The saying “If it’s not on my calendar, it doesn’t exist” is becoming less and less of a joke and more of a reality check as we are faced with ever-increasing distractions.
Let’s see what we can do with Google Calendar to set us up for success!
Resources I mention
Emojipedia to add Emojis to Calendar titles (or CTRL + CMD + Space on a Mac)
Watch it in action
Tip #1 - “Cal.New” to Create New Event
For a shortcut to open up a new Google Calendar entry, simply:
Press “CMD+T” or “CTRL+T” if you’re using a PC to open a new tab
Type in “cal.new” in the address bar
This shortcut works for both the Google Chrome and Safari browsers.
Pro Tip: Typing “doc.new”, “slides.new”, “sheets.new” will open a new Google Doc, Google Slides, and Google Sheets respectively.
Tip #2 - Change Default Reminder Time
Want to get a notification just in time for your next meeting? Here’s how you do it.
Go to your calendar home page > click on “Settings” in the top right corner (type “S” for the settings shortcut)
On the left sidebar, select “Settings for my calendars” > click on your calendar
Go to “Event Notifications” and change the number of minutes to whatever you wish
Personally, I find that 2-3 minutes is just enough time to wrap up whatever I’m doing and head to the next meeting.
Tip #3 - Grant Default Modify Access
By default, your calendar invite should be modifiable by others. This just saves a lot of time, trust me.
In the settings tab, go to “General” > “Event Settings”
Under “Default Guest Permissions”, check “Modify Event”
If the time slot doesn’t work for the person you sent the invite to, they can change to a new time without having to ping you first. And if you don’t want someone to edit the event details by mistake? Simply uncheck the “modify event” option for that specific event.
Tip #4 - Display Multiple Time Zones
In the settings menu, go to “General” > “World Clock”
Now you can add as many time zones as you want
Pro Tip: You can enable a secondary time zone in the “Time Zone” section that will display that time when you schedule an event along with your primary time zone
Tip #5 - Add Invisible Events
These are calendar events that only you can see while having that time slot still shown as “available” to others.
After creating a new calendar event, change the “Busy” option to free and “Default visibility” to private.
Tip #6 - Add Gmail Filter to Calendar Event
This tip is useful if you have recurring action items—every week or every month.
For example, let’s say I have an invisible calendar event every Tuesday reminding myself to write snippets by end of day.
I can change the notification for this specific recurring action item to “Email”