Are you ready for tips using new Google Calendar features? This post is about new features released a few months ago.
I’m assuming in this post that you have a basic understanding of Google Calendar. Whether or not you do, check the G Suite How-tos page on eQuipping for eMinistry (e4e) for more recommended calendar settings that you’ll find useful.
New Google Calendar Tips for 2018
Google Calendar Settings
We’ll start in the settings…
Besides traveling, do you call or video chat with people in another time zone? Is your spouse in Timbuktu or other places frequently? Check the World clock setting and add these time zones. The times will display with a day or night icon in the left sidebar of Calendar.
Events from Gmail
Check “Automatically add events from Gmail to my calendar” in settings. Once you’ve turned on this new feature, any reservation-type emails will create an event in Google Calendar. This only works if the event information is stored in the metadata of the email, as in confirmation emails.
NOTE: A suggested-appointment email from a friend will not create an event. When you receive one of these emails, open it and click the three vertical dots in the Gmail toolbar under the search window. You’ll see an option to “Create Event.” The email content will show in your Calendar’s Event Editor’s description box so you have the details you need to add this appointment.
Add a Coworker’s Calendar
Do you regularly meet with a team or a supervisor? Do you need to check your spouse’s calendar? Back on the Google Calendar main page, type in an email in “Add a coworker’s calendar” in the left sidebar. After entering email addresses, their calendars will be listed under “Other Calendars.” Check or uncheck their boxes to display these calendars alongside your own. (More options to check availability are also described below.)
Google Calendar now offers a year view. Click the gray dropdown next to the gear icon to find it or switch views easily with keyboard shortcuts. Press “Y” for year; “M” for month; etc. “A” is for Schedule (Agenda).
Searching within Calendar now looks through your Docs and Contacts as well.
More than Events
Now you can schedule more than appointments and events…
Goals and New Habits
Enter a new habit into your calendar. Schedule a goal using Google Calendar’s app on your phone. Your phone is the only way to do this. (This Hubspot article explains how). The scheduled goal will appear in all synced-device calendars.
The Google Calendar Graphic Card
When you single-click on the calendar to make an entry, you’ll see a graphic card. Notice three oval buttons at the top of this window.
- Event – what you’re used to…
- Out of office allows you to automatically decline appointments. Block time slots with this button; meetings during these times will be automatically declined for you.
- Appointment slots allows you to create appointment slots on an automatically generated appointment page. Through a link to your appointment page, people book time with you. See the details under point #4 in 8 New Google Calendar Features You Should Start Using Now.
Just for fun: The updated calendar card might add a fun graphic header using artificial intelligence. Create three test events to see how this works using these names:
- Christmas brunch
Inside the Event Editor
Except for the “out of office” option, clicking on “More Options” in the simple Calendar graphic card will take you into the Event Editor to add more details about the event, including notifications and such. This may not look any different from before, but you’ll like some of the new features.
Formatting and adding links and attachments in the description window are new. (TIP: The description area is a great place for housing your agenda for the meeting.)
You have three ways to check someone’s calendar for availability.
- You may have been using the “Find a Time” tab next to the “Event Details” tab in the Event Editor.
- You might like the new option of following a coworker’s calendar on the Google Calendar homepage that I already described.
- Also new: after adding guests, click on “Suggested Times” under their names to see a list of potential meeting dates and times that work for all. Google Calendar checks everyone and lists your meeting options chronologically.
If you created a meeting that you can no longer attend, you might want to open the “More actions” drop-down and choose “Change owner.”
More New Ideas for Google Calendar
- Use the iChrome extension to show your calendar as part of a home page or in a new tab in Chrome.
- Add scheduled MailChimp campaigns to your calendar using IFTTT.
- You might also be interested in syncing with Windows 10. How-to Geek provides a step-by-step guide.
I hope a few of these features are helpful for you. A future Google Calendar post will help you manage your life through multiple calendars.
- Thanks to Matthew Guay in 8 New Google Calendar Features You Should Start Using Now for many of these tips and some additional ones.
- Check out other G Suite content on eQuipping for eMinistry.
- If you need help or more ideas, check out the Google Calendar Help page.
- Of course, you probably sync with your mobile device’s calendar. (If not, here’s instructions).
- Travelers may prefer to sync their itinerary with a TripIt calendar and their Google Calendar.
- Photo by Roman Bozhko on Unsplash.