Google Calendar Tips for Productivity
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Google Calendar is a very useful, convenient, and easy-to-use app for doing business and planning events. Millions of people use it every day for making appointments and scheduling events. If you want to set a goal in an activity, this app will help you choose the best time for this. Also, you can use various features, such as weather forecast, birthday reminders, and even track the time you spend on work, sports, or study.
This free app enables you to set event reminders, so you will be always kept up-to-date and never miss any important meeting. The calendar supports teamwork, so you can easily send your calendar to other colleagues or create multiple schedulers to share. Take a look at the following 8 tips aiming to make your life easier with Google Calendar.
1. Create Separate Calendars for Different Needs
By default, Google provides you with only one calendar where you can list your events. If you actively use this app, then work tasks, meeting appointments, household chores, and personal events will mix up and turn into a real mess. To avoid mixing work meetings with personal plans, you can create a separate planner for each type of event.
To do this, go to settings and select the "Add calendar" option. Then, select "Create calendar". Give it a name and add a description, if you want to. In this way, you will be able to keep work affairs in one calendar, training schedule — in another one, birthdays — in a third one, and so on.
2. Synchronize Your Calendar With Other Users' Calendars
Scheduling meetings or collaborations is easier when you can see calendars of your colleagues or partners.. To request access, click on the "Subscribe to calendar" item in the "Other calendars" panel and enter the colleagues’ emails in the drop-down box. You can immediately select the level of access for these persons.
The user, whose address you specified, will receive an email, and he or she will be able to confirm your request. After that, the calendar of your colleagues will be displayed in the "Other" tab. If you want to share your calendar, go to "Settings" and select the appropriate option.
3. Hide Private Events
Let's say you need to have a confidential meeting and you do not want the whole office to know what you are planning to do. For this, you can mark the meeting as "Private". Then, only those, who are allowed to edit (and not just view) your calendar, will be able to see information about it.
Create an event and go to "More options". Click the "Default privacy settings" button and select the "Private" option. Now, outsiders will not see where, when, and with whom you are going to meet. If your calendar is publicly accessible, outsiders will see "Busy" without any details about your private meeting.
4. Pick a Meeting Time That Suits Everyone
You can choose a convenient time for an event with several participants. If you need to schedule a meeting with several people at once, it is not necessary to ask everyone about a convenient time. Google Calendar can do this for you.
When creating a new event, add the necessary participants to it and click on the "More options" button. In the window that opens, switch to the "Find time" tab and the app will display the plans of all the specified persons (you can add up to 20 people) and the events in their calendars. If somebody has some plans for a certain time, this slot will be marked "Busy". In this way, you can choose the time and day convenient for everyone.
5. Add Video Meetings
You can add a meeting link in one click. Instead of sending out your Skype or Google Hangouts logins to all people you want to meet, you can paste a link on a video conference directly into a calendar event. To do this, create an event in the "Other options" and click the "Add video conference" button. When creating an event, you can generate and attach a link to the video meeting.
By default, links for meetings in Meets are available, but the service also supports integration with GoToMeeting and Zoom. The link to that appointment will appear immediately in the event description. When the meeting time comes, the invitees will be notified by email.
6. Post Attachments
During meetings or conferences, you might need access to some documents, for the discussion of which participants are gathered. Google Calendar allows you to attach files and documents directly to the scheduled event. In this way, all invited people will have easy and quick access to these papers.
To do this, select the desired event and click the button with the pencil icon to edit it. In the "Description" section, click the paperclip icon and upload all the necessary files. These files can be taken from your laptop or uploaded from Google Drive. Also, you can write a message that will be sent to all invited participants using the envelope icon.
7. Use the Goals Feature
Google Calendar recently got a “Goals” feature, which you can use to specify your goal and get advice on how to achieve it. For example, you plan to run three times a week or go to the gym more often. The app will help you find an appropriate time for this. To add your goal to your schedule, you will need to answer a few questions (for instance, "How often?" or "What is the best time for you?").
The calendar will analyze the chart and find a suitable time for this activity. Also, Google Calendar can automatically reschedule the goal to another time if you are going to have other plans. If you want Google Calendar to pick up a different time, click the "Postpone" button.
8. Use Hotkeys
In many cases, using a keyboard is a faster and more efficient way than moving the mouse cursor. Several hotkeys are provided to use Google Calendar with more productivity. The most useful hotkeys of Google Calendar are as follows:
- Е — go to event data;
- С — create a new event;
- J or N — scroll the calendar to the next date;
- S — go to settings;
- T — go to today;
- R — update calendar;
- Numbers 1-6 — switch calendar view (day, week, month, year, agenda);
- Backspace or Delete — remove an event;
- / — go to the search bar.
You can also use the world clock and add additional calendars with holidays in a given country, sports events, or moon phases. Also, Google Calendar allows you to flexibly customize your schedule and form connections with Gmail, Google Keep, and other apps. Alternatively, you can install the web version of Google Calendar on your Android or iOS device. The app will be updated regularly and synchronized with your main account.
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