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50 Quick Tips for Google Calendar

We published 40 Quick Tips for Using Google Calendar back in 2009, which is a lifetime ago in Google years. It’s been our most popular post, and we thought it was high time we updated our list of tips (and add another 10).

Here are 50 quick tips for 2011:

  1. Dim past or repeated future events. Under Settings > General scroll down to ‘Event dimming’ and choose whether to dim past events, recurring future events, or both. Helps with busy calendars!
  2. Change your default meeting length. Under Settings > General scroll down to “Default meeting length” to change your default to 15, 30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes.
  3. Set a 5 day calendar. Under Settings > General scroll down to “Custom view” and select the number of days you want to display.
  4. Change default view. Under Settings > General scroll down and select Day, Week, Month, or configure a custom view for “Default view.”
  5. Display additional time zones. Under Settings > General scroll down to “Your current time zone.” Schedule others throughout the country, or across the globe!
  6. Change your work hours. Don’t work a “normal” work week? Scroll down under Settings > General to “Working hours.”
  7. Add an attachment to your event. Under Settings > Labs and enable “Event attachments.” After it’s enabled you can attach Google Docs under the Event Details screen (share the Google Doc with your recipients prior to attaching it to a calendar event).
  8. Speedy Meetings. Under Settings > General scroll down to “Default meeting length” and check the ‘Speedy meetings’ box. 30 minute meetings end five minutes early, 1 hour meetings end ten minutes early, etc. Encourages meeting efficiency and helps get you to your next meeting on time!
  9. Jump to a date. Go to Settings > Labs and enable “Jump to date.”
  10. Keep track of time around the world. Under Settings > Labs scroll down to “World clock” and enable it.
  11. Put a background on your calendar. Under Settings > Labs enable “Background image” and go to General Settings to upload a picture.
  12. Change your Calendar name. Click on the down-arrow next to your calendar and select “Calendar settings.” Choose the first option to change Calendar name.
  13. Set multiple reminders. You can have up to five reminders set to different times for each event. Go under Calendar Settings > Notifications.
  14. Create a notes-only calendar. You can create calendars for a variety of reasons, such as notes, checkout items or personal use; select Create in the “My calendars” box at left.
  15. Give a specific event a particular color. Click on your specific event, and then click Edit Event. Choose a color under “Event Color.”
  16. Change the color of your Calendar. Click on the arrow next to your calendar and select the color you’d like.
  17. Browse interesting calendars. Click the down arrow next to “Other Calendars”
  18. Add the phases of the moon. Under Browse Interesting Calendars > More subscribe to “Phases of the Moon.” Helps keep track of the mood swings of your fellow colleagues who may or may not be werwolves.
  19. Add holidays to your calendar. Under Browse Interesting Calendars > Holidays search and subscribe to different holiday calendars.
  20. Hide the guest list. If you don’t want others to know who is coming to a meeting, uncheck “see guest list” in an event’s details.
  21. Follow the red line. The calendar shows you what time it is and where you should be.
  22. Added the wrong thing? After every save you can click Undo at the top of the screen.
  23. Quickly turn off all other calendars. On the arrow next to the calendar you want to see, select “Display only this calendar.”
  24. Quickly zoom to the Day View. Let’s make it easy! Simply click the date to switch views.
  25. Include a calendar item in your Gmail message. When typing up an email message, click “Add event invitation.”
  26. Quickly add an appointment on Gmail. When in Gmail, scroll down to your Google Calendar gadget (activate via Gmail labs) and click Add below it.
  27. Choose which calendars you see on Gmail. Scroll down to your Google Calendar gadget window. Select Options > Edit visible calendars.
  28. Save your calendar as a PDF. Click on the Print button at the top. A window will come up that will allow you to select “Save as.”
  29. Duplicate an event. Click More actions >Duplicate event, under the event details. This will allow you to send out a copy of the original invite at a different time.
  30. Copy an event to another calendar. Under the event details, select “More actions.”
  31. Search your calendar. Click on “Show search options” and select the details you would like to search on.
  32. Add a time in the name of an all day event. Either edit using Event details or use quotation marks around the time.
  33. Grant friends or family rights to your calendar. Under Sharing, add the email address of a friend or family member and select the appropriate rights.
  34. Quickly add an event. Click the down arrow next to “create” at the left, and type in all your information to quickly add it to your calendar.
  35. Email your reminder. Reminders can be set to email or pop up on your screen.
  36. Move an event to a different calendar. Under the appointment event details, select “Calendar” and change the option to a different calendar.
  37. Set your meetings to recur often. In the “Create event details” screen, select “Repeat” and specify the timeframe of the meeting.
  38. Embed your calendar in your website. Under Calendar details is the HTML code to paste into your website (doesn’t work in WordPress).
  39. Put your meeting on the map. Put your address in the “Where” field in event details. Recipients will have a link to a map to show them where the meeting is to take place.
  40. Create appointment slots. Click anywhere on your calendar to start an event, and then turn on “Appointment Slots” at the top.
  41. See what’s coming up at a glance. Under Settings > Labs scroll down to “Next Meeting” and enable. A small box will appear in your calendar with a countdown to your next event.
  42. Switch between “Classic” and “New” looks. Switch between the two under the gear icon at the top-right.
  43. Attach your meeting agenda. In the event details, select “Add a Google document” (and make sure to share the Google Doc beforehand so recipients can open it)
  44. Should I go to a meeting? When you receive an invite you’ll see a quick agenda view of the day of the appointment in the upper-right corner. You can also click “View calendar.”
  45. Add Google Calendars to your Google Toolbar. You’ll need the latest version of Google Toolbar for a Google Calendar button. Click here for both.
  46. Quickly add a task when creating an all-day event. You can switch between Event and Task in the all-day event dialog window.
  47. Change the owner. Sometimes you may schedule a meeting but you don’t want to manage it long-term. Change the owner by selecting “More actions” under the event details.
  48. Display the weather. Set your location and click “Show weather” in Calendar settings.
  49. Print out calendar with meeting details. Choose the “Agenda view” and click Print. Make sure to select “Print descriptions.”
  50. Check out keyboard shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts help navigation to be fast and easy!

Thanks to Mark Fitzgerald for contributing tips!
To learn more about Google Calendar check out the Google Apps Education Training Center.
Learn more about changing your Google Calendar settings.
Questions? Email GoogleGal@boisestate.edu.

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