7 Ways to Use Google Calendar Like a Pro

May 29, 2012

7 Ways to Use Google Calendar Like a Pro

If you can advantage of all of its functionalities, Google Calendar can act as your virtual assistant to help you plan meetings and prioritize your workflow. It seamlessly integrates with Mavenlink so all of your pertinent events and deadlines are centralized.

Integrating Google Calendar and other business apps into your workflow can revitalize your productivity, time management and prioritization. Here’s some simple ideas you can use to integrate Google Calendar features into your usual workflow and effectively manage time, meetings and schedules like a pro; without having to remember everything in your head.

1. Layer Multiple Calendars

Instead of wasting time sending back and forth emails to compare busy schedules to plan meetings, you can directly layer your Google Calendar with the calendars of your business partners or friends to find a time that works for everyone.

To execute the desired settings, just sign in to your Google calendar, hover over “other calendars,” hit the drop-down button and choose “Add a friend’s calendar” option.  Enter an email address and compare calendars to set an ideal time.

2. Synchronize Google Calendar with Gmail

Why enter the same date again for your yearly recurring events such as your niece’s birthday?

Thankfully, you don’t have to. Google Calendar can pick up birthdays that you have added to your Gmail contact list.

Go through settings > calendar tab > Browse interesting calendars > more > Contacts’ birthdays and events> Subscribe.  Your contacts birthdays will reflect in your Google Calendar, ensuring you don’t forget.

When you receive an email from your friend about an event, you will find a link “Add to Calendar” adjacent to that message text. It will create an event with all the essential data pre-filled.

If Gmail has not sensed any event within that particular email, you can still convert that email to an event in Google Calendar from Gmail > More actions > Create event. Enter event details manually and hit “save changes”.

3. Utilize Appointment Pages

Choose a block of time when you are able to meet people. Create and share appointment page of your Google calendar to let people know when you are free. From your Google calendar page Choose “Create Appointment slots” and you will be given a link of your public appointment page. Set the time blocks for a particular person or add guests to the appointment page by adding their email address.

Once this is up, guests can simply head over to your appointment page to book appointments with you and those booked appointments will appear directly on your Google calendar as regular events.

4.  Event Countdown Timer

Admit it. We are always in a hurry. No matter how busy or relaxed your schedule is, “urgency” is a necessary evil for any business.

Google calendar will tell you exactly how much time you have for give a final touch to your presentation or tighten your tie knot before your important meeting.

To enable this feature go to Settings > Labs and enable the “Next meeting” option. You will find this timer counting to your next meeting on the right navigation panel. Note that Google calendar only counts down to events not farther than two weeks in the future.

5. Add Events to Your Calendar via SMS

Sometimes when you’re making plans or scheduling events, you don’t have your computer accessible. All too often, if we don’t write it down immediately, it can slip out of our brains almost immediately.

You can always add events to your Google Calendar through a simple SMS message. To set up SMS event scheduling in Google Calendar, go to “Settings”, choose “Mobile setup” and enter the relevant values.

Once you have set up your mobile device with Google Calendar, Gmail will send you a verification code so you can finish the process. Once the setup is complete, you will be able to send events to your calendar via your mobile by texting the details of your event (such as, “lunch with Sam 1:00pm Jan 01) to GVENT (48368). You’ll receive a confirmation message shortly and the event will appear in your online Google calendar account, so you won’t forget about your lunch with Sam.

6. Export All Your Google Calendar Data

It’s vital to backup all your Google Calendar information just in case you decide to use another business email address. Fortunately, it is simple to export your data as an ICS file to act as a backup option.

In the calendar list on the left side of the page, move your mouse over the calendar you’d like to export from. A drop-down arrow appear next to the calendar name. Select Calendar settings, click ICAL button in the ‘Private Address’ section at the bottom of the page and you will get a URL. Click the displayed URL.

Save the exported ICS file to the desired folder on your computer. Other calendar applications like “Microsoft Outlook” or iPhone calendar tool “iCal” are able to open this file format, so you can always access your Google calendar events offline. You can also re-import your exported Google calendar data to another Gcal.

7. Customize Your Google Calendar

Now that you’re using Google Calendar like a pro, you can make it your own by setting your favorite capture as the background image for your Google calendar. Just click on Google Calendar “Settings”, on the settings page choose “labs” and on the labs tab enable “Background image”. You can use any web image or just upload one from your computer to make your calendar as personalized as you wish.

What Google Calendar tips do you have? Or how have you utilized our Google Calendar tips above?

Now that you’re a Google Calendar expert, get the need to knows on project management. Here are the only 25 terms you’ll ever need to know in project management and accounting. 

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