Google Calendar is a typical calendar app that many of us use daily. Though we’ve all mastered the basic features, there are many powerful features hidden below the surface. Knowing these features will transform you into a Google Calendar power user, and boost your productivity. We have put together 25 powerful Google Calendar Hacks to help you do everything from customizing views to enabling text notifications.
Similar to Quick Add, if you type the event details into your Google browser search bar, it will manually create a preview for an event. Then you can add this to your calendar with the click of a button. This hack will only work if you are signed into Google on your browser, but it is very useful. (It even works with Firefox!)
If you are using Google Calendar with a Google Apps for Work account (any email that doesn’t end with @gmail.com), you have access to this great feature. It allows you set the hours and days that you typically work. Then if someone invites you to an event that doesn’t fall into your work hours, it will automatically let them know.
One of the most frustrating things when scheduling an event is finding a time that works for everyone. With the Find a Time function, you can easily view the other recipients’ schedules (as long as they have shared their calendar with you), and quickly find a free timeslot.
This feature is similar to the previous, except Google does all of the work for you. You can find this when you create an event under the Add Guests section. Like the above, you also need to have shared calendars with your guests.
For the avid Google Calendar user, you can never underestimate the power of a keyboard shortcut. Google provides a handy list of all of the keyboard shortcuts here to help you navigate around the calendar, change views, and even add new events.
Those who are frequently traveling or struggle with spotty internet connections know how important it is to have offline functionality. Google Calendar has an offline mode that will upload any changes that you have made while offline as soon as you re-establish a connection. You will then need to download the Chrome extension. Once it is installed you will see a green spinning wheel whenever you are back online.
This is an app-only hack that allows you to easily create a targeted goal for yourself and schedules it out for you based on your parameters. Want to clean your apartment 3 times per week for 15 minutes? Google Calendar will find open slots to make that work for your schedule.
Although this may seem simple, it is actually one of the most powerful features of Google Calendar. It allows you to add an event by typing the same way you would speak it to a personal assistant. The event will be added to your default calendar. However, Quick Add won’t invite guests. You have to do that manually.
For those who like to arrange and sort by color, Google Calendar lets you color code each calendar so that you can keep track of which events belong to each calendar.
Weather forecasting is essential to scheduling — especially if you plan on attending an outdoor event. Google Calendar has a feature that shows the forecast for the next three days based on your location. It can be displayed in Celsius or Fahrenheit.
This is a Google Labs addition useful for those who have nothing planned in the late night and early hours of the morning. By selecting hours to hide, you can just focus your attention on working hours.
If you are the type of person who works better with lists, Agenda View is a great feature for you. It displays every event for the day in sequence.
When you open your calendar, it will default to showing you one week at a time. But if you want to manually choose the date range to view, Google Calendar makes it easy with their click-drag technique.
Tasks is a handy to-do list feature that can be created in either Gmail or Google Calendar and synced across both. With each task you can set deadlines that will appear on your calendar.
Outside of your own work or personal calendars, you can also access and add Google’s Interesting Calendars. Here, you will find a list of holidays, sport schedules, and other useful calendars like week number or day of the year.
For companies that have employees or freelancers in various timezones, this ability to add world clocks is very helpful. This is a Google Labs addition that allows you to choose and display a set of clocks in any timezone of your choosing. If enabled, they will show up in the right sidebar. The clocks even change color to signify if a timezone is in night hours.
There may come a time when you want to revisit an old event, but when your calendar has hundreds of events per month, searching back through them can become a nightmare. Google Calendar has a search feature located right above the calendar. The drop-down button just to the left of the blue magnifying glass enables advanced search features. You can search things like event names, dates, and even attendees.
If you use Google Apps for Work, you can set up daily text notifications. This is a free service from Google (but like everything else, your standard text messaging rates still apply).
With this Google Labs feature, you can block off times on your calendar where you are unavailable. Then any invites you get during this time will be automatically declined.
With this extremely powerful hack, Google Calendar helps cut out the back and forth emailing to find times that are open for a meeting. You can simply block out the open times that you are willing to meet, send an appointment invite, and your guests can choose the time they want to meet. Then, it will automatically update onto your calendar as soon as they select a time that works.
When you schedule gets increasingly crowded, it’s nice to know how much time you have before your next meeting. If you don’t feel like counting yourself, a nice Google Labs feature is called Next Meeting. It displays a countdown on the right sidebar to your next scheduled event. Note that this will only display the events on your default calendar.
With this feature, you can set a calendar that will automatically accept invitations if there is nothing else scheduled. This works well for a conference room or shared space.
For those who love Google Chrome and its seemingly endless array of extensions, this one is a must-have. The Google Calendar Chrome Extension can be found and installed on the Web Store here. You can easily access and view your calendar without having to actually open up a new calendar window.
Typically Google Calendar allows you to view in three default ways and one custom view. The Day, Week, and Month buttons are above the calendar on the right. Beside the Month button, you can customize this option based off the number of days that you set.
This is a Google Labs addition that will show you if your coworkers are free or busy. This is extra handy for large companies with many employees. It also requires that you have a shared calendar with the person you are looking to view.
Google excels at product design by putting the customer first. With features designed to help work quickly and efficiently, they make incredibly powerful products, and Google Calendar is a prime example. These 25 hacks for Google Calendar will help integrate the Calendar into your daily tasks and make working with it more efficient.