7 Productivity-Boosting Google Calendar Tips and Tricks You Should Know About
Google Calendar is another special gem that comes free with your personal Gmail address. Despite looking like any other calendar, it is one of the most used services worldwide. After all, Google Calendar does more than just schedule your day. It offers various nifty features that help manage your time better and increase work efficiency. So if you are someone who just started or has been using Google Calendar for work or school, you should definitely try out these 7 tips and tricks to boost your productivity.
1. Colour Coordinate Your Tasks & Activities.
Google has an exciting feature where you can input HEX codes to further customise your event colours. This allows one to create a more visual calendar, making it easier for you to identify what and where you have allocated time for.
All you need to do is right-click on an event in Google Calendar, enter the colour HEX code of your choice, and you’re done. You could do this for certain categories:
When you’ve completed, your calendar, it should look like this:
Moreover, colour-coding can be a precursor to time-blocking. You are essentially colouring out specific durations of your day for certain tasks. By arranging what must be done at what time and for how long, users can pay better attention to each task. They may even accomplish more in the same period of time as it creates a sense of artificial urgency.
2. Use The ‘Find A Time’ Function.
“Find a time” can quickly help you find an empty time slot in your action-packed schedule. It’s great for those looking for time to exercise, meditate, and do other essential tasks. It also comes in handy when arranging group meetings.
To use this feature, choose the tab next to “Event details” called “Find a time”. For meetings, you will see the involved guests’ schedules if they have shared their calendars with you. Google will then provide a list of suggested times to pick from. For regular tasks, Google will examine only your daily schedule and look for time gaps depending on the duration of the event created.
3. Sync Google Calendar With Your Personal Devices.
Syncing your Google Calendar across multiple devices ensures you always have the most recent information about events, meetings, and tasks wherever you go. In other words, you can switch from one device to another seamlessly, or just carry one device instead of more.
To sync Google Calendar to every device you use, download the app and log in the app with your Gmail address. The same events you have previously keyed in on your computer will show up. Vice versa if you input anything on the app itself. You just have to pick up from where you left off when you move to your computer.
4. Set Event Notifications.
Making sure information about your appointments, meetings or deadlines are synced on all devices isn’t enough, especially if you end up forgetting them. That’s why this next tip teaches you to set notifications for imminent appointments.
By default, Google will notify you 10 minutes before the event starts, but you can adjust it to your preference. Its options include minutes, hours, days and even weeks in advance.
The best part is, you can add another notification so you can have as many as you want. Like how you would set different alarms in the morning to really wake you up, you could do the same with pop-up notifications.
5. Add Meeting Notes To Events.
Conducting classes and meetings online might remain prevalent in our lives post-pandemic. Some of us might have even grown to take down notes digitally more frequently. Problem is, creating, sharing and finding them can be a hassle sometimes.
Google Calendar can help you to streamline your meeting notes by allowing you to either add:
- Any attachment (Google Docs, Google Slides, PDF, etcetera) to the scheduled or past event or,
- Notes from Google Docs.
The Description Section can be multi-functional if you want it to.
This way, you just need to refer to the event in your Google Calendar and you can quickly find your notes.
Another method is for those who take notes on Notion to take advantage of the ‘Description’ section. Just paste the link to the Notion page there and Google Calendar will save it, so you can revisit those notes anytime you like.
6. Get Extra Calendar Tools.
If you want to take your Google Calendar experience to a whole new level, try using some extra tools to expand its functionality.
Google Workplace Market offers a variety of add-ons for Google Calendar to help improve your productivity.
For example, your school, university or company could be using Microsoft Teams or Zoom as their main video conferencing platform. So you can install add-ons, such as Zoom for GSuite or Microsoft Teams Meeting. With these two, you can quickly schedule, join and manage meetings right from your Google Calendar.
Besides add-ons, you can also opt for Chrome Extensions, such as:
7. Send Yourself A ‘Daily Agenda’ Email.
Did you know Google Calendar can function just like a personal assistant? You can set it to send you a daily agenda via email.
To enable this option, go to your settings and select the calendar you use most under the ‘Settings for my calendars’ on the left. In the Daily Agenda field, click the Down arrow next to None and select Email. Google will send you a summary of your schedule every day at 5 AM local time.
If you are someone who doesn’t frequently check Google Calendar, this email is an excellent way to kickstart your day. It also prepares you for what’s coming for the rest of the day. Do note that this applies not only to yourself but to anyone you are working with so that they know the best time to reach you.
Optimise Your Google Calendar Today.
These Google Calendar tips and tricks I shared are what I use myself as well. Now that you know how they each work, you, the reader, should try a few out and see which fits in your daily routine. If you learn how to master your schedule, you can make a lot more happen efficiently and effectively.
For further reading, check out this article on useful & essential apps you need on your phone to improve your lifestyle and 5 note-taking tips for your next meeting or class.