KIM KOMANDO

Get a handle on your time: Google Calendar tips and tricks

Apr 29, 2024, 4:05 AM

(Pexels File Photo)...

(Pexels File Photo)

(Pexels File Photo)

Before we get into it, I’ll acknowledge what you may be thinking: Using Calendar means handing over even more info to Google.

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Sure, but here’s my take: For the sake of convenience, most of us choose a Big Tech company or two that we’re OK sharing a lot with. If you use Gmail and Google Maps, adding Calendar to the mix won’t make much difference in terms of privacy.

Here are some ideas to get the most out of it

Spoiler: A lot more than just meetings and dentist appointments. And yes, you can definitely use you preferred calendar app for all these things too, if Google isn’t your thing.

  • Personal appointments and events: Beyond birthdays and meetings, manage personal commitments from school dates and doctor’s appointments to spa days. (But, really, add in birthdays so you don’t forget!)
  • Meal planning: Organize your culinary journey for the week. Jot down recipes, shopping lists and daily meals.
  • Fitness schedule: Crush those fitness goals! Allocate time for gym sessions, brisk walks or meditation. Seeing it scheduled might just give you that extra push.
  • Budget and bill payments: Make financial stress a thing of the past. Set reminders for bill payments or even budgeting check-ins.
  • Learning and growth: Slot in some “me” time dedicated to personal growth. Be it an online course, a crafty DIY or a book chapter, ensure you’re constantly evolving.
  • Shared calendars: Sync up with others with a shared calendar! Whether planning a family vacation, tracking team projects or organizing community events, sharing is caring. Simply click “Share” in the calendar settings, add their email and decide their permission level. Now you’re both on the same (calendar) page!

Let’s get to the tricks

A little know-how goes a long way in getting more out of your everyday software.

Know when people are free: I use this daily at work. Put your cursor in the box labeled Search for people under the Meet with heading. Everybody in your organization should be searchable here, so no more setting meetings no one can attend. You can also create a new meeting, add guests and click Find a time under the date to see the attendees’ availability side by side!

Automatically share meeting minutes: In your meeting details, click Create meeting notes under the event description to generate a Google Doc that automatically gets shared with attendees. It includes a built-in outline with the meeting date, attendees, notes and action items. Pro tip: Attach additional notes, docs, slides or whatever else to the meeting so no one’s looking around for them later!

Never miss a beat: When setting an appointment, simply click Add Notification. Choose how long before the event you’d like to be reminded. Boom! Whether it’s 10 minutes or a day in advance, Google Calendar’s got your back. No more oops moments.

You know I have more amazing tips up my sleeve. Get more Google Cal secrets.

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Get a handle on your time: Google Calendar tips and tricks