12 Google Calendar Hacks for Maximum Productivity

Jillian Knox Finley
PHOTO:

Jessie Webster for Lonny

When it comes to productivity, we’re always looking to build a better mousetrap. Organization is the key to success. Calendar hacks are time-saving musts for any workday. From keyboard shortcuts to world clocks, Google has more than a few easy-to-navigate tricks up its sleeve. Keep scrolling for our favorite go-to tips.

Find a Meeting Time

Assuming your invitees all use GCal, by signing into your calendar, creating a new event, and clicking the Find a Time tab from Event Details, you can survey options for meeting times that work for all parties. Adding the invitee’s email addresses will display their personal calendars. You can also use the Suggest a Time feature to have Google choose for you. Once you find the perfect time slot, just select and save.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Enable keyboard shortcuts by clicking the top right corner of your Google calendar. Once you’ve enabled them in settings, you’ll have a series of actions available with just one keystroke. For example, “T” moves you to the current day, and “R” will refresh the calendar. View the full list of shortcuts here.

Use Quick Add

To add a new event quickly, simply hit “Q” on your keyboard or click Create. Fill in your meeting title and time, and GCal will add it for you. To include attendees, add the email addresses you want to invite to the entry.

View Offline

Download the latest version of Google Calendar or Chrome to access your calendar without a WiFi connection. You’ll be able to view and respond to event invitations. Here’s how to turn on offline access and sync your calendars. Note: Your responses will save to be sent as soon as you log back online.

Set Up Reminders

Want a text message reminder from your calendar? That’s an option in Settings. Google allows you to specify your reminder type by email, text, pop-up, or direct SMS. If you’re the forgetful sort, this would be the no-excuses feature…

Enable World Clock

If you’re working with offices across a range of time zones, the world clock feature is everything. Select the Labs section and enable the world clock. From there, select which clocks or time zone you want to be able to view. The calendar will show you what time it is in each corresponding time zone accordingly.

Use One-on-One Names

Make attendee names readily visible within the calendar without having to click into the event details. To enable the one-on-one names function, simply toggle the setting on within Google Calendar Labs.

Specify Locations

The super handy Where box within the event will enable attendees to click through to a map of the meeting location in question. Rather than giving directions, simply enter the address in the Where field and voilà—a Google map for all.

Enable Gentle Notifications

Google’s 10-Minute notification setting makes somewhat of a boisterous noise while simultaneously taking up your entire screen, all as a reminder. If you want to avoid the aggressive pop-up alert route, enable Gentle Notifications within Labs. When it's time for a reminder, you’ll get an aptly described gentle ping.

Make Your View Custom

You can change the date range of your view within Settings. Select Custom View then choose the range you prefer from the drop down menu. Only want to see the next four days? No problem. You’ll have the option to view by week, month, day range, or agenda only.

Check the Weather

Our favorite Boy Scout feature, this ingenious hack promises to leave you perennially prepared and appropriately outfitted. By integrating the weather report into your calendar, you can easily view the daily forecast surrounding any event. Go to Settings and under the General tab, enter the location and select either Celsius or Fahrenheit—weather details on demand.

Send Your Calendar to Your Phone

GCal will send you your daily agenda if you text “day” to the code 48368. Want the next day’s too? Text “next” to the same number and it goes straight to your smartphone. That’s as stealth as it comes.

Shop home office essentials below. 

Have a favorite Google Calendar hack? Tell us in the comments below.

Add a Comment

More Stories
1