Tips on how to use Google Calendar effectively

Google Calendar is perhaps one of the less “flashy” parts of Google Workspace.

On the surface, it’s just a calendar. For millions of us though, it’s also the tool we use to make sure our working week doesn’t collapse in on itself like an imploding sun.

That’s a lot of responsibility for one little calendar app. But Google Calendar is more than up to the challenge – and more besides.

Lots of people use this app without being aware of all of the handy things it can do. Here are some Google Calendar tips and tricks you might not have known about:

Google calendar features to explore

1) Set your working hours

This sounds pretty simple. If you haven’t set your working hours in Google Calendar before though, you’d better sit down. You are about to be very pleased.

Are you one of those people who struggles to separate working time from your own time?

Set your schedule into Google Calendar and watch (or, preferably, don’t – go read a book or something) while it auto-declines meetings outside of your working hours and sends anyone calling your number when you’re not working to your voicemail on your behalf.

No awkward apologies. No “I guess I should answer this”. You’re not working right now. Google Calendar knows it. And it’ll tell anyone who asks.

2) Share your Calendar

Many people don’t realise, but the G-Suite’s trademark collaboration tools most definitely include Calendar.

Share your calendar with your team and you’ll always know each other’s schedules. It’s really handy for choosing a good time for meetings, saving you entire rounds of, “No, I can’t do then… can you do X…?”

Plus, you can create secondary calendars for specific tasks and projects.

3) Create recurring events

Sick of needing to punch in the details of the same meeting, stand-up, or event every week? No problem.

Set recurring daily or weekly meetings or choose another timescale entirely. This handy little Google Calendar feature is a surprising time-saver.

4) Add your resources to Calendar Resources

Inside Google Calendar there’s a shared tool called “Calendar Resources”. Like many of Calendar’s features, to begin with, it doesn’t sound like much.

It’s a tool that lets you add some of your company’s resources to an availability list and let people check them in and out when they’re available. These could be things like:

  • Meeting rooms
  • Desks
  • Company vehicles or equipment

So far, so convenient. But, using Calendar Resources, you can do a lot more than simply view whether these resources are available and mark when you’re using them.

Get a great oversight of how your company is using resources like these by having Calendar Resources produce demand and usage reports. Use these reports to judge whether there’s a way to make that use more efficient.

Go into the admin console to set up this brilliant feature.

5) Explore Calendar Insights

Ever feel like you spend every waking hour in a meeting? Calendar knows how accurate (or not) that feeling is. And now, with the new Calendar Insights tool, it can tell you.

You can use the insights you gain from this handy little tracker to see how much time you and your team spend carrying out various tasks – like meetings – and thus to improve your efficiency.

That’s a handy addition for any business. Or occasionally a bit of an eye-opener on an individual level!

Start using Google Calendar more effectively

Wherever you use the Google Calendar app, it’s worth knowing that it can do a lot more for your business than just being a place to jot down when your next meeting is due to happen.

Like a lot of the apps in Google Workspace, the strengths Calendar can provide your business only really become apparent when you start using it to its full potential.

Want to learn more about how Google Workspace and other collaboration tools can improve your business?

Let’s chat. Dial A Geek already supports almost 1000 businesses in and around Bristol in getting the most from their tech.

Set up a cost and commitment-free discussion with Chief Geek Gildas Jones today. We’ll talk through how we can help you get the most from yours.