Google Calendar is an excellent program for keeping track of your appointments, birthdays, and other important dates on your computer and on your cell phone. When you sync Google with your cell phone, whenever you add or edit a calendar event, the changes will appear on both your phone and on your computer, almost instantaneously.
Now let’s review how to use Google Calendar effectively
You can use Google Calendar to keep track of appointments, birthdays, reminders, and tasks. You can also use it to schedule an event, and invite guests to that event.
Google Calendar Search Feature
To use the search feature, click on the search icon, which is the magnifying glass icon located at the top right of your screen. This is where you search for calendar events by typing in a name or a word. For example, if you want to search for all seminars that you had put in your calendar, you just type in the word “seminar.” Or if you want to search for all events with the name John, just type in “John.” When you do this, all of the events that have the name “John” in your calendar, will show up in a list in date order.
Google Calendar Didsplays
To change the way that Google Calendar displays your calendar, click on the rectangular box to the right of the gear icon in the upper right corner. Here is where you can change the display to Day, Week, Month, Year, Schedule, 7 days.
I use the “7 days” display so that I can see all of the events for the current week. Then I can either click on the left (<) or right (>) arrow at the top of the calendar to move to previous or subsequent weeks. If I want to go more than a couple of months ahead or back, I just click on “7 days,” and change it to “Month.” Then I only have to do a few clicks to move months ahead or back. When I am done, I click on “7 days” and on the “Today” box, which is just to the left of the arrows, and that brings me back to this week.
To get to settings, click on the gear icon in the upper right corner, and then click on “Settings.” This is where you set your time zone, and you have the option to check the box “Ask to update my primary time zone to current location.” If you check that box, when you are in a different time zone with your computer and your cell phone, the time that is now showing on your calendar and on your cell phone will be the same as where you are now located.
But be careful, because if you schedule appointments in your calendar for a future date when you will not be in the time zone you currently are in, the scheduled time will be based on the time zone you are now in. For example, if you are on the East Coast, and you schedule an appointment for next Tuesday at 3:00 PM, when you get back to the West Coast, which is in a time zone three hours earlier, that appointment will now show on your calendar as Tuesday at 12:00 PM.
Google Calendar Event Settings
“Event settings” is where you let Google Calendar know what time interval you want as the default setting for each event. You can choose 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, or 120 minutes. I chose 60 minutes as my default, and when I enter a new event, I just change the length of the event as needed.
Under “Event settings” you also can turn “Notifications” on or off. If you want a pop-up window to appear on your phone and your computer that reminds you that an event is coming up, then choose “Desktop notifications.”
Under “View options” you can set when you want the your calendar week to start. You can choose Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. You can also “Set the custom view” to 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 days, or 2, 3, or 4 weeks. Whichever number you choose here, that number will now show up as a display option. I chose 7 days, so that is now an option that I can pick for my calendar display.
Add an Event to your Google Calendar
On the Google Calendar page, to add an event to your calendar, click the plus icon at the top left side of your screen. Then add the title, and pick the date by clicking on the date that is already there, followed by clicking on the date of your event on the calendar that now appears. Then put in the beginning time by clicking on the beginning time that is already there; and then scroll up or down until you see the time when the event begins, and then click on it. Do the same for the time when the event ends.
To add guests to the event you are creating, just type in the name of a contact that is already in your contact list, and when the name appears, click on it to add the name to guests to invite. If you want, type in the location of the event, and add a description.
Click “More options” if you want to repeat the event on other days. Then click on “Does not repeat,” which gives you the following options: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Annually, Every weekday, and Custom.
When you click on “Daily,” the event will reoccur every day at the time you set. When you click on “Weekly,” the event will reoccur every week on that day of the week at the time you set. When you click on “Monthly,” the event will reoccur every month on that day of the week at the time you set. When you click on “Yearly,” the event will reoccur every year on that month, on that day of the week at the time you set. When you click on “Every weekday,” the event will reoccur every weekday at the time you set.
Click on “Custom” to repeat the event every _____ number of days, weeks, months, or years. You type a number in the blank space. Then you need to click that the event “Never” ends, or that it ends “On” a specific date, or that it ends “After” a set number of occurrences. Then click “Done” to finish setting the custom recurrence.
Google Calendar Notifications
You then have the option to add a location and a notification. If you add a “Notification,” you need to indicate how many minutes, hours, days, or weeks in advance you want to receive the notification to remind you of the upcoming event. You can also add a description of the event, and invite guests. Then click “Save” to save the event you just created.
Creating Additional Calendars
If you want to create an additional calendar, on the left side of your screen, click on “Add calendar;” and then click on “Create new calendar.” Then type in the name of your new calendar; put in a description if you want; and click “Create calendar” to save the new calendar. You might want to create a new calendar for business events, which you can share with individuals you work with. Let’s say you name that calendar “Business Calendar.”
Once you have created a new calendar, click on the left arrow at the top left of the page, which closes “Settings.” Now open “Settings” again by clicking on the gear icon at the top right of the page, and click on “Settings.” When you scroll down the left side of the page, you will now see “Business Calendar.” Click on it to edit the settings, which now show up on the right. You can share the calendar with other people and add notifications.
On the left side, just above the “Business Calendar“ that you just created, you will see “Google Calendar,” which is the default calendar. If you want to rename it, click on “Google Calendar,” and then click in the box to the right that has the name “Google Calendar.” Type in the new name here.
Now that you have more than one calendar, whenever you create an event, you need to specify which calendar to add that event to. Google automatically adds the event to “Google Calendar” unless you specify a different calendar.
Once you are finished editing the settings, click on the left arrow at the top left of the page, which closes “Settings.” Now when you open an event on your calendar by clicking on it, you can edit it by clicking on the pencil icon. You can now move this event is to the “Business Calendar” by clicking on the drop-down arrow to the right of “Google Calendar,” which you will see listed right under the words “Add notification.” Click Save. Now when you look at the calendar, you will see that the event you moved to the “Business Calendar,” has a different colored dot to left of the event name.
If you want to change the color of the dots for each calendar, click on the three parallel lines just to the left of “31 Calendar” at the top left side of the page. Under this month’s calendar that is now visible, you will see “My calendars.” Click on the arrow to the right of “My Calendars,” and you will see “Google Calendar” and “Business Calendar” listed. Move your cursor over the calendar that you want to change the dot color, and you will now see three dots to the right. Click on the three dots, and you will now see a palette of different colors to choose from. Click on a color to change the dot color.
If you want to see only the events for a particular calendar, just click on the box to the left of the calendar name that you don’t want to see, and those events will disappear from the calendar, leaving only the calendar you want to see. Click on the box again for those events to reappear on the calendar.