Get the Most Out of Google Calendar

From business executives to busy parents, an organized online calendar can make life a lot simpler. There are a variety of calendar programs available to the interested potential client, but Google Calendar may be the best option for you.

gcGoogle Calendar is free with a Google account, plus you don’t even need to download any programs or software because it is accessible via your web browser. Your information regarding appointments, birthdays, etc. are all stored within Google’s cloud computing system, so you don’t have to worry about losing all your info during a hard drive failure.

Another plus: because you’re storing your calendar on the internet, you can easily share your appointment information with other users. You can also schedule an event and create invitations online and have the event automatically appear on your friends’ online calendars should they RSVP. If you and your friends all share calendars, you can know exactly when they are free and schedule your friendship accordingly.

The Google Calendar is outfitted with a fairly simple interface that most users find intuitive enough. You can see a small, traditional calendar lay out on the leftmost bar of the screen that displays the current month and highlights the day. The majority of the rest of the screen is made up of a list of a calendar with the days of the current month listed top to bottom, starting with the current day. In this format, users can see their appointments listed chronologically for each day of the month.

Users can also choose to view their calendar by day, week, month, or a view that simply displays the next four days. An “agenda” lists all your events chronologically as opposed to day.

text notificationOnce you pick your favorite view, you can block out time on the calendar by clicking on the appropriate day and dragging it down. In the rectangle that forms, Google Calendar then allows you to fill in details about the appointment you’re creating. You can put in a subject header, or include the location as well as short description (name of person you’re meeting, parking info, directions, etc). You can also use a repeating function if the event happens every day, week, month or year such as a piano lesson, a yoga class, or a birthday. Through the month view, you can even block out time for multiple days, a useful feature for trips and vacations.

To be honest, most calendar programs actually offer all of these services. However, Google Calendar understands that and has taken steps to differentiate itself from the rest of its competitors. For example, it includes a search function that allows for you to search through not only your own calendar, but all public calendars that use Google’s system. This allows you to synchronize your own calendar with that of your favorite comedy club, a work conference, a sports team’s game schedule, whatever. The search function is also helpful if you like to have your own private calendar as well as several public ones; it makes it so you can quickly and efficiently sift through all of them.

Google Calendar can also send you text message reminders of appointments, attach photos and Google Maps directions to events, comment on public event entries and receive comments.

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