5 Power User Tips for Google Calendar
Google Calendar is one of the most important tools in a time-starved business person’s kit. Since time management is so vital in today’s fast-paced business world, mastery of Google Calendar is key to properly managing your time and your business. Everyone knows the basics - how to schedule an event, invite people, and so on - so we’ll stick to power user tips that you may not know about to supercharge your scheduling.
1) Stop: World Time
Companies in most sizes and sectors have to deal with customers in different time zones. Management of time across different time zones with Google Calendar is relatively easy - any user you send an invite to automatically receives an invitation for the proper time in their time zone, so you don’t need to sweat the small stuff. But did you know that Google Calendar offers you a way to see any world time zone you want? You just have to turn the feature on. First, go to “Labs” by clicking on the Gear icon at the right and scrolling down.
Once there, you’ll probably see a few labs you want to enable. Scroll down to the bottom, and enable “World Clock.” Protip: make sure to hit “Save” at the bottom once you enable it, otherwise it won’t work.
You will then get a helpful reminder in your sidebar of what time it is in whichever time zones you select that you do the most business with. Make sure to install it on any new staff member’s Google Calendar, especially if they are new to the workforce - a classic rookie mistake is calling that oh-so-important California customer at 9:00am EST.
2) Use Google Calendar’s New Smart Scheduling
Before we wax poetic about this wonderful feature, we’ll throw a bit of a wrench at you - it’s only available on mobile. So until 2017, when Google is making it available on the web version of Google Calendar, you’ll have to use it from a tablet or your smartphone. It would be helpful if Google rolled out new features to all platforms at once, but let’s not look this time-saving gift horse in the mouth. If you’re working with a team and you are all on G Suite, Smart Scheduling will automatically find a time that works for everyone AND find available meeting rooms in your building should you have them. No more endless emails back and forth with silence from that one team member who absolutely has to be at the meeting - now it looks at their calendar, sees that they are free, and schedules the meeting for them. This tool not only saves meeting organizers a ton of time, it will force people to start using Google Calendar to block off times that they aren’t free so that when you pop open a team member’s calendar, you’ll get their actual schedule rather than a best guess. Read more about Smart Scheduling here.
3) Play with your Settings
You may have spent years using Google Calendar without ever opening your settings - change that. Click that gear icon, and instead of hitting “Labs”, hit “Settings”. Then, change everything in there that makes your life easier, such as changing default event duration from 60 to 30 minutes, turning on browser notifications of events, automatically adding invitations to your calendar if you have responded “Yes” or “Maybe”, and more. Just changing your settings alone will save you minutes per day. As with Labs, make sure you hit “Save” at the bottom of the page, or none of your great changes will be saved.
4) Install the Chrome Extension for Google Calendar
Loading up Google Calendar to check everything is so five years ago. The Chrome extension will give you one-touch access to your Calendar from your browser, wherever you happen to be online. See at a glance what your day looks like without the hard work of typing calendar.google.com into your address bar. OK, it’s not hard work, but when you have 10 tabs open who wants to cram another one in there? With the Chrome extension, you don’t have to. Install it by clicking here.
5) Enable Offline Access
Technically, your business should always be connected. But for those moments when you are on the road or the network is down and you still need to see your meetings, enabling offline access is a must. It’s very easy and will save your bacon when you need it most. To do it, hit that Gear on the right again, click “Offline” and then click “Install from Web Store”. Hint - you don’t have to do this if you followed tip #4 above - it’s the same Chrome extension. This will automatically save all of your events, so you can access all of your events offline. We have more tips available for Google Calendar in past blog posts. Find out how to create a master Google Calendar to merge all of your business and personal accounts into one calendar that rules them all, and find out how to use Reminders and Goals to project manage your work and home life. For the price of the small amount of time it will take for you to set up the items in these tips and our past posts, you will become your office Google Calendar guru - just make sure to wield your power for good. If you and your team aren’t on G Suite yet, contact UpCurve Cloud today to learn how you can solve that problem. Purchasing G Suite from a reseller is a smart business move, since you’ll have us at your beck and call if you have questions, and benefit from all the integrations and training we can offer for G Suite. Schedule a call with us in your Google Calendar today.