Using Google Calendar’s advanced features

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So you’ve set up your digital calendar and are booking and confirming events. But, did you know, the Google Calendar can do even more? Let's dive in and discover new ways to take your scheduling to the next level.

How to assign color codes to your events? 

Google Calendar color codes are a valuable feature that allows you to group certain types of events together. This can help you quickly identify and differentiate between work meetings, personal appointments and social events.

Using color coding is really simple and can be done in two ways. 

When you’re creating an event, at the bottom of the box you should see a colored circle next to your calendar’s name. Clicking on this will let you choose from a range of colors or even add a label if you want to be reminded of what the colors mean. Alternatively, if you’ve already made the event, simply right-click it and you’ll be able to pick a color. Easy. 

Google Calendar color codes can help you stay organized, save time and increase productivity.

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How to use the Tasks, Focus Time and Out of Office features?

Google Calendar Tasks is like creating a to-do list on your calendar. It can help you set and stick to deadlines as well as manage your time more efficiently. 

Similar to creating an event, find the day and time you want to set as your deadline. Click on it and when the box pops up, select “Task”. You’ll then have to add a description and change the date if you need to. Once you’re finished click “Save”. 

Once you’ve completed your task, simply click on it and then choose “Mark Complete”.

Google Calendar Task (blue)

Google Calendar Focus Time is created in a very similar way, but with one difference - you can automatically decline meetings. 

Like Tasks, choose the time and date you want. Add a description and a location if you wish, but the important thing here is that if you want to make sure you’re not disturbed, select “Automatically decline meetings” and decide if that’s just new meetings or existing ones too. 

Out of Office lets you inform people you’re away from work quickly. Simply choose the date and time when your leave starts and when the event box opens, click “Out of Office”. From here set the period you’re away, whether or not to decline meetings and if you want to add a message. 

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Events from Gmail - Pull invites from your email

We do more and more of our planning via email. Flight reservations, hotel bookings, concert tickets…the list goes on.

The Events from Gmail feature automatically adds events like these to your calendar, saving you from having to do it manually and ensuring you never miss another important event. 

The great thing is that you don’t have to do anything for these to appear on your calendar. However, if you want to make sure others can’t see these events, click “Settings” in the top right. Find “Events from Gmail” and decide if only you can see them or others who have access to your calendar. 

How to use Google Calendar on mobile devices 

Google Calendar is available as a mobile app for both iOS and Android. You can use it to keep track of your schedule either in the app itself or integrated via your phone's mail and calendar tools.

If you want to use the Google Calendar apps, download them via the App Store or Google Play. Once installed, log in to your Google account and you should be able to see all your upcoming events and appointments. Like on desktop, you can switch views, create and delete events and pull invites from Gmail.

Depending on your mobile device, you can log in to your Gmail account and sync the mail and calendar functions with your Google Calendar. 

For iOS, head to the settings and select "Calendar", then “Accounts” and finally “Add Account”. From here, select Google and log in as normal. Once complete, you'll have a Google calendar iCal sync.

For Android, Google Calendar is already integrated with the Android operating system. So, it is automatically synced with the built-in calendar app on your Android device.

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