12 Google Calendar Tricks You Probably Don’t Use

Many of us use Google Calendar for appointment reminders and endless Zoom calls, but there’s so much more you can do with the app. And because it’s free, everyone from beginners to seasoned organizing pros can use it to streamline their schedules.

1. Create a new calendar

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Work tasks, personal meetings and other daily errands can really clutter up your schedule. Luckily, you can create separate, color-coded calendars for each aspect of your schedule. No need to stare at a wall of blue boxes.

To add more calendars, click the plus sign (+) Regarding Other calendars at the bottom left, then choose Create a new calendar. Name and color code the new calendar as desired. When you’re done, you can check or uncheck the box next to the calendar’s name to show or hide its tasks on your main calendar so you only see what’s important.

share calendar

Sometimes it helps to share your calendar with other people so everyone can keep track of important events. People you share your Google calendar with can see it in their calendar view and choose to hide it if they want. You can also customize and restrict what they see.

Find the calendar you want to share in the list under My calendars. Click the three-dot menu next to Calendar and select Definition and sharing. In the settings menu, click Share with specific people > Add people.

Type in the email addresses of everyone you want to give access to and customize their permissions to allow people to see as much, or as little, of this calendar as you see fit.

3. Use keyboard shortcuts

keyboard shortcuts

In Google Calendar, keyboard shortcuts let you do everything from changing the calendar view (press you to see today, for example) to add a new event (hit vs to create an event). First, check that hotkeys are enabled; click the gear icon in the top right, select Settings, scroll down to Keyboard Shortcuts and make sure the box next to Enable keyboard shortcuts is checked. Then refer to Google List(Opens a new tab) calendar shortcuts, or tap Command + / (Where Control + /) from a browser to display an easy-to-read list of shortcuts.

4. Customize your notifications


If you have an important meeting or appointment that you cannot miss, set up multiple alerts for it. Calendar lets you schedule notifications for certain time intervals before an event, so you can get a ping sent to your phone a day, an hour, or 15 minutes before your event. Mobile users have several predefined options, but can also create custom intervals for notifications. You can also set up reminder emails.

To set up custom notifications, click the three-dot menu icon next to the calendar with the relevant event. To click Settings and Sharingthen choose Event notifications to customize the default notification settings for each event in this calendar. On mobile, open the hamburger menu, then choose Settings and select Calendar.

If you want to leave the default setting alone and only customize reminders for a single event, click on the event, select Editand change the notification settings for this event.

5. Create events from Gmail

create an event in gmail

We’ve probably all had meetings that could have been an email, but what about a thread that should be a meeting? Use Gmail to create an event in Google Calendar and solve that extra long chat with a video call instead.

When viewing the thread, click the three-dot menu in the upper right corner, then click Create an event. A new event will automatically be added to Google Calendar, along with your thread details. The subject line will be the title of the event and the threaded messages appear in the event description.

6. Create notes from group events

meeting notes for calendar events

Need to keep everyone on the same page? Use Google Calendar to create a Google Doc of meeting notes for your events with multiple attendees. All you have to do is select the event on the calendar, then click Take meeting notes in the event description. The resulting document is then attached to the event invitation, giving all invitees access to the notes.

7. Set up daily calendar emails

daily agenda email

Want to get an automatic daily overview of your schedule every morning without opening Google Calendar? Google can send a list of today’s tasks directly to your inbox. To set it up, go to your calendars list in the left sidebar and click the three-dot menu next to the one you want to use to send daily calendar emails. To click Settings and Sharing > Other noticesand make sure the drop-down menu next to Daily planner Said Email. You will now receive a daily email with tasks for that specific calendar until you close them, which you can do by going through the same process and changing the drop-down box to “none”.

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8. Add and customize time zones

time zone settings

In the age of telecommuting, it’s not uncommon for companies to have teams spread across multiple time zones. By adding additional time zones to Google Calendar, you can schedule the next meeting at a time that works for everyone. Click the gear icon in the upper right corner, then click Settings. To click Time zone in the left sidebar, then check the box that says Show secondary time zone. Click on the drop-down menu and select the time zone you need. When complete, this time zone will appear in your calendar view next to local time.

9. Edit multiple days at once

select calendar dates

Sometimes you only need to see a few days of your calendar at a time. That’s why Google Calendar has built-in Day, Week, Month, Year, Calendar, and 6 Day views available from the drop-down menu at the top of the screen. Mobile users can open hamburger men to choose from Hourly, Day, 3-day, Week, and Month view.

If you need to change or show a different selection of days, for example Wednesday to Saturday, you can do that from the web app. Click on the first day in the small calendar in the left sidebar, then drag the slider to the days you need. This will change your large calendar view to show only those days.

10. Customize your colors and background

custom calendar background extension

Google Calendar provides color options for event and task coding, but you might want more than the defaults. Luckily, there are several Chrome Extensions that allow you to easily add new colors to Google Calendar and even set a background image for your main view. The More colors for the calendar!(Opens a new tab) allows you to add new colors by hex value and save them for later use. And you can add a custom background with the Custom Calendar Background(Opens a new tab) extension.

advanced search options

Need to edit an event, but can’t remember exactly when it’s supposed to happen? Click the magnifying glass at the top of the screen (or just press the button / key) to perform a quick search in the calendar. If you want a very specific feature, click the little drop-down arrow in the search bar for more advanced options that allow you to search by criteria such as event attendees, location, and date, in addition to your keywords.

12. Access your calendar offline

offline access

If you travel a lot and know you won’t always have the best internet coverage, you can enable offline access to Google Calendar. Click the gear icon and choose Settings > Offlinethen check the box next to Enable offline calendar. Google then informs you to reload the page. For more information see Google step by step guide(Opens a new tab) of the process. One caveat: you’ll be able to access and edit your calendar even if you don’t have an internet connection, but it won’t update on your other devices until you’re back online.

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