What is Google Calendar most commonly used for?

11 Google Calendar Features You Didn't Know Before (2019/2020)

Some things that you think are simple are actually very complex. Google knows all of this too well, which is why it recently launched a brand new one Google Calendar has brought out - with loads of nifty functions.

While some features aren't new in the latest Google Calendar, they have changed a bit. There are other features that you may not even be aware of. Let's go over them all to make your life a little easier.

Your Google Calendar will be activated with your personal Gmail address. You won't believe how easy it is to use and set up. However, if you work for a company that uses its own Google Calendar, suddenly you need to figure out how best to incorporate your personal calendar into your weekly meeting schedule.

The more appointments you have on your agenda, the more difficult it appears to use the calendar. Luckily, there are some cool hacks and "secret" features that can help you organize your life on Google Calendar.


11 Google Calendar Features You Didn't Know Before


1. Create new calendars for different areas of your life

If you are working with Google Calendar for the first time, you will first receive a calendar - the one with your name under “My calendars”.

So, if you want to use your calendar for multiple purposes - such as managing your private schedule, scheduling periods of time focusing on a specific aspect of your work, or scheduling recurring reminders - you only have one place to do it. However, if you only work with a calendar, all of these things are treated the same - which means that you cannot keep track of important tasks quickly and easily.

To counter this, just create a new calendar for each part of your life that you want to keep track of on your Google Calendar.

Using this function

If you want to create a new calendar, click on the little gear icon in the upper right corner and select “Settings”.



You will now see the option “Add Calendar” on the left. Select the “Set up a new calendar” option, name your new calendar, give it a description plus a time zone, and you're done - you have a new calendar.



Pro tip: You can even color-code each calendar so that you can find out at a glance what you have to do every day - for which aspect of your life.

Click here.

2. Hide your event details

Sometimes the meetings you host or attend are inherently sensitive. Remember, however, that a closed door isn't the only way to signal what's going on inside. The details of the event in Google Calendar can also shed more light on the rest of the office than you'd like.

To ensure that you have as much privacy as you need during confidential meetings, set your event to confidential. That way, the details of the event - meeting name, attendees, attachments, etc. - will not be seen by anyone looking at your weekly schedule. By default, the public label of the event block is simply “Busy”.

Using this function

To hide the details of specific events in your calendar, click the event in the calendar view and select the pencil icon to edit the event details. In the window that appears, find the briefcase icon just above the description field.




If the first field is set to “Busy”, click in the second field and select “Confidential” from the drop-down list as shown below. Click the blue “Save” button above and you're done.




Alternatively, you can select this option when creating the event.


3. Schedule meetings using "Time Proposals"

Do you ever need to arrange a meeting with multiple people who have busy schedules? It can be very annoying to find out when you are all free. Fortunately, Google Calendar has a feature that can do a lot: “Time Suggestions”.

Using this function

To use either of these two options, first make sure that you have added all attendees to the event. If you'd like Google to suggest a date for you, just select the “Time Suggestions” option under your guests' names. A drop-down window will appear with a list of the times that any attendee, including you, will be available with no problem.




4. Activate your world clock on Google Calendar

Do you work with teammates who live on the other side of the world? You may find it difficult to make appointments with your Hong Kong team at a convenient time. Fortunately, you can activate “World Clock” in your Google Calendar.

Using this function

Click the gear icon in the upper right corner of your calendar view to quickly check multiple time zones when scheduling meetings. These are your preferences. Then navigate to the “World Clock” section, check the first blue box and select the time zones you want to see in your calendar view.



When you have selected the time zones you want, return to the calendar view. In the left sidebar of your Google Calendar you will see:

Setting the world clock in Google Calendar with three time zones

5. Add attachments

I don't know about you, but I often attend meetings where there is reference to a relevant document. Maybe we're all working on a Google Doc or we're skimming a complicated spreadsheet.


Regardless, it is best to make sure that all meeting attendees have the materials they need before the meeting begins. Google Calendar can help you with that. You can attach documents directly to the event for guests to open and review.

Using this function

To attach a document to your event, click on your meeting in the calendar view and select the pencil icon to edit the event.

While in edit mode of the event, look for a paperclip icon just above the description section as shown in the following screenshot. Click this icon and a large window will appear where you can upload files.




When you reach the upload window, you can switch to the “My Drive” option to attach Docs, Sheets and Slides that are already in your Google Drive. You can also click the Upload option on the far right of the window to attach files from your computer offline.



6. Email to participants

Remember when you tried to email a large group of people about an event? Maybe you were trying to coordinate a team outing - or you wanted everyone to know that you should bring your laptops. It would be annoying to find out who was actually going to the event. Are you sure you haven't forgotten anyone?

Well, this Google Calendar feature will come in handy next time.

Using this function

As long as you've added all participants to the event, you can easily notify all members of the group via email by clicking the event block in the calendar view and then clicking the envelope icon.

Envelope icon in Google Calendar event to notify guests of a meeting by email.



As soon as you click the envelope icon within the event block, an email compilation box will appear. Just enter your message and the recipient and the mail will be off.

7. Add specific meeting locations.

I wish I had known about it the last time I had a coffee with someone in downtown Düsseldorf. We agreed to meet at Starbucks ... but thanks to the multitude of Starbucks locations in Düsseldorf, our conversation went something like this:


"Okay, so let's meet downtown," I said.

"Oh, the one at the main train station?" he asked.

“No, the one in the old town,” I replied.

"Oh, you mean across from McDonalds?"

"... no ... that's a Woyton."


Using this function

The logistics of a meeting can get vague without a specific address or conference room. Thankfully, Google Calendar has a feature that fixes all of that. Instead of having to go back and forth, I could have just sent my friend a calendar invitation with the specific address in the “Where” field. It's connected to Google Maps so it's easy to find out where to meet and how to get there.



8. Change the event notification time.

I like to be reminded of important events a few days in advance. You already know, to prepare me mentally. As luck would have it, the Google Calendar offers this function.

Using this function

By default, Google will notify you 30 minutes before an event starts. To change this notification for a specific event, click the event in the calendar view and select the pencil icon to edit the event's settings.

In the event details you will find the bell icon just below the video conferencing option. Hover over the box labeled “30” and use the small up and down arrow keys to change the number of minutes. As you can see below, you can tell Google to also notify you hours, days, or weeks in advance.



Pro tip: You can also be reminded of an event by email if you wish.

9. Subscribe to the special calendar

Do you want to make sure you keep an eye on the holidays in other countries, the schedule of your favorite sports team, or just the time of day the sun rises and sets? You can find these calendars (and more) in the left sidebar of your Google Calendar.

Using this function

To browse and add interesting calendars, click the gear icon in the top right corner. Then select “View Relevant Calendars”. There, select the calendars you want to subscribe to.



10. Share your calendar with others.

If you use Google Programs for your business, you can also control who sees your calendar, what they see, and whether they can edit it. (If you have an assistant, this tip is very important.) You can also make your calendar public if you want.

Using this function

To change your sharing settings, click the three dots next to a calendar and select “Settings and Sharing” (see below).

Then you will be redirected to the page shown below. Here you can do one of the following:

  • Publish the calendar.
  • Select this option to view event details for everyone in your company.
  • Add someone to your calendar and choose their individual permissions (view all details, make changes to events, hide all details, etc.).

When you're done, click the back arrow in the top left of the screen to return to Calendar view. Google will automatically save your new calendar settings.



11. Implement a custom view.

When you set up your calendar for the first time, you can choose to view it as a week, month, the next 4 days, or as an agenda. “4 days” option? You can turn this off with a different interval in your “View Options” option.

Using this function

To adjust the number of days you see in your calendar view, click on your settings with the gear icon in the top right corner of your screen. Scroll down to “View Options”. Click on “Set Custom View” and choose how many days you want to show in the calendar view at once (see screenshot below).



Implement custom view

You can also customize your user interface quickly and more generally, right in the calendar view. A box will appear next to the gear icon of your settings that says “Week” by default. Click it to bring up a drop-down menu where you can further customize your view.


What about Google Calendar Weather?

Unfortunately, Google has that Calendar weather function in a new design switched off. If anything changes, we will update this article.

These were our 11 tips for the Google Calendar. Do you still know any? Feel free to write it in the comments. Or share the article with your colleagues. Also interesting: 9 Google Calendar features that you were not yet familiar with.

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