It is amazing how we can still stay organized in these days, when everybody is so stressed and tired because of their crowded schedules. In the past people used an agenda, but the days of the traditional calendar books where you’d have to write everything down have ended for some time, and now the digital way has succeeded them.

Nowadays, the best way of managing your time is represented by calendar apps, where users are able to write everything using a computer, a smartphone or a tablet. The best part of this kind of applications is that you can set it up to remind you the next important appointment you have on your schedule. One of the best examples is the Google Calendar, which can be maxed out with these helpful tips and tricks and organize your life better in the process.

Google Calendar Tips and Tricks

a calendar agenda

Google Calendar is a free application especially designed for time management that can be used either from the web or from the smartphone and tablet. It was initially launched in 2006 and it finished the beta tests in 2009, being now one of the most used applications of its type.

It has a good-looking and easy-to-use interface, it’s integrated in various Google services and the list of features goes on. That’s why, in order to be sure that you get the most from its capabilities, we’ve made the following article where we have gathered some of the best and important Google Calendar tips and tricks that you should try for your own. Note that in order to be able to use this service, you must have a Google account. If you don’t have one, sign up for free from here.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

The first thing you should do to simplify your experience when using Google Calendar is to learn the keyboard shortcuts. Pressing certain keys will help users to do different actions more quickly. Some of the most important and useful combinations of keys are the following:

  • k / p, press one of these two keys to move to the previous date in the calendar view;
  • j / n, press it to go to the next date;
  • r for refresh;
  • t, to go directly to “today”;
  • /, to search for something;
  • ctrl / command + p to print the view you are watching at a particular moment;
  • ctrl / command + ? brings a pop-up menu that shows all of the keyboard shortcuts.

Change or Add another Time Zone

time zone

Are you constantly moving between two places where you have different time zones? Google Calendar has a way to help you in this case, because it permits users to add multiple time zones to their calendar view. To do this, simply follow the next simple guide:

  1. Go to Google Calendar’s website by hitting this link.
  2. After you accessed the webpage, press the “S” key from your keyboard to go to the “Settings” menu.
  3. Search for the “General” tab, press it and go to “Your current time zone”.
  4. There, press on “Show an additional time zone” and check the “Display all time zones” option.
  5. Scroll down, until you will find the one you need and don’t forget to press the “Save” button.
  6. From now on, you will see both time zones in your Google Calendar view.

Receive your Daily Schedule via Email

Google Calendar has a great feature that can be very useful for users, which is the ability to send the daily schedule via email to each one of its users. In this case, users will never forget to do something because they will have their day-by-day program directly into their email. To enable this feature, follow the next steps:

  1. Press “S” in Calendar View and from the “Settings” menu go to the “Calendars” tab.
  2. Here, search for “Notifications” and click on it. This feature will allow users to manage their notifications.
  3. To receive your daily schedule via email, just check the “Daily Agenda” option.

Add Legal Holidays and Sport Events Calendars

Browse calendars

Google Calendar permits users to subscribe to a bunch of pre-loaded calendars:

  1. If you want to access them, you only have to go to the left side of your calendar view and look for the “Other Calendars” button.
  2. Click on the little arrow button and select “Browse Interesting Calendars”.
  3. A new menu will pop-up which contains three sections: Holidays, Sports and More.
  4. From here, just choose the ones that suit best your needs and save the changes.

Customize the Date Range View

In Google Calendar users are able to select one of four types of default views: day, week, month and agenda, by simply clicking on the special button which can be found on the right corner of the calendar page. However, not many of you know that Google Calendar permits users to customize their viewing style. To do this, you have to follow the next simple steps:

  1. In Google Calendar press “S” to access the “Settings” menu.
  2. Go to “Custom View”, press on it and a drop-down menu will appear.
  3. From here, choose between the available options: 2, 3 or 4 weeks and 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 days.

Use it in Offline Mode

Even if you have an Internet problem, it’s good to know that Google Calendar can be accessed via a nice Chrome extension that can be downloaded from the following link.

Add a Countdown Timer to your Next Meeting

Nobody wants to miss an important meeting because he simply forgot about it. To come to users’ assistance, Google Calendar has a nice feature that will place a countdown timer next to your next appointment so that you will always know how much time you have left. To enable it, do the following:

  1. Click on the gear button, which can be found in the right top of the calendar view, and select “Settings”.
  2. Click on “Labs” tab and check the “Next meeting” option.
  3. Then, just save your modifications and from now on a little countdown timer will be placed near to your next meeting.

Dim Unimportant Events and Hide Weekends

In order to maximize the experience when using Google Calendar, you should take into considerations to make some little modifications that will clear up your calendar view. The first change users should do is to dim the unimportant past and future repetitive events. It’s a very simple process to do, users just have to go to the “Settings” menu (by pressing “S”) and select from it one or both “Dim past events” and “Dim recurring future events” options.

The second change is useful especially if you are using Google Calendar only at work. In this case, you should hide the weekends from your calendar view by checking the “Hide Weekends” box, which can be found in the “Settings” section.

Use SMS Reminders

In order to make sure that you don’t miss any important events or meetings that are placed in your Google Calendar, you should know that there is a great and very useful way in which you can be notified via SMS before an event starts. This is possible with the help of a little service named IFTTT, which stands for “If This Then That”.

IFTTT is a free service that enables you to interconnect numerous mobiles and Internet services. If you want to benefit from Google Calendar SMS alerts, all you have to do is to sign up for the service mentioned above and make sure to activate the Calendar SMS recipe.

Add Weather to your Google Calendar

show weather

Google Calendar has many utilities and you can even turn it into weather forecast that you can consult every morning, when you check your agenda. In order to benefit from this great feature, you need to go to the Calendar’s settings and find the option called “Show weather based on your location”.

Users must set their location, select one of the two options – Fahrenheit or Celsius – and then save the changes. When they will refresh the Calendar, they will be able to see the little weather icons that are placed at the top of every day of the Calendar. In order to obtain more info, you need to place the pointer on the weather icon or click on it for more details.


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Feature Writer

Alex holds an engineering degree in Telecommunications and has been covering technology as a writer since 2009. Customization is his middle name and he doesn’t like to own stock model gadgets. When he’s away from the keyboard, simpler things like hiking, mountain climbing and having a cold drink make his day.