6 Google Calendar Tips and Tricks for Power Users

Old-fashioned calendar with Google logo overlay

If Google Calendar were a paid app, it would be well worth the money. The fact that it’s free makes it a knockout punch. With the ability to sync to mobile devices and desktop applications plus more features than we could cover in 5 posts, it really has the market cornered on calendar apps.

While you can use Google Calendar simply to schedule appointments and keep track of your day-to-day activities, there’s a lot more just under the surface. Give these 6 tips and tricks a look to see how you can be better at using Google Calendar and get everything you can from this free application.

1. Add Tasks

You can use your Google Calendar as a versatile to-do list that runs alongside your events and appointments.

On the main Google Calendar page, click the down arrow next to My calendars and then turn on Tasks by clicking on the square next to the title.

Turning on Tasks in Google Calendar

This will turn tasks on and open up the Tasks window to the right of your calendar. Now just add tasks as you would in any other task manager and click the > next to the task name to get more options, like Due date and lists.

Tasks window in Google Calendar

2. Change Custom Date Range View

By default, Google Calendar shows a Week view starting on Sunday. You can change this easily with the view buttons at the top of the calendar itself.

Calendar view buttons

If you want to see only what’s going on today, choose Day. If you want an item-by-item agenda, click Agenda.

Week View:
Week View in Google Calendar

Agenda View:

Agenda View in Google Calendar

Pro Tip: Use keyboard shortcuts to navigate through the different views. Just hit the first letter of each view name to be taken directly to it.

  • Day – d
  • Week – w
  • Month – m
  • 4 Days – 4
  • Agenda – a

You can customize the views even more if you want.

Click on the Settings gear icon or hit “s” on your keyboard to be taken to calendar settings. Scroll down until you see Default view and decide what view you want as your default.

Then choose what your custom view shows. This is set by default at 4 Days, but you can make it show you the next 5 days up to the next 4 weeks.

3. Add Interesting Calendars

There are some pre-made calendars out there that you can subscribe to, giving you features like national holidays and sports.

Go to Settings and click on Calendars.

Calendar settings tabs

Look for the Other Calendars section and click on Browse interesting calendars.
Other Calendars section in Google Calendar

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You can add pre-existing calendars for holidays in just about every country, as well as all the major sports and even more unusual things like phases of the moon, stardate, and the week numbers.

You can also subscribe to calendars for which you have the URL. Under the More Tools section, just click on Add by URL and paste the calendar’s address in.

4. Get a Daily Agenda Email

If you live and breathe email, getting your daily agenda there would be a good thing, right? You can have Google Calendar email you your events for the day.

Go to Settings > Calendars > Reminders and notifications.

Calendars tab in Google Calendar settings

Look for the Daily agenda item and check the Email box. Now you’ll get an email every day at 5 a.m. with your daily agenda.

Daily Agenda options in Google Calendar

5. Remember Events with Calendar Search

To get to the search bar in Google Calendar, just hit the / (slash) key and you’ll jump to it. The search bar is fine for simple searches, but this is about power users, so you should expect more.

Click the down arrow at the end of the search bar and you’ll get an advanced search where you can add in all kinds of criteria. This is great if you know you had a meeting last month but can’t remember where it was, or you want to remember when your anniversary is.

Advanced Search box in Google Calendar

6. Offline Access

There are a few ways to access Gmail when the service is down, but what about Google Calendar?

With the Google Chrome browser you can. Just install this plug-in for Chrome and you can save your calendars locally in case you lose Internet connectivity.

It’s a good idea to set this one up now instead of waiting for when you’re without connection and you really need to see your calendar.

Wrap-Up

Have a favorite tweak or hack that you can’t live without in Google Calendar? Leave it in the comments below so we can all get the most out of Google Calendar and be more productive.

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