1. Use more than one calendar
Using one calendar is helpful, but using several calendars is better. Instead of cluttering your Google Calendar with different types of tasks and actions, create separate calendars for other parts of your job. For example, you may want to use a calendar just to remind you of employees’ birthdays and work anniversaries. Another one may take care of your business meetings and appointments. A third one may focus on your private life.
2. Customize your settings
Google Calendar has a long list of Settings and not just for the sake of it. They help you create a good workflow that fits your personality, job, and lifestyle. You can personalize how much time is laid out for you, whether you see weekends or not, notification options, keyboard shortcuts, appearance, and more. Make the calendar follow your rules instead of adjusting your workflow to the default calendar.
When you use several apps more than one time a day, you need synchronization. Otherwise, you’ll spend all your time fiddling with gadgets and apps. Google Calendar synchronizes with HR apps, collaborative tools, marketing software, other calendars, browsers, operating systems, and even with Alexa and Hey Google. The cool part is that you can also use it as an Android or iPhone app, so it stays with you wherever you are. So, don’t miss the opportunity to integrate your software solutions and spend less time doing repetitive tasks. And don't forget to use the keyboard shortcuts.
4. Start the day with a daily agenda
Instead of letting notifications take you by surprise and dictate how you spend your time, check the daily plan when you arrive at the office. You can set Google Calendar to send you an email each morning and remind you what will happen. Having a quick preview of the day helps you organize your tasks better, know when you can take a break, be more efficient, and make time to support others.
Tip: This tip is also one of the seven most effective ways to improve time management skills.
5. Share your plans for the day
If your team needs to know your schedule, Google Calendar has you covered. The calendar allows you to choose who sees your calendar, what they see, and whether they have permission to make changes or not. Sharing improves your collaboration and communication. People will know when you are busy, out of the office, or in a meeting. All you have to do is select the calendar you want to share, click on “Share with specific people,” and provide the email addresses of the people you want to share it with.
6. Keep sensitive data private
Sometimes you have to keep some data for yourself. It may be personal appointments or notes you don’t want to share with everybody. With Google Calendars, it’s easy. For example, you can set the status of an event to “Private,” and only you will be able to see it. Or, instead of writing a description for an event, you can write a note. The description is visible to people with whom you share the event. The note is only visible to you.
7. Enable flexible working schedules
Events aren’t the only type of records you can put in a calendar. Google Calendar allows you to add office hours, tasks, and appointment slots. By sharing your agenda with employees and colleagues, you let people know when you are at the office, free to have a chat, in a meeting, or on holiday. Remote work and flexible work schedules are quickly becoming the standard. But flexible working doesn’t mean living without boundaries. Use Google Calendar’s features to your advantage.
Related: How to ask for flexible working arrangements.
8. Keep Up with public holidays
Google Calendar provides a list of calendars of interest that covers public holidays in various countries, religious holidays, sports events, and even the phases of the Moon. While not many people are interested in the phases of the Moon, almost all of us deal with public holidays either in our country or in the home country of our co-workers. Religious holidays are also good to know. So, keep customized calendars with the public and religious holidays that affect your work. It helps you understand leave clashes, absenteeism, and people’s behavior around a particular time of the year. It also helps you plan better, develop better work relationships, and create a trustful work environment.
9. Keep up with time zones
Public holidays aren’t the only ones that mess with your agenda and make it difficult to keep track of co-workers and employees. Collaborating with people in different time zones also affects performance, productivity, and morale. But a simple World Clock in your Google Calendar can help you schedule meetings in different time zones. Your guest will see the scheduling in their time zone and never know the difference. And all you have to do is check “Show World Clock” in your calendar’s settings.
10. Schedule remote video conferences
How can you improve the way to organize meetings and reduce the number of back-and-forth emails? Easy. Click “Add Google Meet video conferencing “when creating the event. Google Calendar will automatically create a Google Meet link and share it with your guests. Everyone will have all relevant data in their calendars. Nothing is lost, and no one is late.
The Google Workspace team provides a video on how to add a meet link within Google Calendar:
11. Synchronize meetings with your team
Another back-and-forth communication process starts when you don’t know when your colleagues or employees have time for a meeting. You have to negotiate the time with all the people involved, which can take more than the actual meeting. With Google Calendar’s “Find a time” option, you can invite your guest to modify the event time until you find common ground.
12. Share documents and notes with your team
If you want to send everyone documents before a meeting, you can either attach them to a group email and hope everyone sees them or attach them to the meeting in Google Calendar and know everyone has them in time. Furthermore, if you use Google Workspace, you can use a Google Doc to take notes during the meeting and have it attached automatically to the meeting for everyone to see.
13. Email all Guests in one go
If you forgot to add a guest or simply want to send people a reminder or a pre-meeting note, you can use the “Email event details” option. It is available for all events in your calendar and allows you to send emails directly from the calendar. You have access to your entire email address list and can finish the task in no time without leaving the calendar and going through a different program.
14. Take Google calendar app on your phone
The way you decide to use Google Calendar is a personal choice. Of course, the app allows you to receive notifications, manage meetings, and check your schedule using the phone. But whether you see it as a benefit or as an invasion of your privacy is up to you.
Many people don’t spend their working day in front of a computer and appreciate the portability and versatility of the phone. Also, many people prefer to commit to work-related notifications for a limited time and keep the phone for private matters. It’s up to you how you balance work with life but keep in mind that you have the choice of not using a feature.
15. Set personal and professional goals
If you’ve decided to use the Google Calendar mobile app, you can also use it for setting personal goals. The app supports your healthy habits by suggesting a time for your activities and encouraging you to reach your goals. You may choose from various categories, such as spending time with family and friends, exercising, learning something new, or organizing your house.
Tip: Learn the 7 key steps of the goal-setting process.
Like all Google apps, Google Calendar uses artificial intelligence (AI) to learn your habits and behaviors, build patterns, and propose what it thinks is best for you. On one side, it’s helpful because it provides personalized services. On the other side, it’s invasive, and some people may be concerned about the amount of information Google knows about them. Therefore, there isn’t a universal best way to use Google Calendar. However, you can find a setup that fits your privacy preferences, work processes, social interactions, and lifestyle. The secret is to check out all Google Calendar’s features and see which ones work for you.