Managing Your Schedule with Google Calendar

Many people have a difficult time with time management skills, but there are quick and easy ways that you can help yourself to schedule and manage your time in a more effective manner. One great idea that works well for many people is entering a weekly schedule of events into a Calendar.

One of the most important tools in managing your day to day schedule is to use an online Calendar. Google Calendar is a very popular one as you can access it from any web enabled device and you can also sync your appointments with a tablet or smartphone.

What should you put on your calendar?

The following items are ideal for including on a calendar so that a person has greater control over their everyday lives :-

  • Appointments (dentist, classes, dinner with friends, meetings, etc).
  • Deadlines (handing in report, filing taxes, etc).
  • Events (pay day, birthdays, holidays etc).
  • Time sensitive errands (buying something in a sale before closing time).
  • Focus time like Study of a Course (when no one can disturb you).

Entering items above on your calendar will help to keep you more organized as well as hold you accountable for your time. Only definite items which you want to schedule for the days and weeks ahead should be added to your calendar. So you will then have a sense of commitment to carry them out at the specified time.

Tasks with a due date are probably better kept in Task Management Software like Toodledo or Taskcoach rather than on a calendar where they can be marked as completed as they are worked on. So for a particular project like – ‘Redecorate the Living Room’, it can be entered in calendar as a block of time but the individual tasks that need to be done are better listed in a Task Management Program like Taskcoach.

Google Calendar Main Features

The following features have been selected because they are typical features that most new users would be interested in using. They have been selected from the Google Calendar Help section.

  1. Calendar views – Day, Week, Month, 4 Days and Agenda
  2. Create and Edit events.a) One-off Events, b) Repeat events, c) Invite guests to event and check for respondents.
  3. Change default notifications and register mobile phone for SMS messages

To access Calendar Settings -select Settings from Menu

Google Calendar - Menu .jpg

 

On Calendar Settings Screen...

Google Calendar - Calendars.jpg

To access default notifications, select Calendars tab and then select Reminders and notifications for Calendar you wish to change

Note: To register your mobile for SMS Reminders, click on the Mobile Setup tab beside Calendars tab. There is a charge for this service.

Google Calendar - R&N.jpg

The above settings are an example of typical reminder settings that you might like to use. Of course you can set these to whatever you like as long as you feel you are been notified in time to attend the event in question.

Subscribe to Calendar of special interest – Irish Holidays, sporting events etc

To subscribe to a Calendar, go to Calendar Settings Screen as shown for 2d above and select the Browse Interesting Calendars link and the following screen will be displayed :-

Google Calendar - Interesting Calendars.JPG

Subscribe to Irish Holidays and it will be added to your list of available Calendars

Share a Calendar

Google Calendar - Sharing Menu Option.JPG

To access the Calendar Sharing Screen, select the drop-down menu beside calendar and then select Share this Calendar option

You will be then be presented with the following screen :-

Google Calendar - Sharing this Calendar Screen.JPG

To Share a Calendar, enter the email address of Person you wish to share with and then select Permission Settings

Permissions Settings should be set depending how well you know the person you are sharing your Calendar with. So if you are sharing with a work colleague you may set it to ‘See only free/busy’ while if they are a friend you may set it to ‘See all event details’

Share your Calendar with people who don’t use Google Calendar

Google Calendar - Calendar Settings Menu Option.JPG

Select Calendar Settings from drop-down menu beside Calendar you wish to share.

Google Calendar - Calendar Details.JPG

To get the Calendar Address which you will share, click on HTML

The address is then displayed which you can copy and paste into a regular email to share with friend or work colleague.

Google Calendar - Calendar Address.jpg

Understanding default Privacy settings

Your calendar information stays private unless you adjust your calendar-sharing settings. If you choose to share, you decide who to share with, and which details they can see. Google Calendar enables you to make all or part of your calendars (1) private and inaccessible by other users, (2) accessible only by certain people of your choosing, or (3) accessible by the general public and included in Google search results.

Activities to explore Google Calendar

Create an Event on Work Calendar and Invite Colleague

  1. Create a Work Calendar by selecting the drop down menu to the right of My Calendars on the main Google Calendar screen. While creating calendar, you can also Share with specific people at the same time.

Google Calendar - Create New Calendar.JPG

Enter the Calendar Name.

Additionally enter the eMail addresses of your work colleagues.

Finally click on Create Calendar button.

Tip: The Work Calendar could be used to record work related events like meetings, courses and even work social events so that they will be kept separate from your personal calendar.

  1. Create an Event in your Google Work Calendar like ‘End of Project Party’ and invite Colleague.

Click on the date/time in the Calendar for the date of the event and the following dialogue box will be displayed.

Click on Edit Event and the following screen will be displayed.

Google Calendar - Edit Event.JPG

Enter Where the Event is being held.

Add Colleague as a Guest.

Ask Colleague to RSVP to Event and then check your calendar to see who has replied.

When your Colleague clicks on the Shared Event in their calendar, the edit event screen is displayed with the options to specify if they are attending event.

Meanwhile on your own Calendar, you can check who has responded by clicking on the Event to see Replies.

Google Calendar - Edit Event after RSVP.jpg

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