Setting up your Google Calendar

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Let’s start with a simple question, what is Google Calendar? Well, it might not come as a surprise but Google Calendar is a time management and scheduling tool developed by Google. 

It’s a digital calendar that allows users to create and manage events, schedule meetings, set reminders and share their calendars with others. You can access it from any device that connects to the web or through its iOS and Android mobile apps.

A digital calendar is essential for staying organized in our modern-day hustle and bustle world. Google Calendar provides an easy-to-use interface for managing events and tasks and setting reminders to ensure that nothing is forgotten. Additionally, the ability to share calendars with others allows means you to avoid double-booking events and overall better coordination and communication with your teams and clients. If you are a Gmail user, the calendar integrates natively making scheduling events and meetings easy. Let’s look at how to get your Google Calendar set up.

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How to create and manage events?

It’s really easy to create Google Calendar events.

Start by opening Google Calendar in a web browser or in the mobile app. If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll need to create one. 

To create a new event, find the date you want and click on the time you want to book in the calendar view. Alternatively, you can click the "+" in the top left corner. You’ll get a couple of options to choose from, including; event, focus time and out-of-office. 

Choose "Event" and a box will appear in the middle of the screen. Enter a title, location and start and end times. You can also add guests, set reminders and add video conferencing as needed.

Event Catch Up (Blue) Graphic

To add guests, click the "Add guests" section and enter the email addresses of the people you want to invite. You can also add guests from your contacts. To do that, type the first few letters of their name or email and a dropdown should appear with your options.

Reminders aren’t called reminders in Google Calendar, but you can set them. Click on "More Options" at the bottom of the box and you should be taken to a new page with all your event details. Next to the bell under the meeting location, you’ll see a box that says “Notification”. Clicking this and the time options next to it will allow you to tailor when people are reminded of your event. You can also change “Notification” to “Email” and they will receive an email reminder. If you’d like to have more than one reminder sent, simply click “Add Notification” and a new line should appear.

Once you’ve done all this, you can add a description if you want people to have an idea of what your event is about. Just don’t forget to hit “Save” on the top right. 

It’s also easy to manage Google Calendar events. To edit an event, click on it and when the box appears, select the pencil. You can now update the details as you need to. You can also do this by double-clicking the event. To delete a meeting, click on it and select the trash can. If you need to move an event, click and hold on it, then drag and drop it to the new date and time.

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How to use the different views?

Google Calendar offers several views to manage your schedule the way you want to. 

Day view: This view shows you a breakdown of what’s happening in each hour of the day. It's useful for a quick glance at your schedule and to check what's happening and for how long. 

Week view: Like day view, but with details of what’s happening across the entire week. It's helpful in getting an overview of your week's schedule and planning ahead. 

Month view: This lets you zoom out and see what’s happening across the month.

Schedule view: This one is a little different from the others. It lists everything you have in your calendar, separated by day and whether you’re attending, maybe attending or have declined.

You also have a year view and five-day view, which is like week view but only shows the next five days.

To switch between views and customize your calendar, you can use the tabs at the top right of the screen. Use the view that works best for you. Whether it's daily, weekly or monthly make sure it’s helping you be productive.

Blue Poll Graphic

How to customize the Google Calendar view? 

Customizing your Google Calendar view, such as changing the color of events, can make your schedule easier to understand. It is relatively easy to customize views in Google Calendar. 

If it’s not already on the left-hand side of the screen, clicking the three lines on the top left corner will open up an insights panel. From where you can see the month at a glance, a “Meet with…” box that lets you find time with colleagues also using Google Calendar and “My Calendar” toggles to decide what you see. There are also some insights to see how much time you spend in meetings. 

If you want to use Google Calendar color codes, you simply have to right-click on any event and you’ll have a choice of colors and the option to add a label - helpful if you want to group certain events together.

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