Organisation is key for productivity and over the past few years I’ve tried many different solutions in an attempt to bring order to what is otherwise a chaotic life. After trying a range of solutions from a paper based diary, to custom made Microsoft Excel planners, I’ve deduced that in my opinion, Google Calendar really stands out from the rest. Now I want you to know from the get-go that Google Calendar is a free to use service, and I do not work for or have any affiliations with Google. So if you’re reading this thinking it sounds like it’s been written by an over enthusiastic salesman, dying to earn his slice of commission; think again.
Can be used from anywhere
As with most services now, especially Google services, this calendar is cloud based, meaning it can be accessed from anywhere you have an internet connection. This means no more having to remember meeting times because you forgot your diary, so long as you have an internet connection, you have your calendar. You can access google calendar in browser on your desktop or smartphone, or for a more intuitive mobile interface, you can download the app. The app even made it on to the list of our top 10 android apps that will make you more productive.
User friendly Interface
Both the desktop website and the mobile app have an incredibility easy to use interface. This allows users to quickly and easily navigate around the service; from adding new events, to viewing what today’s agenda is. Another thing I like about Google calendar, is that you don’t have to use all of the features on the interface from the very beginning. You can start off by using a very basic calendar, then increase the complexity of your calendar as you get more comfortable using the service. You can also get a widget for the home screen of your phone, which informs you of your upcoming events, handy when you just need to double check the time of that meeting later on.
Works together with Gmail
As with most services Google provide, Google calendar integrates well with other Google services, such as Gmail. When you receive an email to your Gmail account regarding some sort of event (this may be a booking confirmation at a hotel or similar), the information from this is extracted and added to your calendar automatically. You can read more on adding events from Gmail on this Google support article.
Multiple calendars in one place
As I stated in the introduction, I have tried many calendar solutions over the past few years, and one feature that makes Google calendar stand out is the fact that it is not one calendar. Think of it as a master calendar, where all of your sub calendars are displayed. Your calendar normally starts with just one calendar, which even on it’s own is extremely useful. However it is very easy to set up additional calendars. For instance, you may have one calendar for all of your social commitments, one for your work meetings, one for your work shifts and another for your family life (remembering to pick the kids up from that birthday party next week!). You can also change the colour of all of these separate calendars, so you can easily see what is happening in each part of your life that day.
Share calendar with others
By default, your calendar is set to private, however you can change this setting to give you the option to share it with other people; perhaps colleagues within your company. You can share your calendar with a whole organisation, or just a specific person. You can also set whether they have permission to alter your calendar or just to view it. For instance, if you’ve got a personal assistant, you may want to give them access to edit your calendar, for booking in meetings and appointments.