calendar hacks you may not be aware of, but are worth trying.
1. Create multiple schedules in one
Google’s system allows you to have more than one schedule within the same calendar. That means you can separate different types of tasks so they’re easier to tell apart. For example, you can create two different schedules: one for work and one for personal appointments. When you put items in your calendar, you can choose which schedule it falls under.
In other words, you can more easily see a task’s category at a glance. This is thanks to the system’s ability to change the color of any schedule in your calendar. Plus, there are multiple colors to choose from so you can use all your favorites. Hover over the schedule icon on the left side of the screen, then click the three dots that appear. The color options will appear and you can click on which one you want.
In addition, you can overlay all these different schedules on the calendar. This means you can see them all at once. However, you also have the option to view specific schedules separately. This can be useful if you need to find a particular event or occurrence in your calendar. To choose which schedules you want to see in the calendar, click the box to the left of the schedule name under My Calendars.
2. Use the Tasks feature
Many people like to use Google Calendar to plan their project deadline in calendar format. However, creating an event in your calendar may not provide enough detail for a deadline reminder. In addition, some of these projects may have multiple steps that you want to spread out. This is where using Tasks can be particularly helpful.
Google Calendar’s Tasks feature is similar to creating an event in your calendar. However, it works differently as it has more options for adding details and organizing your virtual workspace. You can even check off the task once it’s done and you’ll receive a little congratulatory message from Google. Talk about an incentive to stay motivated!
To use Tasks, click the blue check mark on the right side of the main calendar screen. Click “Add a task” and you can type in your to-do list and all associated information, including the due date. Organize your tasks by creating lists to store them as virtual file folders. Click the star next to individual tasks to highlight their importance.
Plus, take advantage of the Subtasks feature. One project can have multiple steps, but you want to keep it together as one item on your list. To do this, create a task as usual and then click on the three dots to the right of it. Select “add a subtask” and you can start typing each project step. This creates individual sub-tasks that you can tick off individually within one large task. This feature is for you if you find a sense of accomplishment in checking things off a list.
3. Use shortcuts
like you use your google calendar for work, then you probably want to find ways to use it more efficiently. Sometimes you need to quickly access your schedule and add new events. Fortunately, Google has created many keyboard shortcuts that can reduce the time it takes to perform specific tasks.
First of all, opening the calendar itself requires you to click through multiple buttons and it takes even longer to create a new appointment. However, if you’re in a hurry, you can access your schedule faster. If you use Google Chrome as your browser, type “cal.new” in the browser’s search bar. After pressing the Enter key, your Google Calendar will automatically appear in the “Create Event” window.
There are also many keyboard shortcuts you can use if you’re already on your calendar. Here are a few that can maximize productivity:
- Day view: d
- Week overview: w
- Monthly overview: m
- Create event: c
- Event details: e
These keyboard shortcuts exist so you can work smarter, not harder. Give them a try and see how they can speed up the pace of your workday.
It’s important to allow others to access your schedule, especially colleagues or friends. This can make scheduling events or meetings much easier as they can see when you are available. No more playing phone tag to schedule a meeting!
Happy, share your calendar with others easy to do. Go to Settings, then click on the calendar you want to share under the “Settings for my calendars” tab on the left. This will open the settings for that specific calendar. Scroll down to the “Share with specific people or groups” heading, then enter the email addresses of everyone you want to share with. If you want to send people a link instead, click the “Shareable Link” button just above it.
You can add more people to view your calendar whenever you want. Make sure you click on the right calendar before sharing it with others. In addition, if necessary, you can stop sharing a calendar with people by clicking the “x” next to their email address.
5. Enable desktop notifications
Setting reminders for appointments ensures that you don’t forget anything. These appear with notifications on your screen telling you the name, time and location of the event. However, these will only work on your phone or if your Google Calendar is open on your computer.
The good news is that there’s a hack to get around this – all you need to do is enable desktop notifications. This way you don’t have to open your calendar on your screen to receive appointment reminders. To enable this feature, go to Settings and click on the “Notification Settings” tab on the left. Click the drop-down under this tab and choose “Desktop Notifications.”
And there you have it! You’ve upgraded Google Calendar’s features with the click of a button. In addition, you can use the same method to disable notifications or undo desktop notifications.
6. Create default notifications
Speaking of notifications, here’s a second tip. Another way to speed up the creation of new events in your calendar is to set default notification settings. This allows you to skip setting a reminder time for every appointment you make.
To do this, go to Settings and click on the calendar you want to add this to under the “Settings for my calendars” tab. Scroll to “Event Notifications,” then click “Add Notification.” You can set how many minutes or hours before an event you want your notification to go off. In addition, you can choose whether it comes via email or appears on your computer screen.
7. Use advanced searches
Do you have a packed schedule that makes it difficult to find individual events? Maybe you can’t remember what day a meeting is, but you know where it is. Or maybe you remember a work event coming up, but can’t remember when. All of these scenarios can be resolved with the advanced search feature.
At the top of the screen is the search bar, but it only allows you to search by keywords. To the right of this bar is a small downward pointing arrow – click this to open the advanced search. This allows you to search by date, organizer and location in addition to keywords. Searching for a specific event in your calendar has never been easier.
8. Download the app on your phone
Want to make sure you have 24/7 access to your Google Calendar wherever you are? Fortunately, technology has really expanded to make your life easier. All you need to do is download the app on your smartphone.
Go to your phone’s app store and search for “Google Calendar.” Download the app and then log in to your account. From here you can view and edit your calendar all from your phone. You don’t have all the features available in the desktop version, such as being able to share calendars with others. However, you can still use most of Google Calendar’s features on the mobile version.
Play around with features
Maybe you’re new to the Google Calendar scene. Or maybe you’re just not aware of its many productivity features. The best way to discover the ins and outs of a scheduling system is to simply play with it.
Start clicking buttons and see what they do. Of course, this doesn’t mean you’re going crazy – you don’t want to accidentally change all your settings. But as a feature that has three dots in the corner, it has more settings you might want to explore. If you’re not sure about anything and don’t want to mess anything up, check the manual or do a quick Google search. And have fun getting productive with your Google Calendar.
Featured Image Credits: Photo by Ron Lach; Pexels; Thank you!