2 Google Tips to Bring Your Calendar into the 21st Century


Portable Sundial

Two Google Tips to Bring Your Calendar into the 21st Century

Calendar items should be on calendars. That’s obvious, of course, and best for you, as well, to keep calendar items where they belong. When calendars are shared, then any changes to an event are easily sent to all the attendees as a courtesy to them.

Sometimes, though, you want to work with a calendar as an agenda or even as a spreadsheet, so let’s look at two tips today for your Google calendar. I’ll use a scenario which you can adjust to fit the things you do.

Tip One: Agenda View

It’s helpful at times to see a series of meetings or the progression of a project as a schedule, timetable, or itinerary. Create a separate calendar for a project or trip and then pull up the “agenda view.” Follow these steps for a conference-planning scenario…

Your team of twelve will be meeting every other week to prepare for a conference.

  1. Create and share a calendar called “Conference.”
  2. Put all the dates and meeting info into this Google calendar.
  3. Check settings in the left sidebar drop-down button for My Calendars to choose which calendars to display in Google Calendar. Use different colors for your different calenders.
  4. Only show the Conference calendar in the My Calendar area in the left sidebar by clicking your various calendars “off and on”.
  5. Click on Agenda in the upper right view choices.
  6. You’ll see at least a portion of your meetings. Click on “Look for More” under the agenda if needed.
  7. If you’d like to print the agenda for your meetings, click on the “more” drop-down button next to the Agenda view button.
  8. You’ll have lots of options for what details to print, such as a date range and attendees.
  9. Optionally, save your agenda as a PDF file (see sample image below).

G calendar agenda

In addition, use the agenda view, and the date range for the conference, to share or print the hourly and daily schedule for the conference itself.

Tip Two: Import CSV Files to Calendar

Maybe the idea of entering each meeting and/or the event schedule into Google calendar isn’t the way you like to do things. Maybe you’re organizing something else that just works better for you in a spreadsheet format: a sports schedule, an editorial calendar, an itinerary, or a project where you need to see a flow or process.

So, spreadsheet fans, put your schedule together on a spreadsheet and then import it into Google calendar to share with others or just so this schedule shows in your calendar.

  1. Start with a spreadsheet.
  2. Use any of these possible header names in the first row: Subject, Start Date, Start Time, End Date, End Time, All Day Event, Description, Location, and Private. You must use these exact names for the columns you wish to import.
  3. Save the spreadsheet as a CSV file. See this Google support article for more detail about steps 2 and 3.
  4. Click the down arrow next to Other Calendars in the left sidebar.
  5. If you need to, create a new calendar before proceeding.
  6. Select Import Calendar and Choose File to find your CSV file.
  7. Click Open and select the Google calendar where you’d like to import your spreadsheet.
  8. Click Import. See these steps from Google if you have recurring events or other questions.
  9. Check settings in the left sidebar drop-down button for My Calendars to choose which calendars to display in Google Calendar.
  10. Display just this calendar  or display multiple calendars to see your big picture. For instance, I have a family calendar, blogging calendar, and a travel calendar with TripIt.

The sample image below is a spreadsheet I used to import over thirty blog post descriptions for the You-Can-Too series for January through December 2014. I used the spreadsheet strictly for importing, so it didn’t have to be attractive and presentable.

CVS import to G calendar

Bonus Tip

Promote future blog posts or events by creating a calendar for your blog. I use the Upcoming Events widget in WordPress.  Find the iCalendar Feed URL in your Google calendar’s settings to display calendar items in your WordPress sidebar. See eQuipping for eMinistry’s right sidebar as an example.

Are you going to try one of these calendar tips?

NOTE: The photo of the portable sundial is on Wikimedia Commons.  The Horus sundial “corrects for latitude, time zone, daylight savings time, longitude, and equation of time; with magnetic declination correction and spirit levels. http://www.horussundials.com.”  I’m impressed!

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