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Google Calendar tips
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Tech tips

Meeting schedule packed? Use these Google Calendar tricks for easier planning

Are you struggling to manage your busy schedule? Google Calendar is one tool you should be using to optimize the way you and your team interface with one another.

Read on for five simple Google Calendar tips that can make a big difference.

1. Know when people are free

If there’s one tip on this list you should be using, it’s this one. The best part is that Google makes it so easy for you. Visit your Google Calendar and choose whether you’re using your personal or work account.

Then, put your cursor in the search box labeled Search for people under the heading Meet with. Everybody in your organization should be searchable here, allowing you to squeeze an event into a time slot that works well for everybody.

RELATED: Stop missing video meetings: Use this secret Google Calendar setting

2. Use Google Calendar shortcuts

If you are coordinating your team’s meetings, you’re missing out if not doubling down on Calendar shortcuts. Even saving yourself one or two keystrokes may allow you to unlock your productivity and save time daily.

First, you must enable shortcuts. Here’s how:

  1. On your computer, open Google Calendar.
  2. In the top right corner, click Settings > Settings.
  3. In the Enable keyboard shortcuts section, select Yes.
  4. At the bottom of the page, click Save.

Many of these hotkeys revolve around navigation. J and N allow you to move forward or backward between weeks, while T will bring you immediately back to today. To hop quickly to a specific day, use G to find it. 

The C key creates a new event, and you can take a closer look at an existing event’s details with E. The Escape command can also be helpful, giving you a quick getaway from any event details page.

3. Work smarter, not harder

A great meeting begins with inception. Without a purpose, calling for a meeting might hinder your afternoon, not catalyze your work. What can you do to make sure you’re using your time wisely?

The first task will be to learn what makes a productive meeting. Only people who need to be there should be invited, and an actual problem or goal should unite everybody.

4. Make sure everybody is notified

Honestly, this entry is another one that we take for granted. Google will automatically send email notifications, even if the details of a meeting have been changed. Still, you might need to touch base between the initial invite and the event itself.

Not a problem on Google Calendar. Here’s how to message all meeting participants:

  1. Click on any event’s details.
  2. Next to your guests, use the mail icon to create a new message.

Alternatively, you might use the chat icon also found here. It makes keeping everybody on the same page extremely convenient without hunting down random email addresses.

5. Remember your time zones!

If there’s ever anything on this list we’re guilty of ourselves, it’s this one. Google Calendar automatically keeps your calendar view under a single time zone, but it can be helpful to know who lives where when scheduling a meeting.

Our first tip: memorize your time zone name, then everybody else’s. You can also add multiple time zones to your calendar through your Google settings:

  1. At the top, click Settings Settings.
  2. On the left, click Time zone and check the Display secondary time zone box. (The primary time zone is where you live.)
  3. Click the Secondary time zone field and select another time zone.
  4. (Optional) To identify the time zone, add a label, such as Europe.

Since the world went remote a few years ago, scheduling tools like Google Calendar have all gone the extra mile, helping colleagues connect meaningfully across even international borders.

You may also like: 5 ways to get more out of Gmail, Maps, Calendar, and Docs

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