008: How You Should Really Be Using Google Calendar


Talking about calendars seems so basic right? I know, but I’m going to give you a few extra tips for ways to use your Google Calendar that you might not be using. Don’t sleep on these, they could be game changers!

Discussed In This Episode:

  • Learn why you should be using multiple calendars [00:53]
  • How to set up your birthdays and anniversaries [04:29]
  • Don’t forget those sneaky seasonal reminders [05:55]
  • Adding your trials and subscriptions [06:47]
  • Setting up a bills + accounts calendar [08:41]
  • Setting up goals can be helpful [11:08]
  • Learn how to easily set up meetings with others [13:12]
  • How to subscribe to Facebook event calendars [14:24]
  • Using appointment slots and out of office hours [15:46]
  • Q+A: What tools can I use to convert video (mp4) or m4a to mp3? [18:51]

Mentioned in this episode:

Related blog posts:

Other Helpful links:


How You Should Really Be Using Google Calendar

Set up multiple calendars

  • Color code with multiple calendars. Here are some great ideas: birthdays, anniversaries, tv shows, bills, shared calendars (like school activities or time off), sports and holidays. I like using separate calendars because you can color code them and click them on and off when your calendar starts to get too full.

Here’s how I setup my birthdays + anniversaries calendar

  • Add the birthday or anniversary, include the year so you always know which bday or anniversary it is – that way you can make sure to send special gifts for the big ones (Sarah Jones, 1988)
  • I also add a blocker a week out to send a card (or a couple weeks if I tend to send a gift for that person).
  • Add seasonal things as all day events like: change my Keurig machine filter, my A/C filters, and pay quarterly taxes.
  • Another tip – whenever I sign up for something that has a free trial and I’m not sure if I’ll be keeping it, I will count out the days of the trial and a couple days before, I either make sure it’s cancelled before the trial is over, or I add it to my bill pay list.
    • Tip: If you know for sure you won’t keep something past the trial, you can cancel most things immediately and still retain the use of the free trial days. If I sign up for a subscription, I will go ahead and put the re-bill day on the calendar as well (I have a separate Bills + Accounts calendar), even though most subscriptions come out automatically, I like to know when they are coming from. I will also add the link to my account and how I am being billed (PayPal, App, or CC) in the notes section in case I do need to cancel one day, I don’t have to search around for it.

Let Google help you set times for your goals

  • You’ll have to do this in the mobile app first, then you can manage it via web if you’d like
  • When you create a Goal in Google Calendar, you’ll choose how much time you want to spend on it each week, and Google automatically schedules time to work on your goal.
  • If you later end up with a conflict at that time, the session will automatically be rescheduled for you.
  • Over time, scheduling gets better as Google Calendar learns your preferences.

Schedule Meetings with others? Use the ‘suggested time’ feature

  • If you don’t have permission to view someone’s calendar, Google can’t consider their schedule when choosing a time.
  • The ‘available times’ feature is similar, but you’ll be able to see events and possible conflicts.

Add Facebook events

  • From your “Events” page in Facebook, right-click “Upcoming events” from your right hand sidebar. Copy this link.
  • Open Google Calendar, and from Other Calendars, select Add by URL.
  • Paste the link you’ve just copied, save your changes, and voila! Your Facebook events should appear in your Google Calendar.

If you don’t already have a task manager you love, you can use Google tasks

Tasks can easily be accessed by clicking the little pencil icon in the right sidebar of your calendar. You can create tasks + subtasks, and attach a time and date

Use appointment slots

If you don’t have a booking system like Calendly or Acuity, just use the appointment feature! It’s not as pretty as the fancy schedulers but if you just need something that can present times to ppl without the back and forth emails, it will do the trick.

Lastly, Automatically decline invites with the Out of office feature

Block times on your calendar with the “out of office” label in your event, and any invites sent to you during that time will instantly be declined. No more awkward rescheduling emails.


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