The physical calendar that hangs on your wall or the one that sits on your desk shows you date, months, and local holidays only. With the advent of technology, especially smartphones, online calendars are replacing physical calendars. You can access online calendars anywhere in the world.
At first glance, Google Calendar appears to be a basic calendar. But when you start playing with it, you realize its powers. In this post, we will try to use its power to organize our life. We will talk about the best Google Calendar tips and tricks to help you have a productive year.
1. Create Events Without Opening Google Calendar
It’s somehow a human tendency to sit on tasks that might take just a second to do. That includes adding events to Google Calendar, which we would procrastinate on until we forget it. But what if you could add events to it without opening the app or the website? Yes, believe it or not, the lazy you will be happy to know that this can be done. Both on your phone and computer.
On your desktop, you can use Google search to create an event and on your smartphone, you could use Google Assistant to do the same. To create events directly on your desktop, google ‘make an appointment for’ followed by time or date of appointment. Voila, there’s your create event link! Click Create Event. Google will automatically create and instantly add that event to your calendar.
Similarly, on your Android smartphone, open Google Assistant and either type or say (for e.g.) the command "Create an appointment with HR at 3.30PM on 23 April."
2. Create New Calendar Within Google Calendar
Google lets you create multiple blank calendars. Thanks to this feature, you can have separate calendars for work and personal use.
Using this feature, you can also create temporary calendars. You can then share these calendars with others and even assign privileges to different people. While some can just view the calendar, others can edit it too.
Step 1: Open Google Calendar and tap the plus icon next to the Add a friend’s calendar option present in the left sidebar.
Step 2: Click on New Calendar from the menu.
Step 3: On the next screen, give a proper name and description to your calendar, and click Create Calendar.
3. Add Alternate Calendars
Interestingly, Google Calendar is not limited to the standard calendar only. You can add multiple other alternate calendars that will be displayed alongside the usual dates. You can view the Hijri, Korean, Persian, Chinese and other similar calendars.
To add an alternate calendar, follow these steps:
Step 1: Open Google Calendar Settings by tapping the gear icon at the top.
Step 2: From the left sidebar, click View options. Under the View options, tap Alternate calendars.
Step 3: Choose your alternate calendar from the pop-up menu. Go back to the home page of Google Calendar and you will find new calendar dates too.
4. Add Calendars of Interest
In addition to new and alternate calendars, you can even add calendars of your interest to Google Calendar. For instance, if you want to keep track of football matches or holidays, you can easily do that from inside the Google Calendar.
When you add a calendar of your interest, the events will be displayed alongside your regular events. To differentiate between various calendar events, you can color-code them as mentioned in the next tip.
To add your favorite calendars, follow these steps:
Step 1: Again, click on Add a friend’s calendar option present in the left sidebar.
Step 2: Select Browse calendars of interest. Check the box next to the calendar that you want to add to Google Calendar. Once you enable it, you will see its information on the main Google Calendar screen itself.
5. Change Color of Events and Calendar
Color-coding is quite helpful to differentiate between various events. By just glancing at the calendar, you can see the type of event. For instance, in the following image, my friends' birthdays are marked as orange and Phases of the Moon have a golden color.
But, every human being cannot like same colors. Thankfully, Google lets you customize the event colors. You can even color-code calendars that you made using the above tip.
To change the event colors, open Google Calendar. Hover your mouse over the event type in the left sidebar and tap the three-dot icon next to the event.
From the pop-up menu, click the color that you want to choose. Similarly, change the calendar color by tapping the three-dot icon next to the calendar name.
6. Show World Clock
Working with people from across the world? Google Calendar will simplify your life. You can show world clock on its home page. This helps in keeping a check on time while creating new appointments. You can also track the time zone of your colleagues who are traveling using this.
To add world clock, open Google Calendar settings by clicking the gear icon in the top bar and selecting Settings from the menu. Scroll down and check the box next to Show world clock.
Then, click the Add Time Zone label and add new time zones. Once created, it will show the world clock in the left sidebar.
7. Search Events
What’s a platform without the search feature? Thankfully, Google Calendar doesn’t disappoint. You can search for past and future events.
For instance, if you have synced birthdays and you forget your friends’ birthdays, instead of going through the months you can just search their name and it will show you the relevant results.
To search for an event, click the search icon present in the top bar of Google Calendar website and enter your search term.
Note: The search feature is currently missing in mobile apps.
8. Customize View Options
Google Calendar offers a wide variety of view options. You can fully customize the calendar according to your preference. If you are the type of person who likes to have Saturday as the first day on their calendar instead of Monday or Sunday, you can do that.
Similarly, you can hide weekends from your calendar. Both these settings can be accessed from the View options present under the Google Calendar Settings.
9. Customize Past Event Settings
If you believe in let bygones be bygones, you are likely to be interested in hiding the past events or at least making them appear different from the future ones. Well, Google Calendar has both these features. You can either hide the past events or reduce the brightness of their colors.
To do so, go to the View options under the Google Calendar Settings. Use Show declined events and Reduce the brightness of past events options to customize these settings.
Explore Google Calendar
Now that you know how to explore the true power of Google Calendar using the above tips and tricks, we hope you will have at least one less thing to think of. Here's to a productive year!