WORKPLACE / JUL. 07, 2014
version 5, draft 5

How to Use Google Calendar

The hectic pace of today’s business world can send your schedule into a tailspin of disorganisation and missed appointments. Utilising an online service like Google Calendar can become a life saver for your scheduling. As a business owner, I was one of the slower ones to jump on to the bandwagon of technology. For a long time I still wrote out appointments in a datebook which I carried with me. Once I began using Google Calendar, I completely loved the system and have found much value in it. This article will discuss the benefits and share how to use the calendar.

The following is a listing of the benefits to using this service:

  1. This is a free online service, but users are required to have a Google account.
  2. Users can share schedules with others for easy appointment tracking.
  3. They offer a two-way syncing feature to mobile devices or tablets while on the go.
  4. Users can schedule event and appointment reminders via emails or text messages.
  5. Invitations for these appointments are easily sent and RSVP’s can be tracked.
  6. The calendar syncs with desktop apps like Apple iCal and Mozilla Sunbird.
  7. Even if users are offline, they still maintain access to their calendars.

Personal User Experience Utilising This Service

As I mentioned, I am a business owner and co-own a marketing company with my husband. Since he doesn’t like to keep dates on a schedule, he has always relied on me to tell him when we have events and other appointments. Before I began using Google calendar, I started to use the calendar app on my Android phone. However, then any appointments I’d input would have to be input separately into the calendar app on his phone—way too much work for me. That’s when I realised that I should be using the Google Calendar to keep track of our schedule by inputting appointments and events into the calendar via the computer or through the smart phone app. The best part of this is that I only have to input the date one time and it’s saved on the Google Calendar online and on both of our calendars since we’ve linked our accounts. I visited this link during my exploratory process to learn more about Google Calendar.

Simple Steps How to Use Google Calendar

Step # 1: Getting Started

I find that it is always vital to do your research first before starting a new project. Take the time to do a quick review of the getting started tips on the Google Calendar Support Page. They list details on the 7 benefits of utilising this system as well as the three main questions users have. How do you create an event? How do you invite guests to your event? How do you create multiple calendars for business and also personal use? Then go to the Google Calendar site and log in to your account to get access to your calendar.  

Step # 2: Create an Event

Creating an event or appointment is a simple process. Click the date or time field to create an event. In the “what” field you then type the name of the event and then click “create event”. There are navigation buttons in the upper right corner where you can view the calendar in the following: day, week, month, and 4 days. The display density can be viewed in three different settings: comfortable, cozy and compact. You can also create an event by clicking the red “create” button in the upper left corner. There is also a “quick add” drop down tab where you can type for example, Dinner with Michael 7 pm tomorrow. If you want to search for an event, type an event name in the search field at the top of the calendar page. Editing an event is simple by just clicking on the name of the event and then hitting the “edit event” tab.  

Step # 3: Invite Guests to Events

You can also invite other people to your events that you plan. This is a helpful feature for planning meetings in the office as well as phone conferences etc. In the lower right corner of the event editing section, you can “add” guests by listing their email addresses in the add box. Google gives you the option to send invitations to the guests that you selected. Those invitations will be sent by Google to their email addresses. Be sure to check the options you’d like to set for the guests. For example, can guests modify the event? Can guests invite others to attend? Can guests see the guest list?

Step # 4: Share Your Calendar

Go to the calendar tabs section to the left of the website and click the down arrow by the calendar you’d like to share. Then click the “share this calendar” link. A new page will open and you can enter the email addresses of the person or people you’d like to share your calendar with. You can make this calendar public to all. However, if you are granting access to specific individuals, you also give them different levels of access. The permission settings are as follows: see all event details, make changes and manage sharing, make changes to events, or see only free/busy (hide details).

Step # 5: Create a 2nd Calendar

You can create multiple calendars for yourself. For example, maybe you’d like to have separate business and personal calendars. Maybe you run a blog and need to keep track of guest bloggers on a separate calendar. The process is simple. Go back to the “my calendars” tab on the left of the website. Click the down arrow to create a new calendar. A new page will come up and you’ll give this new calendar a name, as well as description, location and time zone if you wish. You can make the calendar public or not and also share it with others by entering email addresses into the box and adding these people, along with giving permissions.

Step # 6: Sync Your Calendar

The final step in this process is to sync your calendar with your mobile device and tablet. This is not required to utilise the system. However, it makes life easier for you by having your calendar events synced to all your devices. Simply add a Google Calendar app to your mobile device and tablet and follow the log in directions then the device will sync automatically. Most mobile devices are compatible with the app. However, if your device isn’t, you can still access the calendar by opening an Internet browser and going to the Google Calendar page.

Utilising the Google Calendar system is beneficial in many ways to help keep your schedule organised and on track. As shown in this article, there are 7 basic benefits to using the free service and the steps to get started are user friendly. Creating a calendar, adding events, inviting guests and sharing these events with others is a simple process. Syncing the calendar to your mobile devices is automatic once the app is downloaded and you can even create multiple calendars. Keeping an organised schedule has never been easier.


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