How to Get The Best Out Of Google Calendar

Being productive can sometimes be as simple as getting organized. One way to get organized is to have all of your appointments in a calendar, be it paper or digital. For the sake of this article, I’ll talk about the digital version.

A common digital calendar is the Google Calendar. Many companies, ISPs, municipalities and the general public are using Google Calendar. I love it because of how it synced with my Blackberry and now is integrated with my Android phone. Your Google Calendar is a great place to start getting your life in order.

Here’s how you can get the best out of Google Calendar and start to become organized.

Like all of the other Google apps, Google Calendar has features that are not quite ready to be released, but have a lot of value. Google calls these Labs. Here are some Labs for your calendar to help you get the most of it.

1. Gentle reminders

For those of you who get distracted easily (like me) and don’t want a window popping up to tell you about your meeting in an hour. Instead you will get a notice at the bottom of your screen to tell you.

2. Event attachments

If you invite people to a meeting, you may also want them to have the agenda. With this Labs add-on, you can attach a copy of the meeting agenda to the event.

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3. Smart rescheduler

The smart rescheduler is what the name implies. If you need to move a meeting, you can use this Labs feature to find the next best meeting time for the participants. Single click on the appointment you want to reschedule and it will ask you to find a new time in the smart rescheduler box on the right side of your calendar. It can scan both calendars to find the best time for the reschedule.

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4. Who’s my one-on-one with?

If you have a lot going on, you may not always remember who you are meeting. When you activate this function, you will see a name next to the appointment name telling you who the invite was from.

If you are a busy person, you may have more than one calendar to deal with. A lot of the single parents I know have work, kids, family and personal time to manage. Here are some ways you can manage multiple calendars in one spot.

1. Share calendars with work or family

I suggest this all the time to families. If you have two or more people who lead active lives, sharing your calendar with the others is a good idea. This way you can see what they have going on before you make plans that include them.

I use this for the soccer club trainers and also my team. I share my main training and game schedule with my team so all they need to do is look at their Google Calendar and see the most up-to-date schedule of events.

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2. Different colors for different calendars or events

Google lets you change the color of an event or calendar to help it stand out. Depending on the time of year, I manage 8 calendars. All of these calendars have a different color to make the event easier to differentiate from the others.

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3. Print it

As strange as it may be to some, printing your weekly or monthly calendar really works for some people. If you have people who are not tech savvy or have a spot where your family may look for information naturally (the refrigerator door or a dry erase board), you can print your calendar for all to see.

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Some of these may be simple fixes. The hard part is getting into the routine of using your digital calendar. If you have an Android or other smart phone, you can sync it with your Google account and start using your digital calendar right away.

How do you keep life’s events in order?

Image credit: Alaivani