Digital Living

10 Google Calendar Hacks That Can Reform Your Life

With an ever busy life style of the current age, there’s a growing need to keep the mental space clutter free. To accomplish the herculean task of being in command of your business and personal commitments without being overwhelmed, your best bet is a robust combination of a reminder app plus task manager plus personal assistant. I mean, all this … or simply, a Google Calendar!

While majority of the web users are aware of Google Calendar, not most of them know about the potential of this specific google product. It comes with your personal gmail address, and takes care of your tasks, reminders, while ensuring that you do not miss out on your personal, social or professional commitments.

Today we’ll share with you some of the product features and tricks and hacks that usually pass under the radar, but must be employed for maximum productivity.

1. Enable Your World Clock

It could get tricky to keep track of your appointments if you’ve a team spread across geographical frontiers. Not anymore. By enabling World Clock in your Google Calendar settings you can avoid miscalculating meeting times when scheduling a meeting in different time zones.
You can activate this feature by adding more time zones through the Settings tab. The world clocks feature displays the chosen time zones and the calendar will subsequently adopt according to each device’s time zone.

2. Enable Working Hours

Activating “Working Hours” setting at your Calendar is especially useful in the situations where people add you to meetings. Without having to opt for a ‘Decline’ and later following up with the meeting organizer for an alternate meeting hour, you can relax while the organizers sift through fitting the meeting into your schedule.

Use the gear icon from your Calendar to access the Settings tab and specify your working hours in the relevant section.

3. Enable and Use Tasks

If you need to go for further organizing your events, down to the details of individual tasks, Google Calendar furnishes you with a useful Tasks function. Using the small blue Tasks icon you can create a new reminder by clicking “Add a task” and filling out the details. Fill in to add a description, date, and subtasks and keep marking them out as you complete them.

4. Drag and Drop Events

Editing the entries of a Calendar had never been this easy. Just drag and drop the dates, like literally! Need to edit an event’s date, just drag and drop it at the correct date. Easy peasy.

5. Master the Keyboard Shortcuts

Make your work smoother by minimizing the need for a mouse and mastering the keyboard shortcuts. Google Calendar provides you with a handful of a keyboard shortcuts, but here are the most oft used ones:

search: /
create event: c
scroll to previous date range: k or p
scroll to next date range: j or n
jump to today: t
delete event: Backspace or Delete
views (day): 1 or d(week): 2 or w(month): 3 or m(4 days): 4 or x(agenda): 5 or a

6. Get a Daily Agenda Email

This is as close to getting a personal assistant as you can get, without employing any.

When activated, Google Calendar’s daily agenda will email you every morning, with an overview of your scheduled events of the day. You rise and find all your engagements planned and laid out. Makes life so much convenient!

To activate the daily agenda email, go to Settings, find the name of the calendar you want emails about, and in the General Notifications tab select the drop down menu for Daily Agenda. Click Email.

7. Skip Typing, Speak Appointments

This is such a less known feature that it’s a shame.

“OK Google” can be used to set up simple Calendar events, especially of value when using a smartphone with a small screen, or when can’t spare hands to type, e.g while driving.

After you’ve tapped Ok Google icon, say out ‘create event’ and google will then ask questions regarding the data to be filled in the event fields. For this feature to work make sure that you’ve first enabled Chrome on your desktop PCs.

8. Customized Calendars For Different Roles of Life

With too many things happening, the main calendar – the one with your name under “My calendars” – can get too dense and chaotic. In such a case, create separate calendars for each purpose you’re following (work, personal, specific projects, etc.) to keep track of all the events without getting any lost in a maze of equal significance tasks. Organize your events into shareable sub-calendars nested under My calendars.

For creating a new calendar, select the little plus sign (+) next to “My calendars,” and you’ll come across the option, “New calendar.” Click this option and find your engagements sorted!
For added convenience, colour code each calendar in order of priority perhaps, or to help you distinguish between the nature.

Dropdown menu to create a new calendar in Google Calendar

9. Automate Scheduling Meetings Without Having to Coordinate Availability

What do you do when you’re facing the situation of arranging a meeting with a handful of stakeholders, all with committed routines? Trying to negotiate a mutually suitable time where all can be available can turn t=out to be frustrating ordeal. Google Calendar takes care of such situations by providing two great coordinating options: “Suggested times” or “Find a time.”

To employ Suggested times option, add everyone to your event. Google Calendar supports up to 20 people. Click on the “Suggested times” link below each of the participant’s name. A drop down menu will provide the list of times when all the participants and the event organizer/s, are available simultaneously.

To use Find a time option, pick the tab with the same name lying next to “Event details”. Here you’ll come across each participant’s schedules side-by-side, each person in a different color, for your event day. If they have something scheduled, it will say “Busy” for that block of time. Compare the availability and select the most suitable hour. Save the option.

10. Add Video Calls

For remote attendees of an event, Google Calendar comes with an invaluable built-in feature 0f video calls. Create an event and click the link Add Video Call. This will provide you with a video call URL placed inside the invite.

Link to add video call in an event in Google Calendar

Featured Photo: S3studio/Getty Images

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