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January 3, 2013

Google Calendar To Better Manage Your Time


In today’s world, time management is something that we all need to do and do well.  This is just one of the reasons why Google Calendar is the preferred online calendar of many. It syncs with my smartphone as well and I also can add, delete or change appointments there as well.

Google Calendar allows you to set up multiple calendars using one ID. You make the choice of which calendars you wish to see at a given time. You are able to have a calendar for business, personal, travel, etc. with different sharing settings for each. You can share your calendar with anyone having a Google account. Other calendars allow those you share with to view only or also edit. With Google Calendar I can decide what they will view.  Do they just see whether I am busy or free, or do they see the event as well? I can decide. I further can allow others to decide who a calendar is shared with.  For example I have an appointment calendar.  My wife is able to see the details of this calendar but cannot make changes.  My son can only see if I am free or busy. He does not see the details. I also have a Travel Calendar for events my wife and I have planned for when we travel. Both of us can edit that calendar and make changes as needed. My wife can also decide to share that calendar with others. I also can make any of my calendars public if I so choose. If a calendar is made public, it will appear in a Google search where appropriate. My wife can view my appointment calendar and I can view hers.  Recently friends of ours purchased tickets for a show not realizing that one of them had made plans for that evening. When my wife and I are making plans, we check both our own and each other’s calendar to see whether or not the other has plans for the date and time in question.

I like the feature of when I enter an event I put the address of the event in the "Where" field. Clicking on that field will bring up the location in Google Maps. Since Google Calendar syncs to my smartphone, this could be a stress saver if I get lost as I can get directions on my smartphone wherever I am. 

It is a great calendar for scheduling a get together as well as inviting people to an event whether or not they use Google Calendar. You invite them directly from Google Calendar without emailing them through Gmail. The options to respond are the standard "Yes", "No", or "Maybe".  In addition, for the "Yes" response there is a field to indicate if you are bringing a guest as well as the name of the guest.

Need to quickly add an event?  Use the quick add feature. Type in the event, date and time and Google calendar automatically adds it.  Type in an email address and an invitation is sent to that email address. Do the same from your phone by texting 48368 and Google calendar automatically adds the event to your calendar. You also can add “interesting” calendars such as a schedule any or all of your favorite sports teams, national and/or religious holidays.

Another feature of Google Calendar that I like is appointment slots.  Appointment slots allows you to set aside period of time on your calendar at preselected intervals for others to schedule appointments.     For example a college professor can set aside Tuesday between the hours of 1-4 PM at ½ hour intervals for those also having Google Calendar to reserve time on your calendar.

One last thing here.  I do not erase events after they take place.  It is maintained on Google’s servers and takes up negligible space on your smartphone.  A lawyer friend of mine has a client of his who is being audited and erased events as they were completed.  Had they not been erased, the client would not have to go through hoops to recreate his Travel and Entertainment events. It would be right on his calendar and he would have a lot more time and money.

You need to have a Google account to access and use the calendar.  If you are not already using it give it a try. You may want to check out some of their features such as Year view, Jump to date and World clock. Its ease and convenience are why it the preferred calendar of many. You too may change calendars.

If you have additional questions about how Google Calendar can used to better manage your time, I can be reached at (917) 572-3468 or email me at mike@computerconciergeny.com   It is truly a good time management tool.

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