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Google Calendars is a powerful tool. It allows you to access your calendars from anywhere on the web…and there are many applications that allow you to get the data offline as well.
However, there are some features that make Google Calendar even more powerful, and most people don’t know or take advantage of them. Here are 5 little-used features that can supercharge your Google Calendar.
Link To Published Calendars
Many organizations publish their calendars for public consumption. This can include everything from national holidays to sports teams to school districts to phases of the moon.
I link the Packer calendar, the local school district and my daughter’s school calendars.
You can find “interesting” calendars here: https://www.google.com/calendar/render#settings-dir_10|holiday
To add a published calendar to your feed, go to the calendar on the web and look for a URL or for an icon that will give you the link.
For instance, if you wanted to add Princeton University’s academic calendar, you go to their calendar page (https://registrar.princeton.edu/academic-calendar/, courtesy Google), then click on the link that says “Instructions for subscribing to Academic Calendar”. From there, you see the URL that you can copy and paste into the Google Calendar (https://registrar.princeton.edu/academic-calendar/acad-cal.ics).
This is done by clicking the down arrow next to Other Calendars and selecting Add By URL. Paste in the URL, and the calendar will show up in the list.
Share Other Calendars
If you know someone who has a Google Calendar, you can share these calendars. This gives you the ability to see (and add/edit) items on the calendar.
I share my husband’s and daughter’s calendars so we can keep everyone up to date.
You can share a calendar by clicking the down arrow next to Other Calendars and choosing Add A Friend’s Calendar from the menu. Then enter your friend’s email address, and your request will be sent.
Import Calendars And Events
Even if a calendar you are interested in is not available in Google Calendar format, you can still import the calendar. This means that if your work calendar is in Outlook, you can still import it into Google Calendar (note: changes aren’t synced between the two).
I import my husband’s work calendar so I know where he is on any given day.
You can import a calendar with some easy steps. First, export the calendar to a file in the software. In Outlook 2013, this is done by clicking on the File Menu, then Open & Export, then Import & Export. You can choose Export to a File from the Wizard, and then choose CSV for the format.
Once you have your file (Google accepts either CSV or iCal format), then go to Google Calendar, and choose the Gear in the upper right of the screen. From there choose Settings. Scroll down until you see import a calendar, and then select the file you just created. Make sure to choose the correct calendar to import into!
Set Up Other Calendars for Little-Needed
One of the great things about linking to calendars is that you can hide them from your standard view. You can do this with your own personal calendars as well by setting up other calendars.
I have a separate calendar set up for planning tasks and goals so that I can turn them off when looking at my actual calendar.
Set up another calendar by going to the Google Calendar Settings (as described above). Then scroll down and choose Create New Calendar. Then fill in the details and click Save.
Link Remember The Milk
Many packages are now allowing you to link directly to Google Calendars. My task manager, Remember The Milk, allows me to link by task list.
I link my menu planning tasks to my Google Calendar so I can see what the day’s main meal is at the time I check the calendar in the morning.
Link Remember The Milk by looking for iCalendar Link when you are in a list, but have no tasks selected. Then add the calendar using the Add By URL above.
These five little-used features can take your Google Calendar to the next level. By linking to public calendars, sharing calendars, importing calendars from other systems, setting up calendars for planning, and linking programs like Remember The Milk, you can turn your Google Calendar into a powerhouse.
Over To The Readers
Are there any features of Google Calendar that make it super-useful for you? Share below.